This morning I took a look at the HR Flexibilities and Authorities Handbook produced by OPM. The handbook has a lot of great information for federal HR professionals. One section in particular caught my eye and is an important read for people across all sectors and all levels of government. This section provided insights on how to retain employees. As more and more Baby Boomers hit retirement age, there is a pressing need for government to retain its most talented employees. The handbook also states that government, “The Federal civil service has twice as many workers over age 45 (60 percent) as the private sector (31 percent).”
The section “Keeping Current Employees Onboard,” listed dozens of reasons what talented employees look for in their career, and reasons to stay at an organization. The section can be found below.
Keeping Current Employees Onboard
Many retention strategies focus primarily on salary to retain quality employees. However, recent Corporate Leadership Council research findings conclude pay was the least important reason cited by employees as to why they continue to work for a particular company. Employees surveyed gave the following reasons in priority order:
- Career growth
- Learning and development
- Exciting work and challenge
- Meaningful work
- Making a difference and a contribution
- Working with great people
- Being part of a team
- Having a good boss
- Recognition for work well done
- Autonomy and control over one’s work
- Flexible work hours and dress code
- Fair pay and benefits
I think considering strategies for each of these ideas is important for agencies. The challenge is that each employee will be motivated differently, and in order to keep talented employees, managers will have to understand what is driving the employees motivation. Likely, a manager will have to do a mix of the strategies and have an open communication policy with the employee, to avoid having them leave the agency in hopes of advancing their career.
What strategies would you add to the list?
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