3 Mentalities That Are Killing Your Employee Retention

For most CEOs or HR leaders, employee retention is always a topic of concern. Nearly 80% of business leaders say employee retention is important or urgent, and with good reason: turnover can cost upwards of 150% of the lost employee’s annual compensation. But are we entertaining mindsets that are sabotaging our ability to keep good people?


#1 – I don’t want to invest in onboarding or training when so many new employees leave


A prospect once mentioned to me that he had a hard time investing money into new employees, because so many of them “just leave”. While it can be disheartening to invest time and energy into someone only to have them get a new job a week later, this attitude can quickly result in a vicious cycle. Companies pay a high price for this mindset: on average, one third of new hires quit their job within 6 months.


In a world where complacency can be a death sentence to a promising career, ambitious individuals seek to continuously improve and diversify their skill sets. Studies like Why Top Young Managers are in a Nonstop Job Hunt have shown that these employees really want to receive training, mentoring and coaching. They want to gain skills. They want to be more valuable to the organization. Unfortunately, if employers are reluctant to spend money early on, we reach an impasse: companies won’t train workers because they might leave, and workers leave because they don’t get training.



#2 – Our website should focus on the customers


While there’s nothing wrong with a customer-focused website, this mentality often comes at the expense of showing the personal side of the company or anything about its internal culture. In some industries, that may seem “soft”–but studies show that your clients increasingly choose to work with companies that treat their people right. As an added bonus, as word travels that your company supports and invests in your employees’ growth, you’ll attract the best candidates and naturally create a high-calibre team.


Many companies have latched on to the concept of the benefit corporation, meaning their mission considers the needs of society and the environment, in addition to profit. Certified B Corporations are companies that have pledged to think about people and the planet in addition to profit, and an outside nonprofit inspects them and makes sure they’re following through. In addition, it actually drives profit: companies that put society and their employees first have a 25 percent higher stock value than their peers. So next time you’re redeveloping your website, consider adding a bit of a personal touch–and seek out ways to incorporate your company values, employee stories or a bit about the team that’s doing the work.


#3 – We receive so many applications, so our employer brand isn’t a big priority


A friend once told me her workplace had received over 1000 job applications for one position via a free online ad. While the interest seemed impressive, the quality and potential of the applications was not. After hours spent screening resumes, responding to questions and interviewing candidates, they ended up having to start the recruitment process all over again.


“Employer branding” may seem like buzzword to some people — thrown around a lot, but lacking meaning. Part of the problem is that it’s often misconstrued. It’s more than just your logo and creative materials; it’s that FEELING that permeates your organization. It’s everything that comes to mind when someone thinks or talks about your company. We all know the dangers of focusing on quantity over quality–and the same goes for recruitment. When you don’t stand for anything, you’re attracting “everyone” rather than the people you want–and that’s never a good thing. A stronger brand means you’ll attract higher quality applicants in less time for less money–and in a tough economy where every penny counts, it’s a business case that’s pretty hard to argue with.


Many of us have consciously or unconsciously held these mindsets, and they’re significantly impacting our ability to attract the right candidates. While it can be scary to invest in something that seems like an unknown, shift the focus of your website or put resources into creating a strong brand, it can pay off exponentially. As you attract the right candidates and build a solid team, you’re not just investing in people, but in the growth and sustainability of your organization.




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