Savvy employers know that theyneed to change their strategies in order to be considered as anEmployer of Choice. (Photo: Shutterstock)

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“Employee turnover at all-time highs”

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“Lowest Unemployment Rates in 18 years”

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Do these headliners sound familiar? They should, as they havedominated the business news journals and human resources forums forthe past year. The facts behind these headlines, though, are areflection of the challenges that all employers are experiencing intheir ability to attract and retain employees; unemployment continues to dance around arecord-low 4 percent, and employee turnover is 35 percent more thanprevious generations.

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The converging forces of a tight labor market and generational influences have left the challengeof competing for candidates keeping HR departments up at night.Savvy employers know that they need to change their strategies inorder to be considered as an Employer of Choice. The tactic ofoffering only a competitive compensation and comprehensive benefitpackage is outdated. The candidates are now driving the interview,asking, “Why should I work here?”

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Related: The C-Suite eyes a larger role in talentacquisition

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Employers need to show how they are preferable to theircompetitors by offering access to innovation, teamwork, careerprogression, well-being, and leading technologies. Today'sworkplace culture has become all about ensuring that employees aresupported holistically. It has become the prime determinant inattracting and retaining employees.

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Failure of an employer to promote the need for a conducive workenvironment can result in turnover as today's employees are quickerthan to move on to that next job. Many employees are lost at thetwo-year mark as job dissatisfaction sets in. This inevitably costsemployers in loss productivity, increased recruiting fees, andconstant turnover. Turnover costs are particularly significant. Onaverage, turnover costs an employer six-to-nine months' salary,which can equate to approximately 20 percent of a worker'ssalary. Employers can ill afford to have a revolving doorpolicy.

Discrimination continues

With employers are having to reinvent their HR philosophy inorder to thrive, we continue to see equally hard-hitting headlinesout of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) aboutemployees complaining of discrimination and harassment in the workplace.

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Even with threats of lawsuits, potential personal liability forsupervisors and even HR, and litigation awards, these are notalways the deterrents needed to encourage employers to act in thebest interests of their employees' well-being.

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As a result, employers should consider the impact ofdiscrimination in the workplace. Discrimination takes its toll onaffected employees, and its effects reach way beyond theindividual being harassed. Discrimination in the workplace has beenproven to also affect:

  • Employee retention, including not only in those directlyaffected, but also those surrounding the person impacted
  • Employee recruitment, as the ability to recruit new employeesis harmed as word about such issues spreads
  • Medical costs, resulting in higher charges for both physicaland medical issues experienced by workers, including depression andstress
  • Productivity, which is likely to decrease due to a lack offocus on production and employee turnover

All of those impacts are obviously counter-intuitive to the kindof culture today's candidates are seeking.

Company image

In today's social-media society, word spreads quickly and quitepublicly when an employee is dissatisfied, and an employer cando little to stop the wildfire that can be created. When employeesleaves work, they go into the far and wide community, sharing theirstories whether they are good or bad. What story are they sharingabout your company? This can determine who shows up — or fails toshow up — at the next hiring round. Employers should review theirstanding in the community. Is it a positive image? A positive imageis essential to successful recruiting and retention of qualityemployees.

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Employers who discriminate should stop, not just because it isillegal, but because it is a bad for business. Employers of Choicerecognize that employees are an integral part of the company,necessary for the survival of a business. Employers should reviewtheir culture and their turnover with a critical eye, and questionif their business practices toward the treatment of employees arein alignment holistically with the emotional, social, financial,and physical well-being of both the employee and the company. Theanswer may surprise you.


Read more: 


Bobbi Kloss([email protected]) isthe director of human capital management services for the BenefitAdvisors Network, a national network of independent employeebenefit brokerage and consulting companies. 

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