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Employee Retention Challenges: Navigating the Modern Workplace

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Retaining employees has never been easy, but it's not getting any easier either. A recent survey found that 72% of HR teams struggle to retain top talent, with 22% admitting it is very difficult.

At 60% of companies, employee retention has actually declined in the last three years. And in the last 12 months alone, 64% have seen an increase in employee turnover.

In order for HR teams to solve these employee retention problems, they must first know and understand what causes them.

The connection between data and turnover rates

Employee needs change every day. If companies don't collect or have access to current data, how can they develop a deep understanding of their employees? And how can employees then feel seen and understood?

Many teams lack this access to real-time data. The survey found that 60% have to wait up to a week or longer for important employee data, 10% have to wait more than a month, and shockingly, 8% have no access at all.

Why is this the case? Many teams still use paper or spreadsheets to capture employee data. When data is collected in silos and locations, teams have limited visibility into employee wants and needs. And when they use different systems and inconsistent metrics to measure employee performance, it leads to a lack of consistent and regular data - a key factor that weakens employee trust.

Left in the dark

Without access to a single source of truth, HR teams recognize the problem too late. You can't figure out the reasons for employee retention issues, whether it's a lack of feedback, lack of development, burnout, or management factors. All you see is continuous employee turnover.

Outdated, delayed or inaccurate performance management data is also a threat to company success and affects both employees and HR teams.

Without a unified workforce and without the data, we are all in the dark.

Lack of feedback can lead to terminations

While a lack of data makes it difficult to understand employee performance and engagement, there is also no point in having that data if it is not used to provide effective, consistent and regular feedback.

Employee expectations are constantly changing, and more than half (54%) of employees would consider leaving a company if they didn't receive regular feedback from their managers. For members of Generation Z, the figure is even three out of four. That is a remarkable statistic.

Feedback is crucial for every employee's personal development, engagement and growth. Without it, they lack direction and feel like the company isn't investing in their progress. But these concerns have become even more pronounced among younger generations and Generation Z.

Meet employee expectations

Having grown up in a highly digital world, navigating pandemic-related issues and working on vast social networks where information spreads quickly online, employee expectations have changed and increased.

In this world, there is an even greater need for regular communication, feedback and a focus on personal development. And with mental health issues being exacerbated by this online world, the value of informal communication with employees cannot be underestimated.

As research shows, if managers don't communicate with them regularly, employees will simply move on.

How HR teams can improve employee retention in 2024

First and foremost, teams must leverage accurate, comprehensive, real-time data that provides a complete picture of employee performance, engagement, and development. A performance management system can be a single, unified tool that brings all of this data together.

It's like having everything under one roof, allowing teams to gain insights into data across the organization, analyze trends, and make decisions to improve employee retention. This data is key to understanding root causes, whether it's feedback, development or burnout, so teams can take action.

Prioritize actionable feedback

With this data, managers are also able to provide actionable and effective feedback. For example, they can create personal development plans together with employees and give them the opportunity to take their career path into their own hands.

Real-time insights power performance management, providing highly accurate performance assessments and data visualizations.

But all this data is of no use if companies do not have a culture of regular and consistent feedback. The oxygen of culture is communication.

Building such a culture can be as simple as a weekly informal conversation with employees or a regular, well-structured conversation to understand employee concerns and provide detailed and data-driven performance feedback.

A culture of being seen, heard and valued

As we head into 2024, employee retention has emerged as one of the key HR obstacles to overcome. A fundamental driver of employee retention challenges is the lack of consistent, real-time data that HR teams cannot access quickly enough - or at all. And as Generation Z continues to influence employee expectations, the lack of regular feedback can lead to employees leaving the company.

To reverse the employee retention trend, HR managers need tools to access real-time data and build a culture of regular feedback and communication. The two go hand in hand and can create a workplace where employees feel seen, heard and valued.

With this understanding, companies can begin to get ahead of the game in the race to retain employees.

In the retention race of 2024, access to real-time data and fostering a culture of feedback are crucial. IceHrm offers solutions to tackle these challenges and retain top talent.

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