An Organization's Number One Asset

Posted: 12.08.2015
The continued progress of an organization depends greatly on the effectiveness with which it develops its greatest asset – its’ employees.
One of the greatest challenges organizations face is retaining employees.

The cost to replace one employee may be up to 50% of that departing person’s salary. Employees must feel valued and appreciated. They leave organizations for lack of career growth, low morale, management issues, poor training and little or no recognition of their accomplishments.
Retention strategies allow organizations to retain valuable employees and can be used as a means to transform an organization’s culture to a more desirable place to work.

Orientation Programs

Orientation Programs ensure all employees receive the same comprehensive orientation to the organization and:
  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Provide guidelines and set goals
  • Develop realistic job expectations
  • Reduce costs by familiarizing the employee with their role
During orientation, the employee works with their manager to become familiar with the organizational structure, coworkers, work area, and other related activities such as parking, security procedures, etc.
For an orientation program to be effective set timelines for review within the first week then follow up at the end of the first month and again before the three month probationary period expires. This ensures the employee is on target to meet performance goals.

Performance Appraisals

Performance Appraisals identify gaps in performance, set objectives and identify support required for the employee to be effective in their role. Two-way communication between employee and management is critical.
Performance Appraisals provide process for:
  • Presenting feedback on overall performance
  • Tracking achievements and accomplishments
  • Reviewing activities from previous review and planning for next one
  • Setting objectives and expectations for upcoming year
  • Identifying specific areas of improvement and determining training plans
  • Determining measurable basis for bonus (if applicable)
  • Opportunity to coach employees on improving performance
Performance Appraisals should be reflective and forward thinking, providing opportunity for employee and management to “take stock” and plan ahead. Reviews should be conducted consistently in an open and honest environment, resulting in a positive, motivating and rewarding experience.

Recognition Programs

Recognition Programs increase morale and dedication. Consider:
  • Employee of the Month – based on performance and reliability
  • Birthday program – acknowledging employee on their special day
  • Workshops, seminars, lunch and learn activities, etc
  • Referral programs
Employees must be excited about the program in order for it to be effective. Ensure guidelines for how, who and why someone should be recognized are established and clearly communicated. Recognition can be verbal or in written format.

Recognition should be geared toward organizational performance and strategic results. When implementing recognition programs, ensure employee performance is improving as a result. Keep in mind different types of recognition work well for different types of people. Remember to be consistent with whatever program is implemented.
The best method of recognition is day-to-day verbal praise in front of coworkers where employees receive acknowledgment for a job well done.

Employee Satisfaction Surveys

Employee Satisfaction Surveys are used to measure morale. These tools aid in communication and give employees a voice to share opinions.

When conducting Employee Satisfaction Surveys, ensure questions are relevant in order to pinpoint concerns. Make sure surveys are not too long or employees may become reluctant to complete them. Surveys should be voluntary with time granted to complete either during work time or at home. All results should be kept confidential.

Management must be prepared to follow through with areas of concern which impact employees and their expectations. Surveys engage employees and provide empowerment when the workforce feels their input influences how the organization operates. Feedback should be shared with employees and action plans developed to implement change.

“Greater Benefits”

“Greater Benefits” are:
  • Scheduling flexibility, working from home, job rotation, etc
  • Casual day, bring a child/pet to work, etc
  • Lunch and learn seminars
Stretch Assignments are also popular. These give employees opportunity to take on assignments that are beyond the employee’s comfort zone with more responsibility. It helps broaden skills, increase employee confidence, challenging them, resulting in higher motivation and productivity.

Providing organizational direction and improving the management of people will engage employees and the end result will be higher commitment.

Dinah Bailey is the principal of HR ByDESIGN. For more information on how to capitalize on your organization’s Human Resource requirements, contact HR ByDESIGN by email at or visit online at
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