In the recent past, there has been raging debate about the competency of our higher education graduates in terms of fitting in the job market. There has been a near consensus that although there has been tremendous growth in the number of institutions of higher learning and affiliated campuses, majority have been churning out half baked graduates. This is despite the fact that there are higher expectations from the general society for the institutions to develop leaders who will steer the country to greater heights in matters social, economic and political development.
While we must celebrate the opening up of the higher education space which has offered many Kenyans an opportunity to access university education, we also need to take stock of the quality of education being offered. This was highlighted by the recent crackdown on some institutions by the sector regulator citing failure to adhere to set guidelines and benchmarks.
The human capacity of any organisation plays a critical role on its upward mobility. Literacy development has had an important impact in the industrial development of several countries and hence economic development. Skills and technical knowhow of the human resource is thus essential. In addition, having the right attitude propels a person to further their knowledge. Therefore, the quality of higher education grandaunts must at all times be devoid of doubt. Without adequate higher education and research institutions providing a critical mass of skilled and educated people, no country can acquire sustainable development.
As employers compete to woe the best but few available talents, staff retention has become a major concern in the workplace. This is due to the expenses involved with recruiting and assimilating a new employee and the cost of lost output while a replacement gets at home within the new working environment. While turnover in an organization brings in fresh talents full of new ideas and experiences along with different perspectives, too much can harm it resulting in uneven workloads, lower employee engagement and morale and lack of continuity, particularly in customer and supplier relationships among others.
Therefore, it is in a business’ best interests to find ways to improve employee retention. In an increasingly competitive business world, top talent is in high demand. Increasing salaries and benefits as well as introducing flexible working schedules are fairly effective tactics. However, even these can have a negative impact on employee motivation and most importantly, profit margins. As a result, more and more organizations are developing strategies to mitigate this. Fostering employee retention requires planning, commitment, and a variety of interventions and strategies that:
• Improve skills in people
• Build continued confidence for employee to tackle challenges
• Help employees become more aware of their impact on others
• Increase the motivation and ability to set and achieve organizational and personal goals
• Inspire continuous skill development and career growth through self-directed and organization sponsored training
• Unleash the synergy of a collaborative team effort
Various researches shows that while most managers have a general perception that people leave their jobs for an opportunity that pays more money, most employees will tell you a different story. Sadly, departing employees are often reluctant to divulge the reasons for their leaving. This is in order to stay in good standing with the organization, in case they need a reference or ever chooses to return. This however denies an organization an opportunity to learn and rectify their shortfalls.
Employee retention is a critical issue facing today’s enterprises as they compete for talent. As mentioned above, the cost of employee turnover are increasingly high, at times as much as an employee’s salary. Although sometimes it’s inevitable that some employees will need to move on and in some cases key staff, it’s worthwhile for the management to understand that if employees feel valued and are excited about working for the organisation, chances are they will not want to go elsewhere no matter the temptation.
More importantly, their enthusiasm will be evident to your customer further boosting their confidence in your organisation. Employees who leave abruptly can hurt the company’s growth especially a small medium enterprise (SME) that has limited personnel. The following measures could largely encourage employees from leaving:
Hiring the right people. Pay close attention to signs that you may have a job-hopper. While there’s nothing wrong with someone switching jobs if it provides career advancement, look for someone who is interested in growing with your company rather than getting experience to take somewhere else. So, from inception, conduct a due diligence to ensure the right candidates are offered the opportunity considering attitude, integrity, academic qualifications and skills among others.
Ensure employees are properly equipped and well prepared to do what is expected of them
Compensate them well and always recognize and reward outstanding performance
Provide inspirational leadership with a definite career roadmap. Specify what needs to be done to achieve desired results
Offer ample and continuous training programmes to build the employees’ capacity
The above points may proof useful tips that could help create the right culture whereby employees will feel a strong bond with the organisation. Your company culture should match the type of employee you want to employ, regardless of whether you opt for a by-the-book, strict workplace or a more casual, laid-back atmosphere.
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