The Supervisor as Your Chief Retention Officer
William J. Rothwell, Ph.D., SPHR, SHRM-SCP, CPLP Fellow is a Professor
in the Workforce Education and Development program, Department of
Learning and Performance Systems, at The Pennsylvania State University,
University Park campus. He is also President of his own consulting
firms—Rothwell & Associates, Inc. and Rothwell & Associates,
LLC. He has authored, co-authored, edited, or co-edited 300 books, book chapters, and articles—including 111 books. Before arriving at Penn
State in 1993, he had nearly 20 years of work experience as a Training
Director in government and in business. As a consultant, he has worked
with over 50 multinational corporations--including Motorola, General
Motors, Ford, and many others. In 1997 he and his wife founded a small
business—a personal care home for the elderly that employed 27 workers and served as the residence for 54 people. That company was sold in
Crisis at a small or large scale can bring about permanent changes in an organizations’ workplace. As new practices enter the work environment, remote work becomes the norm, social distancing shifts requirements, mask mandates, your frontline leaders, more than ever play an important part in retention practices.
What is Retention?
"The classic organization is characterized by the command-and-control style of leadership, where power resides in ever-higher positions, levels and titles. It is earmarked by `power over people." Against the backdrop of global pandemic, civil and political unrest, the time has come to revisit the role of managers that emphasizes coaching and leadership instead of command and control. Managing for Employee retention involves strategic actions to keep employees motivated and focused so they elect to remain employed and fully productive for the benefit of the organization. A comprehensive employee retention program can play a vital role in both attracting and retaining key employees, as well as in reducing turnover and its related costs. All of these contribute to an organization's productivity and overall business performance.
Retention of productive employees is a major concern of HR professionals and business executives. It is more efficient to retain a quality employee than to recruit, train and orient a replacement employee of the same quality. Fairness and transparency are fundamental yet powerful concepts that can make a lasting impression on employees. Employee job satisfaction and engagement factors are key ingredients of employee retention programs. The importance of addressing these factors is obvious but doing so takes time and these tasks are often left for another day. However, the payoff of focusing on employee retention—in terms of increased performance, productivity, employee morale, and quality of work, plus a reduction in both turnover and employee-related problems—is well worth the time and financial investment. The bottom line is that by managing for employee retention, organizations will retain talented and motivated employees who genuinely want to be a part of the company and who are focused on contributing to the organization's overall success.
Hidden Costs of Poor Retention
Often hard to fully calculate, the estimated ranges from a modest 33% of annual salary for replacement (Employee Benefit News) to a very scary 300% of annual salary for replacement (Investopedia). Intangible costs of high turnover include the damage to your organization’s reputation, in the world of social media and Glassdoor detrimental reviews and stats scare away top talent. Multiple issues arise from low productivity to mass-scale disengagement as employees rally to cover open positions, the organization risks festering resentment and further burnout.
Here is a Cape Go Fly
Seek to make your supervisor your Chief Retention Officer. The trust is placed in the supervisor, that leader closest to the work. These supervisors have many touchpoints throughout the employee life cycle that may positively impact retention; from recruiting, hiring/onboarding, and terminations. Often outstanding employees are rewarded with promotions into leadership. With little more than a handshake and well wishes to make them successful, they struggle to translate their technical expertise and tactical execution into leadership. As senior leaders, we have literally promoted them to an operational rooftop asking them to jump to the leadership rooftop without a net. It is when we redefine the role of supervisor to include leveraging performance management as a retention tactic and taking a human-centric holistic approach to employee experience continuum (from interview to orientation to development) we are walking them off the precarious edge of career disaster.
Supervisors can connect their teams directly to the noble cause of the organization, remove barriers, foster psychological safety, improve engagement, and ultimately positively impact retention. It with these changes, in addition to the handshake, and well wishes we give them a cape made of new skills and teach them to fly. At that point, they are SUPER-visors who can deliver retention improvements and positively impact the bottom line.
In summary, high turnover can be extremely expensive for organizations and perpetuate an ongoing cycle of chaos. Developing innovative TRM programs is crucial to creating a thriving organization in the newest normal. Taking a fresh look at the untapped potential of your leaders closest to the employee is our proposal: your supervisors. We are not suggesting that leaders ADD to their workload, we are proposing concepts and tactics that can be implemented in the short and long term that retain them and help them retain their teams and wellbeing.
This engaging webinar focuses on both evidence-based principles and practical takeaways. Attendees will leave with several practical tools they may apply the minute the webinar is over.
- Best practices in talent retention management (TRM)
o Key first steps in creating a strong recruitment and retention strategy
- Exploit the untapped potential of your supervisor as a chief retention officer
o Recognize the opportunities to support supervisors in this new influential perspective, and brainstorm strategies for helping them lead post-crisis, and mitigate future risk of turn-over
Course Level - Participants should have a basic knowledge of talent management and concepts of turnover and retention.
- The executive perspective presented is at an Intermediate level
- Frontline immediate action items are Basic/Fundamental
Who Should Attend
- Senior Leaders/Executives – Decision makes
o Chief Learning Officer
o Chief Talent Management Officer
o Chief Human Resource Officer
o Chief People Officer
- Strategic execution
o Talent Development Directors
o Training and Development Directors
o Organizational Development Consultants
o Organizational Development Directors
o Human Resource Business Partners
o Human Resource Directors
o Human Resource Recruiting
- Tactical operations
o HR Managers
o Learning specialists
o Talent Management Professionals
- Individual Professional Development
o New leaders and managers
o Early careerists
Why Should You Attend
Are you curious about how an existing role can effectively improve and boost retention across your organization? Do you desire tips to equip your HR team and senior leaders to cultivate a strong frontline of human-centric chief retention officers?
Learn from speakers, in-house practitioners, and researchers who have developed award-winning books and solutions worldwide. They will reveal key drivers of retention from a human-centric approach; demonstrating how empowering your frontline supervisor may positively impact employee experience in turn reducing the risk of turnover and regrettable loss.
The innovative fresh perspective builds on the tried-and-true key organizational practices: empowerment, meaningful work; recognition, feedback, and growth. We explore beyond the usually associated retention aspects of the employee life cycle. Identifying where the supervisor may positively impact retention from recruiting, hiring/onboarding, and terminations.
The BIG question: What is does Supervisor as Chief Retention Officer mean?
- Why this new perspective?
- Redefine the role of supervisor
- Performance Management as Retention Tactic
- Employee Experience Continuum (from interview to orientation to development)
During this webinar we expect a lively discussion on the leader’s role in retention, specifically asking what are the leader attributes as they pertain to retention? For example, with the high level of burnout and compassion fatigue occurring, a leader must leverage a keen interpersonal and emotional intelligence skillset. We will discuss how supervisors can connect their teams directly to the noble cause of the organization, remove barriers, foster psychological safety, improve engagement and ultimately positively impact retention.
Before, during and organizational development (OD) professionals predict after the pandemic, employee retention will continue to be a high priority for organizations. Some industries are experiencing average turnover rates as high as 67% placing a high focus on talent retention management (TRM). The painful truth is retention risks happen at all points of an employee's life cycle, for example within the first 5 months of employment 31% of people leave, 68% of them exiting within the first 3-month window (Bamboo HR).
Statistics are nice, however, do you have an idea of the cost of turnover? Be forewarned it has an insidious impact on your bottom line. Often hard to fully calculate, here are two estimates from trustworthy sources:
- 33% of annual salary for replacement, Employee Benefit News
- 300% of annual salary for replacement, Investopedia
Cost to Replace
$12,000 to $108,000
$20,000 to $180,000
$50,000 to $450,000
Intangible costs of high turnover include the damage to your organization’s reputation, in the world of social media and Glassdoor detrimental reviews and stats scare away top talent. Multiple issues arise from low productivity to mass-scale disengagement as employees rally to cover open positions, the organization risks festering resentment and further burnout.
The struggle is real, when HR experts were surveyed, 87% shared that retention would be their organization’s top talent management priority over the next 5 years. In summary, high turnover can be extremely expensive for organizations and perpetuate an ongoing cycle of chaos. Developing innovative TRM programs is crucial to creating a thriving organization in the newest normal. Taking a fresh look at the untapped potential of your leaders closest to the employee is our proposal: your supervisors. We are not suggesting that leaders ADD to their workload, we are proposing concepts and tactics that can be implemented in the short and long term that retain them and help them retain their teams and wellbeing.