The fifth research report in an annual partnership between SHRM and Globoforce was published this week. And, interestingly, there is a surprise. Namely, that retention/turnover is the top challenge reported by nearly 1,000 SHRM members. This is a surprise top challenge compared to the last 2 years – and it makes sense. With the economy and hiring improving, businesses are wise to become concerned that the “grass is greener” syndrome may take hold of their very best employees. The employees who are super marketable as job opening grow.
(In full disclosure mode, I should mention that I am the former Chief Operating Officer of SHRM and am currently Chair of Globoforce’s WorkHuman advisory board.)
In 2013 and 2012, the SHRM/Globoforce surveys identified employee engagement and succession planning as the topmost HR concerns. Perhaps the fact that retention/turnover are the top concerns is fueling the fear of escalating talent wars due to economic growth, demographic shifts, globalization and a workforce that believes they can have it all: meaningful work, career growth, leaders they trust, equitable pay and appreciation for their efforts.
The concern for employee engagement is down with 47% of respondents citing it as a top challenge compared to 39% in 2014. That’s a big delta. And potentially a big deal.
The other surprise for me in the survey results is the data-backed understanding that values-based employee recognition is seen as contributing significantly to bottom-line organizational metrics. This is surprising for two reasons:
- The culture conversation is becoming rooted in values, and
- HR organizations are using data to create business cases for culture/values as a quantifiable business imperative.
The strength of values-based recognition behaviors and programs is growing:
Tying employee recognition to organization values seems a no-brainer and the data are proliferating that building employee programs and leadership behaviors on foundations of values-based culture are not only winning the war for talent, they are winning the competitive wars for revenue and growth, innovation, collaboration, and profitability.
The report is a fairly quick read and if you’re interested in learning about how recognition, values and culture are impacting the workforce today, the nearly 1,0000 SHRM members who took the survey have interesting insights to share.