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Retention tips

Nearly 40% of workers feel disengaged
Employers looking to every source of competitive advantage often overlook the untapped potential in their workforce, according to Julie Gebauer, managing director and leader of Tower Perrin’s Workforce Effectiveness consulting practice. Based on a survey of 90,000 workers from 18 countries, Towers Perrin found that just 21% of workers are engaged at work and almost 40% are partly to fully disengaged.

The study debunks the view that engagement is an innate trait, but finds that the organization itself – particularly senior leadership – has the most impact on engagement levels. The study also found that companies with the highest levels of engagement achieve better financial results and are more successful in retaining their most valued employees than companies with lower levels of engagement.

Phased retirement can help retain an aging work force
The 2007 Ernst & Young’s Aging U.S. Workforce Survey found that nearly 30% of the polled companies are considering “phased retirement” programs to attract and retain an aging work force, while only 9% actually have such a program. While there are legal and practical limitations to “phased retirement” particularly in terms of defined benefit plans and medical coverage, it is a valuable retention tool and enables the smooth transfer of knowledge from experienced workers to younger ones.

Understand what irks workers
According to “Workplace Ouch Points,” by Opinion Research Corporation, workers most often say that a lack of communication from senior management about the company’s direction is the most frustrating part of their job. Age and gender are factors in what irks workers the most. Men are more frustrated by the fact they have to use politically correct language and younger workers are more frustrated by the lack of teamwork.

The issues that most commonly frustrated workers in 2007 were:
Poor communication from senior management about the business
General office politics
Lack of teamwork
Having to use politically correct language
Nosy co-workers
Poor relations with an immediate supervisor
Fear of backlash from reporting unethical behavior
Corporate monitoring of email and/or telephone calls