Rethinking retention

A user experience based framework helps leaders better understand the strengths and gaps of retention within their business.

With traditional retention incentives proving unsustainable, more organisations are seeking new ways to attract and retain the strongest talent. The latest insights paper from ManpowerGroup Solutions, ‘Rethinking Retention: A User Experience Approach to Keeping Great People,’ provides a fresh perspective on retention; using a method most commonly found in product and service development, user experience modelling. This approach places employee motivations, interests, and behaviours at the heart of organisational culture.

Many companies neglect to invest in making retention a part of organisational culture, with everyone aligned to a singular set of retention-focused expectations and behaviours. James Hick, Managing Director of ManpowerGroup Solutions UK said: “A one-size-fits-all approach to retention strategies no longer meets employee needs. We segment our customer market – why not our employees?”

James continued: “The real opportunity to impact retention lies in an organisation’s ability to develop a retention strategy that begins with the candidate experience and continues in an integrated way throughout an employee’s tenure in an organisation.”

Integrating a user experience retention model that starts from the moment an individual first learns about an organisation, all the way through to the exit interview, takes significant time, planning, and stakeholder engagement, and can be difficult to achieve among competing priorities. The whitepaper encourages organisations to analyse their existing retention models using the following steps:

  1. CONDUCT A USER NEEDS SURVEY: Evaluate your value proposition and understand your candidates and employees – where to find them, what drives them, and what they want in their careers.
  2. DEVELOP, TEST, AND REFINE CONTENT: Gather and analyse survey results to understand what people need. Prospective candidates may want more corporate culture insight, while existing employees might be more motivated by information about development opportunities.
  3. EVALUATE FUNCTIONALITY: Ask people if the systems in place work for them and create engagement. Understand when, where, why, and how retention is breaking down.
  4. DESIGN THE PROCESS: Ensure that candidates and employees can intuitively find the resources they need to enjoy doing their job well. This requires understanding when, where and how people interact with the employer brand, from digital channels and internal communication, to managers, mentors, peers and third-party sources.
  5. CREATE A VISUAL EXPERIENCE: Consider how people experience your organisation from the standpoint of web/social media, office and workspace, and external marketing. Ensure the visual experience aligns with your organisation’s mission, vision, values and culture.

James concluded: “Creating a user-centred culture and mind-set will generate deep engagement that yields the retention organisations desire. Rethinking retention requires organisations to create a compelling user experience for their people and ensure that every interaction and touch point is viewed as an opportunity to retain talent.”