Let's Look Ahead By Looking Back

3 Minutes Read

Two things keep popping up in our news feeds this time of year - predictions and goals/hopes. As HR practitioners we know predicting the year ahead let alone the next week is challenging. I want to take a slightly different approach and share what our clients have asked us to help them with and see meaningful improvement by December 31, 2020. Being silly, no predictions from an HR tech vendor, no mention of machine learning and AI, just honest problems our clients are asking to address. Perhaps these sound familiar.

What I expect you to see are:

  • Increased employee retention analysis tools. And then tools to increase it
  • Tools to help plan the future needs of your workforce. Succession planning, skills needs, workforce planning
  • Improved traditional practical feedback and advice/Bringing back genuine, authentic, discussions

So here we are the last working day of 2020. Maybe a lot has changed, maybe not, but one thing I can promise you is that you likely spent time thinking about these three areas and making the human resources team’s job more efficient, more effective, and more analytical resulting in a role that is more manageable.

What you would have witnessed include:

Increased employee retention analysis tools--When I am out talking to HR leaders in my travels there is one thing that comes up all the time. We need to know how we can do a better job retaining our employees and we need to know why we’re losing the ones we lose. What 2020 will show you, and KangoGift’s solution will allow you to do, is provide a very microscopic and segmented view about employee loss.

A solution like this isn’t a reactive tool. Instead it provides you with that pathway to success because you’ll be able to see why certain managers do right that will allow you to keep employees. You will be able to build new programs if you are finding out that lack of growth opportunities is one of the reasons people are leaving. This ability to measure retention will allow you to use the year building successful programs to keep your best and brightest.

Tools to help plan the future needs of your workforce--This may seem very close to what I was just talking about and while it may share some things in common it diverges in several key areas. By the end of the year I expect to see the organizations who are truly focused on employee retention turning towards programs that let them plan ahead with intelligent use of data based from solutions like ours.

The idea here is to utilize tools that understand trends at the job level in order to understand which skills and headcount needs may require attention (or which roles are so secure that HR can focus on another group).

We regularly speak with employers about the need to recognize employees for a wide variety of events such as accomplishments and life events for example. The other effect of this is to allow senior management to correlate employee departure with recognition and other factors. The traditional exit interview will always provide insights into employee departure., but that is only a reactive tool and is too late to prevent the departure in the first place. As we all know the associated costs of hiring and training new employees is substantial.

A process like this works because it allows for instant employee engagement. It allows these simple actions to communicate to the employees value in the eyes of the organization and helps them to see how they have contributed to its success. All of these actions, combined with key data generated by this program, allows for an analysis of why your employees need. You’ll be able to track who, and who isn’t, acting in a fashion contrary to the organization's culture that will enhance your ability to plan ahead and, ideally, increase employee retention.

Improve traditional feedback and advice to bring back authentic discussions--Feedback is something traditional HR leaders and innovators know is vital to the organization’s success and is often hard to come by. But the information is only helpful if it engages employees in a meaningful discussion.

Technology is only a tool. Especially in this day and age, employees crave genuine discussions with managers. It’s critical to utilize tech as a way to better understand the impact an employee is having. Then talk to him or her about their goals, desire for growth, and what they want to develop. The human side is the biggest aspect of 2020 programs.

So when you’re wrapping up your 2020 you’ll have a more effective tool. You will be helped by having that data in front of you that will allow you to shift from asking a general question such as, why are we not retaining staff, to asking why are we losing staff that has been here more than 5 years. When you’re asking the right questions you’ll get the answer you need. You will shed the light on the problem areas and act accordingly.

By the end of this year you have the opportunity to be in a much stronger position to identify where the leaks are in your employee retention. In my interactions with some HR leaders I see a small number taking those first steps and already seeing the results we should all be seeing. If you’re looking to end your 2020 thrilled about your employee retention then now is the time to start thinking of a solution like KangoGift’s. That puts you into control and lets you gain the pulse of your employees resulting in less turnover.


Todd Horton