Employees will leave an employer for various reasons. Some relate to a spouse needing to relocate, others for family or more personal factors such as starting a family or going back to school. While there are some reasons that are beyond the control of an employer, there are a number of others that fall within an employer's domain.
When talent leaves an organization, there can be a significant productivity hit as well as the impact on morale and knowledge loss. Many organizations know about the importance of creating a healthy workplace culture as well as the benefits of having a highly engaged workforce, yet for many employers, the quest for high levels of engagement remains somewhat elusive.
Human Resource professionals frequently talk about talent management and leadership development while watching as their key resources leave their employ seemingly unexpectedly.
How do employers foster and develop their top talent in order to avoid seeing employees head out of the organization? Whether it is Gallup research or other recent employee surveys, the results continue to provide consistent feedback: employees leave when they don't connect well with their leaders and when they don't feel their employer values them.
Did you know that more than 30% of employees believe they'll be working else within the next 12 months or that more than 40% of employees don't respect the person to whom they report. In addition, more than 50% of employees say they have different values than their employer and more than 70% don't feel appreciated or valued by their employer.
Hiring people into leadership roles because they want to lead and have the ability to manage well is important. They also need to be rewarded for talent retention and their focus on fostering high levels of employee engagement.
According to Nicola Styles, Career and Lifestyle Specialist, companies will benefit by being clear about their vision statement or purpose. Helping employees identify with the company's purpose goes a long way to helping them keep these goals top of mind and working collaboratively to achieve desired results.
According to top 12 employee engagement questions used by Gallup, also known as the Gallup Q12, when employees were asked the following question, "The mission or purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important" the results indicated that there was a direct correlation between how employees feel about their company's mission. As a result, the best workplaces give their employees a sense of purpose and enable them to make a difference.
Another key reason talent leaves involves employees feeling that their employer isn't recognizing, rewarding or enabling them to do their best work. What factors play into this scenario? There are several including recognizing the value of employees by offering them group benefits and retirement plans. Doing so allows employees to focus on doing their best work every day and it demonstrates an environment of caring and respect that ladders up directly to building a healthy workplace culture.
Employees who are stressed about their personal finances or who don't feel they have support and the resources to effectively save for their retirement can be distracted at work. A drain on engagement and productivity, employers who offer group benefit packages including financial education seminars and information sessions to explain details about benefits coverage go a long way to demonstrating a culture of caring and a desire for the well-being of their employees.
There are many innovative ways to enhance employee awareness of an employer's commitment to their well-being through group benefits and pension plans. We have the expertise available to help you. Please contact us to ensure you're considering all the options to ensure your top talent doesn't leave.
We're here to help so that you can focus on what you do best.
Depending on what stage of life you're in, planning for retirement may be something you think about frequently or something that rarely, if ever, crosses your mind. It is a topic that people between the ages of 50-64 feel the need to address with greater frequency. While some Canadians have been planning for this chapter of their lives for years, others are realizing, with regret, that they aren't where they hoped to be with their savings goals (if they developed any at all).
In a 2005 study by Ameriprise Financial called the New Retirement Mindscape, 5 key stages of retirement were identified. This study was conducted again in 2010 with findings revealing a sixth emotional stage in the retirement continuum. Respondents indicated in the latest study that they felt less hopeful and optimistic toward retirement. Given the economic downturn of 2008-2009, this response is not surprising.
So what are the six emotional stages?
Stage 1 is called "Imagination" and it occurs between 6 to 15 years before retirement. It is during this stage that people really starting thinking about what their life could be like in its next chapter. Those that have aging parents or kids in college or university may feel the need to delay this initial stage for a while.
What's isn't happening in this stage are concrete plans to determine how much money will be needed in retirement. Time for a call to action to address exactly how much is needed for retirement and to lay out a realistic roadmap for attaining this goal.
Stage 2 is called "Hesitation" and it occurs between 3 and 5 years before retirement. Economic anxiety causes the hesitation stage. People start to worry that what they want for their retirement might not be attainable based on the savings they've accumulated to date. It is during this stage that their readiness to seek help from a financial advisor comes into play.
This stage is a good time to really maximize retirement contributions and work with an advisor to explore practical and safe savings strategies.
Stage 3 is called "Anticipation" and it occurs approximately 2 years before retirement and then right up to the big day. During this stage, people are feeling more stable about their decisions and are coming to terms with what is realistic for their retirement. During this stage, people are wise to think about their income in retirement and how they will manage to live within their means while on a fixed income.
Stage 4 is called "Realization" and it occurs on retirement day and in the year following. It was formerly called "liberation" day, but given the lack of optimism in recent years about living a retirement of their dreams, people's views on it are somewhat muted.
Stage 5 is called "Reorientation" and it occurs between 2 and 15 years after the retirement date. It is during this stage where people try to get into a rhythm as well as a new sense of routine. As familiar patterns and routines develop, people become increasingly comfortable and their level of contentment improves.
Stage 6 is called "Reconciliation" and it occurs 16 or more years after retirement. As people age, there is a greater propensity for illness to set in and more friends and family pass away. Although still relatively content in this stage of retirement, feelings of stress about illness as well as anxiety as to how and who support them when physical challenges occur, creep into their thoughts.
It is never to early to start planning for a healthy and happy retirement. Working with a trusted advisor who can help you set up and maximize the benefits in an employer-sponsored retirement plan as well as a personal savings account is an important step in ensuring confidence during all the stages of retirement.
Please contact us to start the conversation. We're here to help so that you can focus on what you do best.
In recent years, workplace wellness has been a topic of conversation and on the planning agenda for many plan sponsors and Human Resource professionals. The dilemma isn't the question of whether it is a good thing to introduce, it is more about ways to get at the data and accurately measure the return on investment (ROI). Another challenge involves addressing the question, "Will workplace wellness programs reach their intended target audiences or will they continue to speak to those who already understand its value?
In Canada, workplace wellness metrics remain illusive. Good data simply isn't readily available yet thereby making it challenging to build an air-tight business case that plays well to a company's key decision-makers.
Even without reports available at the push of a button, there are good reasons to introduce workplace wellness programs. Several studies have been conducted that draw a direct connection between worker engagement and their level of health. When employees are healthy, they are more productive and that leads to higher levels of engagement resulting in greater ROI.
One of the major wellness program hurdles involves finding ways to help employees see the need for change in their lifestyles as well as building a greater awareness that prevention is the key to avoiding chronic illnesses. Increasingly, employers recognize that managing the cost of chronic disease within their group health care plan is a costly undertaking. Health Canada reports that more than 70 percent of all health care costs are related to the treatment of chronic disease. The more Canadians lead healthy lifestyles, the greater the opportunity to manage and reduce the impacts of chronic illness in Canadian workplaces.
We also face a significant shift in the demographic makeup of Canada's workforce. By 2020, the Conference Board of Canada reports that we'll have a shortage of upwards of one million workers. Keeping employees safe, healthy and in the workplace is an important and necessary step toward sustaining our labour market.
When it comes to workplace wellness, it can seem overwhelming to know where to focus attention. Taking a targeted approach may provide helpful. By bucketing the workplace into three categories, employers can take a specific and thoughtful approach to wellness initiatives. By grouping employee populations as 1) healthy; 2) at risk (poor nutrition, little to no physical activity, smokers); 3) chronic conditions (e.g. cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol);
wellness campaigns have a greater opportunity to zone in and resonate with their intended audience.
Once these population categories have been identified, an employer is in a stronger position to build communications aimed at reinforcing or recommending behaviour changes to support healthy lifestyle choices.
For more information about ways to develop and communicate workplace wellness programs, please contact us. We're here to help so that you can focus on what you do best.
Dave Dickinson, B.Comm, CFP, CLU, CHFC
Experienced Benefits Specialist ready to optimize your group benefits and pension plans.