HR Management & Compliance, Talent

Can HR Rely on Workers Reporting Their Own Worth?

It is no secret that talent recruitment and retention is a costly process without any real guarantee of long-term employee commitment to a company. With employee turnover costing the U.S. $536 billion per year, is there a more proactive stance HR managers can take to better discover and address employee needs and recognize and reward their value to the business?

Source: Steve Debenport / E+ / Getty

According to PayScale’s most recent Compensation Best Practices survey:

  • Over 66% of employers say that talent retention is a major and increasing concern.
  • Only 37% of employees proactively ask for raises.
  • Most organizations are not addressing talent retention with higher base pay increases.

Currently, the burden is still on the individual employee to proactively manage their own earning potential by asking for raises. However, it is evident that those vocally expressing a desire for a raise a very small percentage of the current workforce.

It is vital to develop innovative thinking into employee retention practices to create a sustainable business—especially because statistics indicate most employees don’t leave a job solely based on pay.

According to, over 75% of voluntary turnover is preventable and includes factors such as career development opportunities, work environment and culture, management behavior, job characteristics, and work-life balance. Clearly, compensations and benefits play a small role in turnover.

Waiting for your talent to tell you what they believe they are worth simply does not work. How can HR departments be a proactive when it comes to valuing and nurturing their in-house talent?

What Is Your Target?

First, identify exactly what you want your company to accomplish regarding improving employee retention and compensations structures by asking these questions:

  • What are your exact targets?
  • What key aspects must be involved in bringing those targets to fruition?
  • What questions do you need to ask?
  • Where else would you have to look?
  • Who would you have to talk to?
  • Are you reaching your targets?
  • Is there new information you now need to consider?
  • What is working?
  • What isn’t working?
  • What do you need to add, change, or consider in light of new findings and information?

Listen and Learn From Your Staff

Benevolent capitalism represents the most effective way of listening and learning from your staff concerning their perceived value in the business. This is where every person is included and treated as a leader and valuable contributor in the creation of the business.

Every level of your organization needs to be included if you are going to have meaningful, company-wide results.  As you gather information and find out what matters to your people, make sure the diversity in your workforce is well represented.

You also need to ask the right kind of questions to engage your staff in an effective conversation.  Here are five simple questions:

  • From your point of view, what is currently occurring in regard to___________?
  • What changes do you perceive are required to change this?
  • If you were managing this area of the business, what would you implement now and in the future?
  • What other ideas do you have?
  • What questions should we ask you that we haven’t asked?

In part 2 of this article, we’ll look at an example of a leader who had great success by letting his employees truly voice their opinions.

Laleh Alemzadeh-Hancock is a life and communication coach, management and professional services consultant, and facilitator of several Access Consciousness® special programs, including Right Voice for You and Being You.

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