The Grass is Greener – Attracting and Retaining Employees

By Michael Rozum, Advisor at acumen

It wasn’t too long ago that we were clamoring for mid-summer days with the warmth of the sun on our faces and higher temperatures. Compared to shoveling a foot of snow in the dark at 5:00PM and 0°F weather, that sounded like heaven. It’s amazing how quickly we forget the other side of the coin. Humidity, sunburns and gnats are conveniently discarded from memory when the tips of our fingers are numb.

We all know the old saying, “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” This, of course, is referring to the idea that the things other people have, or their situations, always look better than your own. While this can be true in some situations, more often than not, the grass is not greener. This concept is often a matter of perception and one’s inability to know or understand the finer details that make up the whole picture. When we get closer, we can see those details and our perception changes – although I would still take these July days over a day in January.

This problem of perception is one some companies face when it comes to employee retention. Employees can be enticed to make a job change because they think they are moving to a better situation. All too often, however, variables are overlooked and can sometimes result in remorse. In this situation, the best case scenario would be when the employee is able to go back to work for their original employer. Even in this circumstance, there is still soft-cost incurred by the employer from terminating the employee and rehiring them back.

There can be a variety of factors that drive someone to switch employers but many times, a switch is compensation-related. As we’ve discussed in previous emails, pay does not illustrate the total compensation, or benefits, that the company provides. To avoid unnecessary turnover and the soft-cost associated with it, it’s vitally important that companies ensure their employees are aware of and understand the breadth of benefits offered. Not only will this keep employees from jumping ship, it’ll make for a happier, more productive employees as well.

Even when employers understand the importance of communicating these benefits, it can be difficult to effectively deliver the message themselves. Coming directly from the employer, this positive message may appear self-serving and fall on deaf ears. We’ve seen the most success with our clients when they tap into resources such as Total Compensation Statements and Benchmarking tools, and then allow us to deliver this information to the employees on behalf of the company. This allows us to provide our perspective on the industry as a whole and highlight the strengths of the employer’s benefits compared to others in the market. Not only is this a burden we can take off of the employer’s plate, the message is often very well received when delivered in this manner, resulting in a better, fuller understanding of just how green the grass is on this side of the fence.

For more information, please contact acumen today!