As a human resources professional, you likely (and hopefully) ask yourself each day: Is my department doing enough to satisfy our current employees and potential candidates?
Unfortunately, many HR departments probably answer “yes,” but are actually stumbling in their efforts to provide meaningful perks and benefits to their workforce. This can be detrimental to a company’s bottom line if the company is spending an exorbitant amount of money on hiring new employees.
“The cost of turnover may be more serious than you
In fact, the cost of turnover may be more serious than you expected. The magnitude of these costs can be seen in findings from recent research by Center for American Progress and Compdata Surveys.
- For positions other than executives and physicians, the cost of turnover was 21 percent of an employee’s salary, reported Center for American Progress. For example, this means that hiring a mechanical engineer, who, on average, makes roughly $67,000, according to PayScale, would cost his or her company around $14,000 if he or she left. That’s a lot of money, especially if that company is hiring multiple engineers.
- Considering the total turnover rate, which is up from 15.7 percent in 2014 and 16.4 percent in 2015, according to Compdata Surveys, companies should be concerned with how much replacements are costing them.
These statistics indicate one thing: Companies need to take their HR initiatives seriously, and they can start by figuring out exactly what employees want out of their HR department. Here’s what employees are looking for:
HR departments help steer their companies in the correct direction. Call it the company’s rudder, wheel or mast, this department ensures the business stays on course through successful hiring and valuable benefits offerings to existing and potential employees.
While benefits are extremely important to employees (even more so than their salary, according to a Glassdoor survey), they also want to work in great environments. HR professionals help direct the company towards a successful future by keeping its processes lined up with its visions and goals.
2. The correct offerings
Employees value their benefits so much they’re actually willing to leave their jobs if they’re not satisfied with the package. In a 2016 Aflac survey, almost 42 percent of respondents said their employers would have a greater chance of keeping them if they changed their benefits package.
Some of the benefits employees want to be offered, the Glassdoor survey noted, include:
- Healthcare insurance: 40 percent.
- Vacation/paid time off: 37 percent.
- Performance bonus: 35 percent.
- Paid sick days: 32 percent.
- 401 (k) plan or some other savings initiative: 31 percent.
Many employees may expect their companies to offer them exactly what they’re asking for. This may very well be unattainable, but it’s still crucial for managers to try to meet them half way. At the very least, they can offer the employee a step-by-step plan that will help them obtain those benefits in the near future. This could be in the form of performance bonuses, for example.
Have you ever emailed an HR department employee and not heard back for days? This frustrates workers who have questions about payroll, vacation time or other benefits and need answers immediately. Make sure HR is accessible by allowing employees to contact the department via multiple channels (phone, email and possibly even text message). Doing so can reduce stress and make for a more enjoyable and rewarding work environment. Better yet, implement an HR Information System with employee self-service so that employees can instantly find answers to their most frequent questions.
4. The right skill set and values
Employees aren’t going to judge their HR counterparts by their skill set (that’s upper management’s job). However, they can easily tell when certain HR professionals just aren’t exhibiting the qualities they’d expect out of professionals who are partly in charge of their money.
“The best leaders exhibited a willingness to be a role model and develop relationships.”
In a survey of over 2,100 HR leaders from multiple organizations, the best leaders exhibited a willingness to be a role model and develop relationships. They were also experts in their craft. This shows that employees are cognizant of not just what HR professionals do but how and why they do it. They understand the person behind the person who is providing them with their weekly pay check.
If it sounds like your current HR department doesn’t exhibit the above four characteristics, it’s time to reevaluate your current practices. Doing so could help you retain employees, bring on new ones and contribute to the company’s bottom line. Employees expect a lot from their HR department, which is something companies simply can’t afford to ignore.