Discovering People


    Issue # 53

    Retention: Keeping Motivated and Productive Employees

    "The cost to replace ONE person is ~1.5x their annual salary"

    "Average time to productivity for a new employee is 6 months"

    "In one large Australian Firm resignation was 57% of all turnover"

    "Average person works for a firm for only 3 years"

    "Top 3 reasons people really leave – relationship with manager, lack of exciting work / projects & lack of opportunity for growth"

    Recently I attended a Seminar, hosted by the RCSA and presented by Kevin Wheeler, on retaining motivated and productive employees under the prevailing challenges of the 21st Century. The workplace environment is no longer a "one-size-fits-all" with many generational differences and ever changing workplace conditions. There are currently 3 major worldwide trends within the workplace including an aging workforce, fewer skilled workers, and several different generational attitudes.

    Now, more than ever there is an interaction of several generations within our workplace:

    • Baby Boomers (40 - 60 year olds - accounting for 28% of our working population)
    • Generation X (28 - 40 year olds - 16%) and
    • Generation Y (< 28 year olds – 25%)

    Studies indicate that each of these generations have very different workplace motivations and expectations of their employer. If employers want to retain workers, who have the skills needed and who contribute to their organisation’s success, it is extremely important that employers understand "who" they have working for them and what it is that motivates these employees to work.

    Whilst in today’s market it is evident that employers are not offering a candidate "a job for life" it is imperative that both the employer and employee find the best possible match for their current circumstances. To ensure the union is successful and profitable for both parties the hiring process and decisions must be based on skills, competencies, personality, corporate cultural fit and job requirements. As indicated in the above diagram, whilst the hiring process is important, it definitely does not stop there. The new staff member must be supported and oriented well, and their performance continuously managed throughout the entire period of their employment.

    The Bottom Line? Employees have an increasing number of choices. They can and do leave when the psychological or physical cost of staying is greater than the reward of leaving.

    Do you KNOW who you have working for you? Apply the above ideas to be sure your staff "stay and stay motivated"!

    Prepared by: Michelle Novotny

    Source: RCSA Speaking Tour – September 2005 by Kevin Wheeler


    Please feel free to contact the team at Discovering People if you would like more details on this candidate of the week, if you have any questions regarding the newsletter topic, human resources issues to discuss or would like to offer any feedback Ph: 02 9570 2411 or email