Recruiting, hiring, engaging, and retaining talent is a top priority for organizations. And sometimes, HR teams need a little help to get on the right track. How can you determine if you have the right engagement and retention programs in place? What are ways to measure engagement and retention? And where can HR leaders start to increase engagement and retention in their companies? We invited Metha Vasquez, Founder and Managing Consultant of Meet The Peak, to join one of our podcast episodes to answer those questions and more. Let’s first start with finding out more about Meet The Peak.
What is Meet The Peak?
Meet The Peak is a talent strategies and professional coaching company that provides talent acquisition and development strategies for growing companies. They focus on professional, executive, and life coaching. They specialize in three primary areas:
- Talent Acquisition Services
- Employee Engagement and Retention Program Design
- Talent Development and Leader Development Services
Who is Metha Vasquez?
I had a great chat with Metha Vasquez on our podcast. She is an experienced Executive Coach with a twenty-five-year track record of leader success. Metha “fell into” the wonderful world of HR by way of hotel and restaurant management. She opened 10 Cracker Barrel restaurants back when they only had 50 stores. During that time, she fell in love with the recruiting process and talent development. She eventually became a recruiter and took HR roles over the following 20 years.
Now, let’s dig into the topic of the podcast…
At a High Level, What HR Consulting Does Meet The Peak Offer?
The primary focus of Meet The Peak is talent acquisition strategies, retention strategies, and engagement strategies. Much of our work is project based when working with clients, looking at ways to improve metrics and find out why employees are leaving and/or not engaged. Then, we implement programs to increase engagement and retention, which in the end makes the company more profitable.
Are Companies Better At Engagement Or Retention?
In working with leaders, they like tangible things they can measure. It’s hard to measure engagement, but we can look at leading indicators of “stickiness” based on Gallup Research. If you improve those indicators, then people tend to stay longer. It’s easier to measure retention and attrition.
How Do You Start Increasing Engagement And Retention?
It’s important to determine what is important to leadership. It’s hard to implement any engagement and retention programs if that’s not important to leaders. You have to ask the right questions and listen to the answers. For example, if a leader says, “this turnover is killing us” then that’s what is important right now. That leader needs to keep people longer. So, we would look at the current state through data: What is the turnover rate? What are exit interviews telling us – are there common themes? Get a baseline of where the company is today so we can give the right diagnosis.
Next, we would look inside the organization at the value system. For example, if the organization says they pay people more when they stay, then how are they paying for that? If the organization can only charge customers a certain amount for products or services, but they continually pay more to people that stay longer, how is that sustainable? They can’t have compensation be the main part of retention.
Then, we design programs with elements that support the organization’s value statements.
Program Elements include areas such as:
- Affinity groups (LGBTQ+, people of color, working women, etc.) because people look for areas where they fit it.
- Fun activities that can be done in person, hybrid, remote.
- Community Service events that give back to the communities that matter to the employees.
How Do You Determine the Groups You Should Be Serving?
Although HR leaders set up the infrastructure, your engagement groups should always be employee led. Employees do an excellent job of telling you what the current culture is and who should be involved.
How Do You Help HR Leaders Set Engagement and Retention Targets?
There are different data points to look at, but it comes down to what’s meaningful for that particular organization. For example, if a company is involved in federal work, look at retention rates at the federal government level. Then ask leadership if that is a good benchmark for their organization.
It’s important to also look at your own KPIs within the organization, such as safety, customer service, profitability. You can use those to help set your targets.
What Are Some Top Reasons Employees Are Leaving?
People have been used to remote or hybrid work for nearly three years now. Oftentimes, they’ve made adjustments to their work environment at home, they’ve adjusted schedules, and they want to continue to stay in a hybrid or remote situation. When employers are calling people back to the office, many employees leave because they don’t want to alter these adjustments they’ve made.
Another reason for leaving is for the opposite explanation. In a remote situation, people aren’t developing face-to-face, personal relationships. Some people thrive on that, so they leave because they want to have more people interaction when a company continues remote or hybrid work environments.
There’s much more we cover in the podcast, such as:
- Are you seeing an increase in engagement for people returning to the office?
- What types of data do you review with HR leaders in order to create engagement and retention programs?
- Can there be successful engagement programs for remote workers?
- And much more!
Listen to the whole podcast here: How To Engage And Retain Employees. This 22-minute episode provides some helpful tips and best practices on how to start engaging and retaining your employees. Enjoy!