Valued employees

Adding value

Employee value
The effect of the global recession over the last few years has resulted in many companies being unable to reward employees appropriately. Due to limited employment opportunities, employees have tended to stay within companies despite a reduction in benefits, poor bonuses, low salary increases and limited career development opportunities. However, as the economy starts to turn, employees will increasingly expect more value from their employers.
This is according to Ndivhuwo Manyonga, Deputy CEO at Aon Hewitt South Africa, who says that signs of an upturn in the economy will lead many employees to expect their employers to ‘step up to the plate’. “As employees start weighing up their employee benefits packages, coupled with increased levels of job creation in many global economies, we could begin to see an increase in high value employees applying for positions both locally and abroad.
“Proactive employers must start identifying unique ways of creating an attractive value proposition for their staff if they are to arrest such an exodus. In South Africa, an alarmingly low number of organisations have attempted to develop engagement or retention strategies; and have instead focused merely on replacing exiting staff.”
“A crucial step for many organisations to prevent employees leaving is to ensure that their value proposition is relevant for their employees by conducting an employee engagement survey. This includes aspects such as career opportunities, recognition, organizational reputation and remuneration,” says Manyonga. This enables employers to measure the effectiveness of their value proposition to employees.
She says employee engagement refers to the state of emotion and intellectual involvement that motivates employees to do their best work. “Organisations need to ensure that every effort is made to retain those high value employees who are critical to the future of their businesses. Companies that make a concerted effort to engage with and listen to their employees have benefited immediately from improved staff retention.”
Pat Smythe, Executive Chairman of Emergence Growth, the human capital practice specialists, says South African companies have seen an immediate improvement in employees’ intention to stay with the organisation after such interventions. “Those employees who are committed to the organisation have also shown increased levels of performance, which has led to increased organisational performance in the form of improved customer service and profits.”
“Although the majority of employees cite remuneration as their primary reason for leaving the company during their exit interview, many surveys have shown that in fact, the most common reason for leaving is management style and career opportunity,” says Smythe.
He notes that those employers who have converted to a total cost to company remuneration system have created a form of next generation lifestyle packaging based on the employee’s requirements. “Clearly, single employees will have very different requirements to employees who are married with children.”
“Employee engagement is becoming an increasingly critical business practice for all companies. However, driving employee engagement is not a one-size fits all approach. Those companies that understand the needs of their employees and react appropriately are best placed to retain their key talent,” concludes Manyonga.
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Issue 58