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Episode #303 – Dispelling and Debunking 10 Myths About Employee Retention

The Vet Recruiter®
The Vet Recruiter®
Episode #303 - Dispelling and Debunking 10 Myths About Employee Retention

Caleb: Welcome to “The Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider,” brought to you by The VET Recruiter. In this podcast, Animal Health executive recruiter and Veterinary recruiter Stacy Pursell of The VET Recruiter provides insight and practical advice for both employers and job seekers in the Animal Health and Veterinary industries. The VET Recruiter’s focus is to solve talent-centric problems for the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. In fact, The VET Recruiter’s mission is to help Animal Health and Veterinary companies hire top talent, while helping Animal Health and Veterinary professionals attain career-enhancing opportunities that increase their quality of life.

Today, we’ll be talking about dispelling and debunking 10 myths about employee retention. Hello, Stacy, and thank you for joining us today.

Stacy: Hello, Caleb. As always, I’m glad to be here with you today.

Caleb: Stacy, last week, we talked about 10 things the right job can give you besides just a paycheck. Today, we have another list of 10 things, and they have to do with myths surrounding employee retention.

Stacy: Yes, employee retention is a very important topic in the job market, including within the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. That’s because it can impact productivity, morale, and overall success. However, there are several myths about employee retention that can lead to ineffective strategies and ultimately hurt a business.

Caleb: Like last week, I know we have a lot of ground to cover, so what’s the first myth on our list?

Stacy: The first myth is that retention doesn’t have anything to do with hiring.

Caleb: Why is that a myth Stacy?

Stacy: The truth is that hiring plays a critical role in retaining employees, and organizations that fail to recognize this are likely to experience high turnover rates.

That’s because the recruiting and hiring process is the first impression that candidates have of the organization, and it sets the tone for the employment relationship. Candidates who feel that the hiring process was disorganized, unprofessional, or disrespectful are likely to have a negative perception of the organization and may be more likely to leave in the future.

Caleb: What if an organization hires the wrong people? That can have a negative impact on retention, right?

Stacy: That’s correct. Employees who are not a good fit for the job or the organization are more likely to become disengaged or unhappy, which can lead to turnover. Conversely, hiring the right people who are a good fit for the job and the organization can increase employee engagement, job satisfaction, and retention.

Retention starts with hiring, but it also involves creating a positive work environment, offering competitive compensation and benefits, and providing opportunities for growth and development. However, without a solid hiring process in place, these efforts may be futile.

Caleb: What’s our second myth?

Stacy: Our second myth is that company culture ultimately doesn’t matter, and nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, company culture is a critical factor in retaining employees and creating a positive work environment.

Company culture encompasses the values, beliefs, and behaviors that define an organization. A positive company culture can create a sense of belonging and loyalty among employees, which can lead to increased job satisfaction and retention. On the other hand, a negative or toxic culture can drive employees away, even if they enjoy their job duties or receive competitive compensation.

Caleb: We’ve talked about this before. A great company culture is important for hiring, too.

Stacy: Yes, a positive company culture can also attract top talent and contribute to the organization’s reputation as an employer of choice. In a competitive job market, candidates are often looking for more than just a job—they want to work for a company that aligns with their values and offers a positive work environment.

Organizations that prioritize company culture are more likely to have a motivated, engaged, and productive workforce. They’re also more likely to retain top talent and avoid the costs and disruptions associated with high turnover rates.

Caleb: All of this makes sense. What’s next?

Stacy: The third retention myth on our list is that high salary is the most important factor in retaining employees.

Caleb: Why is that myth?

Stacy: While compensation is certainly important, it’s only one of many factors that influence an employee’s decision to stay with an organization. There are a lot of factors involved in retention, including career development, work-life balance, and company culture, which we just talked about. Employees want to feel valued, supported, and engaged in their work, and they’re often willing to sacrifice a higher salary for these intangible benefits.

Caleb: And it sounds like focusing solely on compensation could be costly in more ways than one, if it’s not even the most important factor in retention.

Stacy: Yes, organizations that focus solely on high salaries to retain employees may find themselves in a race to the bottom, as competitors offer increasingly higher salaries to attract top talent. This approach can be unsustainable and can lead to financial strain on an organization.

Ultimately, retaining employees requires a holistic approach that considers all of the factors that contribute to a positive work environment. You can’t just focus on one factor. As important as compensation is, you can’t try to make up for everything else by simply giving out more money.

Caleb: What’s next on our list?

Stacy: Our fourth myth is that offering perks such as free food or ping pong tables is enough to retain employees.

Caleb: I remember when a lot of companies were doing this.

Stacy: While perks can be a valuable component of a positive work environment, they are not a panacea for retention issues. Perks such as free food, game rooms, or other amenities can certainly contribute to a positive workplace culture and boost employee morale. However, they are not a substitute for addressing deeper issues such as employee engagement, job satisfaction, and opportunities for growth and development.

In fact, organizations that rely too heavily on perks may be missing the mark and failing to address the root causes of employee turnover. Employees want to feel valued, challenged, and supported in their work, and they are likely to leave if they feel that their needs are not being met.

Caleb: And ping-pong tables and bean-bag chairs always struck me as being a bit of a novelty and not really anything of substance.

Stacy: You’re right. Perks like those can become stale or lose their novelty over time, and employees may eventually take them for granted or become disenchanted if they feel that they are not being compensated fairly for their work.

Caleb: We’re almost halfway through our list! What’s #5?

Stacy: The fifth myth on our list is that workers will not stay unless they get promoted.

While career development is an important factor in employee engagement and satisfaction, once again, it’s not the only factor that contributes to employee retention. Many employees may be willing to stay with an organization even if they’re not being promoted. In fact, some employees may prefer to remain in their current role if it aligns with their values and provides a sense of fulfillment.

Caleb: This is similar to what we discussed about compensation. Employers can’t focus too much on one thing or they create a lopsided environment with misplaced priorities.

Stacy: Correct. Organizations that prioritize promotions as the only measure of success may be missing the mark and failing to recognize the contributions of their employees. It’s important to provide opportunities for growth and development, but it’s equally important to recognize and value the contributions of employees at all levels of the organization.

In addition, a focus solely on promotions can create an unhealthy and competitive work environment, where employees are pitted against each other in a race for advancement. This can lead to disengagement, burnout, and high turnover rates.

Caleb: And burnout is already rampant in the Veterinary profession.

Stacy: Correct. The sixth retention myth on our list is that employees will stay if they have a good relationship with their coworkers. This is a limited perspective that ignores the many complex factors that contribute to employee retention. While positive relationships with coworkers can certainly contribute to a positive work environment, they are not the only factor.

As we’ve been discussing, job satisfaction, work-life balance, opportunities for growth and development, compensation, and overall company culture are all important factors that influence employee retention. In fact, employees may choose to leave an organization even if they have positive relationships with their coworkers if other aspects of their work experience are unsatisfactory.

Caleb: We’re picking up speed now! What is the seventh myth on our list?

Stacy: The seventh myth is that the members of the younger generation simply cannot be retained.

Caleb: You’re talking about Millennials and the members of Generation Z, correct?

Stacy: Yes, that’s right. This myth is a damaging and inaccurate belief that undermines efforts to improve employee retention across all age groups. It’s often based on stereotypes and assumptions about the work ethic and values of younger workers, rather than objective data or research.

While some younger workers may be more likely to job-hop early in their careers, this is often due to a lack of career development opportunities or other factors that are within the control of the employer to address. Also, many younger workers are looking for long-term career growth and stability, and are just as motivated by opportunities for advancement and recognition as workers of other age groups.

Caleb: In actuality, the members of the younger generations want many of the same things that all workers want.

Stacy: Yes, that would be fair to say. And employers who are able to provide a clear path for career development and invest in their employees’ growth are more likely to see higher retention rates across all age groups, including younger workers.

Caleb: Okay, we’re up to #8 on our list. Which myth is that?

Stacy: The #8 myth on our list is one of the biggest and it’s one that we’ve discussed before. It’s that retention starts on a new employee’s first day of work.

Caleb: Right. It starts the moment that they accept the offer of employment, correct?

Stacy: Yes, that’s the case. During the recruitment and hiring process, employers have the opportunity to build a positive relationship with candidates, communicate their values and mission, and set clear expectations for the role and organization. Candidates who feel valued and respected throughout the entire process are more likely to start their new job with a positive attitude and a sense of commitment to the organization.

In addition, employers can start to build a foundation for employee retention by offering a competitive salary and benefits package, communicating opportunities for career growth and development, and providing a positive onboarding experience. These factors can help to build trust and loyalty with new hires and increase the likelihood that they’ll stay with the organization in the long term.

Caleb: Okay, eight down and two more to go! What’s next?

Stacy: The ninth retention myth on our list is that pay transparency has contributed to a greater difficulty in retaining employees.

When employees have a clear understanding of their compensation and how it compares to others in the organization, they’re more likely to feel valued and fairly compensated for their work. This can lead to increased job satisfaction and loyalty, which in turn can reduce turnover rates.

In addition, pay transparency can help to build trust between employees and their employers and can promote a culture of fairness and equity in the workplace. Employees who feel that their organization is committed to transparency and fairness are more likely to stay with the organization.

Caleb: To be clear, what we’re talking about is transparency and clarity within the organization, not that everyone in the organization is being paid the same?

Stacy: Yes, that’s right. Pay transparency does not necessarily mean that all employees are paid the same amount, but rather that there is clarity around the criteria used to determine compensation. Keep in mind, though, that not all employees have access to information about how their pay compares to others in the organization.

Also, the issue of pay transparency in terms of hiring is a related issues that we could talk about at length, and we might do so during a future podcast episode.

Caleb: Okay, we’ve arrived at the 10th and final myth regarding retention! What might it be?

Stacy: The 10th and final myth is that it is simply impossible to retain top talent, and when I say top talent, I mean the top 5% to 10% of workers within a specific industry or profession.

Caleb: You have to admit, it is challenging.

Stacy: Challenging, yes. Impossible, no.

One of the keys to retaining top talent is to understand what motivates them. Many top performers are looking for more than just a paycheck—they want challenging and meaningful work, opportunities for professional development and growth, and a positive work environment. These are all things that we’ve been discussing today, and employers that can offer these things are more likely to retain top talent.

Caleb: Stacy, we’re just about out of time, so is there anything else that you’d like to add before we wrap up today’s podcast episode?

Stacy: Yes, I’d like to say that it’s important for employers to invest just as much time, energy, and effort into retaining current employees as hiring new ones. There are multiple reasons for this.

First and foremost, it’s much more cost-effective to retain current employees than it is to constantly hire and train new ones. High turnover rates can be incredibly expensive for businesses, as they require significant resources to recruit, onboard, and train new employees.

Second, focusing on employee retention can also have a positive impact on organizational performance. Employees who feel valued and supported by their employer are more likely to be engaged, productive, and committed to their work. This can lead to better overall performance and profitability for the organization.

Third, investing in employee retention can help to build a positive reputation for the organization as an employer of choice. Happy and satisfied employees are likely to share their positive experiences with others, which can help to attract top talent to the organization.

And finally, prioritizing employee retention sends a clear message to current employees that they are valued and appreciated. This can improve morale, job satisfaction, and loyalty, which can in turn lead to reduced turnover rates.

Caleb: Stacy, thank you so much for joining us today and for all of this great information.

Stacy: It’s been my pleasure, and I look forward to our next episode of The Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider!

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