Applying User Experience Principles to Attract and Retain Employees

HR & Safety

New approach puts emphasis on employee motivations, interests, behaviors

ManpowerGroup Solutions recently released a white paper, “Rethinking Retention: A User Experience Approach to Keeping Great People.” As traditional retention incentives become unsustainable, organizations are looking for new ways to attract and retain the best talent. ManpowerGroup Solutions provides a fresh perspective on retention, using a method most commonly found in product and service development: user experience modeling. This approach places employee motivations, interests, and behaviors at the heart of organizational culture.

“Companies aren’t investing in organizationally-aligned retention strategies in the same way they do their brand and employer value proposition,” says Steve Lopez, vice president, ManpowerGroup Solutions, Consulting & Solutions. “Retention strategies that are in place tend to be one-size-fits-all, which doesn’t effectively meet employee needs. We segment our customer market: why not our employees?”

Many companies neglect to invest in making retention a part of organizational culture, with everyone aligned to a singular set of retention-focused expectations and behaviors. Integrating a user experience retention model that starts from the moment an individual first learns about an organization, all the way through to the exit interview, takes significant time, planning, and stakeholder engagement and can be difficult to achieve among competing priorities. Organizations should analyze their existing retention models using the following steps:

  1. Conduct a user needs survey. Evaluate your value proposition and understand your candidates and employees: where to find them, what drives them, and what they want in their careers.
  2. Develop, test, and refine content. Gather and analyze survey results to understand what people need. For example, candidates may want more corporate culture insight, while employees might be more motivated by information about development opportunities.
  3. Evaluate functionality. Ask people if the systems in place work for them and create engagement. Understand when, where, why, and how retention is breaking down.
  4. Design the process: Ensure that candidates and employees can intuitively find the resources they need to enjoy doing their job well. This requires understanding when, where, and how people interact with the employer brand, from digital channels and internal communication to managers, mentors, peers, and third-party sources.
  5. Create a visual experience: Consider how people experience your organization from the standpoint of web/social media, office and workspace, and external marketing. Ensure the visual experiences align with the organization’s mission, vision, values, and culture.

“Employers are quick to turn to conventional wisdom when it comes to retention, assuming it’s either a must-have or something impossible to achieve. In reality, retention is about strategic growth and finding right-fit employees that contribute to the long-term survival and success of the organization,” says Lopez. “Creating a culture and mindset of user-centered retention will generate deep engagement that yields the retention organizations desire.”

To download “Rethinking Retention: A User Experience Approach to Keeping Great People,” click here.

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