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Published on: Career

Solution to Employee Retention Challenges by Olatuja Gabriel-Wealth

Solution to Employee Retention Challenges: What employers must know about the industrial, information and social revolutions by Gabriel-Wealth Olatuja.

The biggest challenges for most businesses is how to retain employees. So many employers experience high rate of turn over or attrition rate.


Attrition, in this context is the voluntary departure or resignation of employees from the organization.

Employees, even freshers get jobs and quit after six months to one year. This is challenging for organisations. This has made so many organisations to keep searching for the answers to “how to retain employees”.

Some companies are also careful of sending employees for trainings as so many of the employees ended up resigning after the trainings and advanced their careers somewhere else.


In a bid to address the challenge, some organisations have considered some sort of retainership which has not in any way solved the problem but rather made getting employees tougher as the millennials also called generation x don’t want to opt in to a job that legally binds them to work in a workplace for a period of time.  Retainership will never work.

The Three Generations of world Business

  • The industrial revolution
  • The information revolution
  • The social or digital revolution


The industrial revolution

In industrial revolution, people took a job for surviving. Workers were often housed in cramped, grossly inadequate quarters. Working conditions were difficult and exposed employees to many risks and dangers, including cramped work areas with poor ventilation, trauma from machinery, toxic exposures to heavy metals, dust, and solvents. (Source)


They need the basic necessity of life. So they went in to the workplace and they will not leave the workplace, even if they were abused by the boss. Even if the boss physically beats them up, people would not leave the job. That was the era of “bosses are always right”. This was because opportunities were less. The people of the industrial revolution are the ground parents of today’s workforce.

The information revolution


After the industrial revolution came the Information revolution which lead to the emergence of IT companies and brands. The workforce came to work, not for survival because their parents took care of survival. This workforce went to work for the standard of living. They basically got salary to pay for housing, buy cars, pay children’s school fees.

Employee loyalty never existed in industrial revolutions. People worked because they didn’t have options for better paying and less stressful jobs. But in information revolution, people got better option. They got a better quality of workplace and better pay.


The social or digital revolution

Information revolution faded out in 2008 and afterwards came the social or digital revolution. Today, information is available for free. You can learn coding on youtube. You don’t have to go to a company or a conventional institution before you learn. Information is available everywhere online for free.


Knowledge is no longer hidden for anyone. Now this is digital revolution or social revolution where everything is social. This means that today’s workforce don’t care about survival. Their grandparents took care of that. They don’t care about standard of living because their parents took care of that too.


Even labour doesn’t care about standard of living anymore because even labour has cable TV and they have access to information and even job vacancies directly from their homes.

So, if you as an employer say you want to cut the employee’s pay for any reason, they will prefer to quit the job because they didn’t want to work for you in the first place. By so doing, you just gave them the reason to quit faster.


If you are trying ro bind them with a contract, millennials are happy to tell you “thank you so much, I will find another job.

A Short Story.

I remember this happened in a company where I worked as a team manager. The management decided to embark on a performance based pay. For me as a team manager, it means that before I could earn 100% of my salary from the point of implementation of the performance based payment, each of my team member must have met at least 70% of their targets for the month.


On the payday, my salary was reduced by 30% because my team didn’t meet up to 70% of their targets, which invariably means that I didn’t meet up to 70% too. We received salary on Sunday and I got a salary received by 30%. I was not amazed at all.


Immediately, I took my PC and drafted my resignation letter in a mail to be sent when I get to the office the following morning. Many of my team members began to call me and complaining about the deductions of their salary, I told them, they should save their energy till the following day at work. In the morning, we all got to work and everyone was very angry. I didn’t talk about it. They were complaining.


My boss called a meeting and tried to explain that he just used it to test us and see our reactions. I didn’t talk. He expected me to talk being the outspoken person I am, I didn’t say a word. All my subordinates expressed their displeasure about the whole event and my boss find his way of apologizing and promised to pay up their outstanding pay.


Normally, you would expect that the staff would be happy with the promise that the outstanding would be paid, but rather, it got them angrier. They told our boss to his face that he was playing with our intelligence and they will not accept that. For me, I didn’t say a word as my mind was already made up.


So after the meeting, I told my boss I needed to have a one on one meeting with him. In the meeting, I told him my displeasure and I told him I would like to drop my resignation with immediate effect because I don’t like being taken for granted. In short, I dropped my resignation letter and I put a lot of transitioning documentations in place and handed over to him. He happily paid me the 30% and I happily left the company the following day.


The Attributes of the Generation X or the millennials that employers must know.

The take home here is that the millennials don’t like to be taken for granted.

To keep a millennials in your organization, you need to note these:

Millennials don’t like to be abused. They like to be heard and they want their opinions to count. They don’t want to be bossed in fear. They prefer to be unemployed at the expense of their happiness. They have their own dreams and visions too and they believe they can be better than you in no time. They want peace of mind and fun at work. Money is not enough to woo millennials. They need more than money.


What do Gen X need?

Today’s workforce needs something more than survival or standard of living. They want quality of life and not standard of life. They need quality of workplace, quality of job, quality of environment, quality of role, quality opportunity, learning and rewards. If you don’t have the mechanism for that, you will always grapple with the retention challenge.


Do you have an experience you want to share? Feel free to leave your comment in the comment section.


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