High employee turnover and retention of skilled employees continued to be major problems for employerslast year. About half of companies reported that their turnover increased in 2000, and about one-third reportedthat their retention methods were failing.

Sales, marketing, customer service and support staff were the most difficult employees to retain in 2000,followed by operations and production employees, and computers/information services employees, accordingto the survey by Manchester Inc., a career management consulting firm.

More companies are using monetary-related methods to retain front-line employees, where turnover is thehighest ? including better compensation and benefits, tuition reimbursement, profit-sharing, and providinghealth insurance ? than they did in Manchester? s 1998 survey of turnover and retention methods.

More companies are also using non-monetary methods to retain employees of all organizational levels,including front-line employees, middle managers, and senior-level executives. These non-monetary retentionmethods include casual dress codes, and flexible hours and schedules.

Companies also reported more carefully selecting all levels of employees than they did in the 1998 survey. Inaddition, companies are more often conducting exit interviews, more often providing mentoring programs, andhave improved their orientation and training programs. In findings of the survey of 273 companies nationwide:

  • 48% of companies reported that their turnover increased during 2000, 38% reported that it remained the same, and 14% reported that it decreased.
  • 30% of companies reported that their retention methods were unsuccessful in 2000. In the 1998 survey, only 15% of companies reported that their retention methods were unsuccessful.
  • 39% of companies reported that sales, marketing, customer service, and support staff were the most difficult to retain in 2000, followed by operations and production employees (selected by 36%), computers/information services employees (30%), and accounting and finance employees (18%).
  • 60% of companies reported providing better compensation and benefits to front-line employees in 2000. In addition, 66% provided tuition reimbursement, 59% provided health insurance, and 22% offered profit sharing.

Retention methods chart

For a free copy of the survey report, send an e-mail to Manchester Retention and Staffing Report atprcomm@prolianz.com. All requests must include name, position, company, address, and phone number.

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