This article was updated on Aug. 27, 2018.
Employee retention is assumed to be a priority for HR, but the ROI of long-term employees is not discussed as often as it should be. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average employee tenure is four years, and tenure tends to be higher among older workers. Technology and the changing expectations of employees around the world are leading to shifts in the way people work.
Businesses are hiring more contract workers and employees are working wherever their skills are needed at the time instead of remaining loyal to one firm, according to the ADP Research Institute® report, The Evolution of Work: The Changing Nature of the Global Workplace. These trends can be positive for employers.
Still, the ROI of long-term employees is worth exploring further as building lasting relationships with employees can pay off.
Here are four benefits employees with longevity can give your organization.
1. Sense of Ownership
People who have worked in the same organization for a long time often feel personally invested in its success. Because they take ownership of their work, they're likely to do a job they can be proud of. More than ever before, people are interested in doing work that is personally meaningful to them, according to The Evolution of Work report. When employees are involved more closely in the mission of the organization, developing a sense of ownership, the work is more meaningful to them.
2. Customer Relationships
Long-term employees don't just get to know your business, they also get to know your customers and clients. People enjoy doing business with people they know and have a long-standing relationship with. Retaining good employees can help ensure your customers come back again and again. As social media increasingly becomes the collaboration platform for work — as the Evolution of Work report predicts — those customer relationships will grow beyond in-person dealings and be expanded through technology, allowing employees to interact with customers wherever they are.
3. Work Efficiency
Employees who've been with your organization for a long time carry momentum. They know how to use your systems and understand the unique cycles of your business.
4. Positive Morale
High turnover rates can impact employee morale. When one employee leaves, there's always a chance others will follow them out the door. However, if your organization has a culture of long-term employment, people feel invested and more like a team.
As the nature of work continues to evolve, your organization can strive to retain employees over the long term by nurturing relationships and working to accommodate the changing needs of workers. For instance, organizations can meet the needs of a changing workforce while still building long-term employee relationships by offering opportunities to work remotely or try out new projects or positions on a regular basis.
With such strategies, employers can offer workers the benefits of contract work or meaningful projects while still experiencing the ROI of long-term employees.
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