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The retention of key employees is vital to the continuity of an organization and its ability to remain profitable (Haar, & White, 2013). The voluntary turnover of employees affects organizational profitability either directly or indirectly, with a cost of almost $11 billion dollars annually (Rahman, & Nas, 2013). Replacing high-performing individuals is disruptive, costly, and detrimental to the morale of an organization. Researchers and human resource professionals have long been aware of the importance of employee retention, due to the impact that the retention of key employees has on the aspects of organization goals and achieving business objectives (Mandhanya, 2015). The long-term success of an organization depends on the recruitment, development, reward and retention of the right people. When an organization loses talented employees, the future success of the company is jeopardized. Research shows that employee retention is enhanced, even during downturns in the economy, when leaders of an organization are transparent about the direction of the company, and show concern for the well-being of the employees (Ongori, 2008).

Although there is research that suggests that creativity and innovation often increase when employee turnover is high, due to the knowledge that new employees bring to the organization, researchers Ng, and Feldman (2010) disagree with this theory. In their study, Ng and Feldman determined that when turnover is low, the existing employees thrive from the established workforce collaboration and their combined creative output are increased. Thus, when turnover is low, employees are more focused on the tasks they are to perform as disruptive workplace activates are reduced.

With a decrease in employee turnover, management will improve the ability of its employees to meet production goal. Companies can better meet business objectives promptly when there is a decrease in the number of employees becoming acclimated to a new firm. Researchers Dane and Brummel (2013) introduced the concept of workplace mindfulness. Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to the internal and external experiences occurring in the present moment. The concept of workplace mindfulness centers on the emotional aspect of job satisfaction that employees have in their current work environment. Researchers Dane and Brummel note that job performance and employee retention increases as job satisfaction increases for employees who work in companies that institute a culture of mindfulness in the workplace.

Employers who institute a culture of mindfulness for their employees saw a significant decrease in the absentee rate of their staff. The absentee rate for employees decreased by 50%, and 80% of employees reported an improvement in their relationships with co-workers. In the study, 79% of the participants cited an ability to relax at their work locations, and 53% of the employees reported improvements in their enjoyment of their jobs. The health of the employees improved as 64% of the participants in the study reported improvements in sleep patterns at home (Antanaitis, 2015). Companies that offer a mindfulness program such as yoga for their employees have noted a 97% retention rate in such programs. Employees valued not only the physical and mental relaxation of the programs, but also the support of the organization for participating in a mindfulness program and helping to ease their chronically high-stress work environment (Klatt, Steinberg, & Duchemin, 2015).

– George Parente

References

Antanaitis, A. (2015). Mindfulness in the workplace benefits and strategies to integrate mindfulness-based programs in the workplace. OOHNA Journal, 34(2), 39-42. Retrieved from the http://ezp.waldenulibrary.org

Dane, E., & Brummel, B. J. (2013). Examining workplace mindfulness and its relations to
performance and turnover intention. Human Relations, 67(1), 105-128. doi:10.1177/0018726713487753

Haar, J. M., & White, B. J. (2013). Corporate entrepreneurship and information technology towards employee retention: a study of New Zealand firms. Human Resource Management Journal, 23(1), 109-125. doi:10.1111/j.1748-8583.2011.00178.x

Klatt, M., Steinberg, B., & Duchemin, A. (2015). Mindfulness in motion (MIM): An onsite mindfulness based intervention (MBI) for chronically high stress work environments to increase resiliency and work engagement. Journal of Visualized Experiments, Jove(101), e52359-e52359. doi:10.3791/52359

Mandhanya, Y. (2015). A study of impact of working environment on retention of employees. Global Management Review, 9(4), 116-128. Retrieved from http://ezp.waldenulibrary.org

Ng, T. W. H., & Feldman, D. C. (2010). The impact of job embeddedness on innovation-related behaviors. Human Resource Management, 49(6), 1067-1087. doi:10.1002/hrm.20390

Ongori, H. (2008). A review of the literature on employee turnover. African Journal of Business Management, 1(3). 1-54. Retrieved from http://ezp.waldenulibrary.org

Rahman, W., & Nas, Z. (2013). Employee development and turnover intention: Theory validation. European Journal of Training and Development, 37, 564-579. doi:10.1108/ejtd-may-2012-0015

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