Employee Management 101 and HRO Provider Value-Adds

In prior blogs I’ve written about low levels of employee satisfaction and confidence in their employer, and the negative impacts these can have on an organization in terms of lost talent, potential revenue loss and certain additional hiring expenses.

Sadly, employee confidence isn’t increasing. In fact, according to the Kenexa Research Institute, employee confidence decreased, yet again, in Q1 2010. In the twelve countries tracked, all but Spain declined in the first quarter of this year.

With that in mind, I found an article entitled, “Prevent Exit Interviews” in the April 2010 issue of Talent Management magazine very interesting. The article essentially says that to help increase employee retention, supervisors should be conducting “stay interviews” – or what I call Employee Management 101 – with their employees. These are frequent one-on-one meetings with employees to ask how things are going, gauge satisfaction, ask what the company can do to help, etc. Unfortunately, during economic downturns, many managers avoid such meetings because they fear they won’t be able to deliver on employee requests. However, hiding their heads in the sand simply creates more problems and exacerbates employee dissatisfaction. The article suggests simple things managers can do, such as tell employees how much they are valued. And when they ask the “what can our company do to help” question, there will in nearly all cases be at least one thing an employee wants that the company can provide!

So how can an HRO provider help? I certainly don’t advocate having providers replace a manager’s direct and continuous discussions with employees. However, proactive initiatives by HRO vendors can help identify employee concerns and provide managers with insights into how they can address, eliminate, and/or lessen them.

There are a variety of HRO providers assisting their clients with this type of support. For example, Kenexa, an RPO provider, also provides performance management solutions and conducts employee surveys to increase employee engagement. And U.K.-based RPO provider OchreHouse focuses not only on recruiting but also on key aspects of talent management including engagement, development and employee retention. It conducts employee satisfaction surveys, and has a “Keep in Touch” program wherein recruiters periodically contact new hires several months into the job to see how things are going and ask if there is anything they can do to help. OchreHouse also conducts exit interviews to find out why people are leaving. Although too late to retain the exiting employee, the feedback, along with recommendations on how to retain talent, is provided to the company’s hiring managers.

As an organizational leader or supervisor, what are you doing to help retain your talent, whether on your own or with the help of a third-party provider? We’d like to hear!

Gary Bragar, Lead HRO Analyst, NelsonHall

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4 Comments on “Employee Management 101 and HRO Provider Value-Adds”


  1. Hi, Gary. Given that there has been a decline in employee confidence, what some of the classic signs that an employee has lost confidence?

    • gbragar Says:

      Thanks for your inquiry. There can be several signs which can include: lower productivity, absenteeism, 360 feedback from customers, suppliers, direct reports, management, etc. However, it is possible that no direct signals are given which is why it is important for organizations to periodically conduct employee satisfaction surveys and even better yet, for managers to routinely meet with their employees and have open and honest dialogues to discuss how things are going and what they can do to help.


  2. Thank you. It’s good to know what to look for and thank you for the strategies to bring what’s underneath to the surface.


  3. […] HRO Buyers and Providers Strengthening Focus on Employee Engagement In my April 29 and August 26 blogs I talked about grim levels of employee satisfaction and engagement, and a […]


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