This executive summary will identify a core process using Bruce Larue’s design process and outline. The inquiry process identified talent retention as the most important issue Countrywide faces today. The inquiry process determined how Countrywide treats, motivates, and compensates employees has a direct impact on talent retention and an overall effect on profitability, even in a declining market. This paper will discuss brainstorming results from a sixmember action learning team consisting of two managers, one Vice President, one loan officer, and one processor. The design process will prioritize the gaps the inquiry process identified according to strategic importance with a cost and benefit analysis.
Retention Strategy Design Process
An inquiry process identified that a retention and customer service issue exists within Countrywide. The inquiry process asked specific questions that identified people as Countrywide’s most valuable resources. The inquiry process determined how Countrywide treats, motivates, and compensates employees has a direct impact on talent retention and an overall effect on profitability, even in a declining market. The inquiry process led to the design process to explore and create a road map to bridge the gaps uncovered in the inquiry process. The design process uses brainstorming from a six-member action learning team consisting of two managers, one Vice President, one loan officer, and one processor. The action learning team provides a practical process of knowledge to ensure the action learning team makes a difference for the organization. The inquiry process identified talent retention as the most important issue Countrywide faces today. The design process will uncover the gaps the inquiry process identified.
Today we are in a strong economic recovery. History has shown that when the economy improves, a talent shortage follows (Kornick, 2006). Companies that prepare for the economic recovery by hiring talent and retaining talent will see hiring cost lower with a less disruptive practice of replacing currently employed talent (Rynes, Bretz, & Gerhart, 1991). The design process will prove if a link exists between successful talent retention, customer loyalty, and effective teams. With more choices in today’s marketplace, strong talent retention strategies need to be flexible and compatible for the high stress workplace (Greenbaum, 2000).
Independent organizational studies conducted within Countrywide determined the cost of turnover equals an employee’s full year of salary. This can be a significant cost, which has led to the criticality and strategic importance of keeping Countrywide’s own employees. Estimations show the benefit of retaining employees will help develop stronger more productive work teams (LaRue, 2004). With productive teams, organizations can be more competitive and profitable, which will strengthen retention and increase salaries, creating a more stable lower turnover work environment (Kornick, 2006).
Justification and prioritization
Employee retention is now a priority for Countrywide. The design process will develop an objective understanding of retention issues across the entire organization. Data will be collected to benchmark retention strategies across a wide range of causes. These causes include tenure, geographical location, demographic variables, industry, employee value, and job type. The design process will help set up knowledge targeted retention strategies based on specific retention problem areas. Benchmarking and evaluating retention effectiveness will help create a best practice approach shared across the entire organization (Bottomley, Rajala, & Porter, 1999). The inquiry process linked with the design process has uncovered that retention is not as aggressively pursued as recruitment. Estimations show an imbalance occurs from the lack of investment and infrastructure built around retention. The six member team discovered that large budgets are available for recruiting, attracting and advertising for new employees. Retention is only receiving a fraction of the budget, which creates an opportunity for the design team to show a best practice recommendation.