Connecting the Dots: Factors in Employee Retention
Criminal justice agencies are seeking alternative means to retain staff and decrease turnover as organizations face ongoing budgetary challenges. While monetary benefits continue to serve as an effective and traditional means to enhance retention, leadership teams must also take into account other non-monetary methods in order to increase employee job satisfaction through effective management and leadership practices in times when budgets do not allow for financial compensation as the sole means to retain or maintain quality staff. Retention remains a priority; however, antiquated management practices focus more on staffing levels rather than reasons an employee departed from the agency (Crews & Bonham, 2007). A review of strategies such as hiring and onboarding training practices to maintaining organization support for employees from all levels of leaderships are some key factors that facilitate increased retention rates among organizations. Agencies that cultivate a positive work environment of support, empathy and communication in lieu of solely using "assertive, directive and dominance-oriented" supervisory approaches promote trust and an increase in job satisfaction, which in turn results in commitment and higher levels of productivity from employees (Nowack, 2020). The use of effective performance evaluation tools that fit the needs of the employee and agency also plays a role employee retention. Adjustments to past practices are unavoidable as criminal justice agencies continue to compete with the private sector and other professions seeking to retain and maintain a high caliber of staff.