3 Secrets to Employee Retention
Employee loyalty is a relic of the past.
Employee retention is a fantasy in organizations when people are treated like tools.
Free food and a foosball table in the employee lounge are sugar pills when it comes to retention.
Half the young people on your team have an ear to the ground. CNBC
3 secrets to employee retention:
#1. Employee retention and value:
Everyone wants to feel like they matter.
Bring meaning to work by noticing and celebrating the value people bring.
You have to get stuff done but focus on value more than checklists.
Satisfied customers make employees feel like they matter.
How are customers’ lives made better by your work?
- Talk about satisfied customers.
- Share praise from customers. The next time you receive an email from a happy customer share it with the team.
- Provide opportunities for employees to meet satisfied customers. Get customers on a video call or pay for them to come visit your site.
“Employees want meaning in their vocation. In fact, for millennials, it is among the strongest drivers of retention.” Gallup
#2. Employee retention and humanity:
What can you do that demonstrates people are important?
How might you serve the best interest of employees? Good pay is a given, but employee retention includes treating people like people.
If you want employees to bring their best, give them your best.
- Provide learning opportunities. How can an employee’s current role help them fulfill future aspirations?
- Know everyone’s name, spouse’s name, kids’ names. Remember birthdays.
- Encourage self-care and practice self-care yourself.
#3. Employee retention and company stories:
Why is it special to work for your organization?
- Why did your organization come into existence?
- Who founded your organization?
- What obstacles has your organization overcome?
- What great successes has your organization experienced?
What are some secrets of employee retention?
Still curious: Would You Love to Work for You
Dan very timely article – it is a battle!
We have started “Stay Interviews” – Our HR department meets with all new hires at 3 months, 9 months, and 12 months. It is a one on one with questions from the hiring process, to what is it like to work here.
At 6 months, the leader of that area (VP level) meets with a group (they normally are employed 5 moths to 7 months).
I give them each a large candy bar and ask them to teach me about our company. It starts slow until they realize that I really want to know. No matter what is said, I do not defend or give solutions. Just ask more questions.
this process has taught me much about my own leadership and about the perception of our company. It also allows the leader to learn how to hold the door open for employees. It is like approaching a building and someone holds the door open. You are 10 feet away, you pick up the pace. Leaders need to learn how to hold the door open to new hires (opportunities, learning, core values, vision, purpose, etc.) It is a process of learning.
Love that word picture “You are 10 feet away, you pick up the pace.”
Thanks Scott. What a brilliant practice. Love the metaphor of holding the door open.
I can see where the approach of leadership is so important to this process.
I’ve been reading about stay interviews. Sounds better than exit interviews.
“Why is it special to work for your organization?”
I think this is a question that some types of organisations can do well, perhaps where the brand is a big part of the product or where many of the people are directly interacting with customers?
Where you are providing a commodity, only a few people interact with customers, or in strict hierarchies, I would be surprised if the question has even been asked. After all, one should never ask a question one doesn’t want to hear the answer to.
Thanks Mitch. Interesting point. It would be interesting to explore this further. I can see where a company that makes heart valves would have an easier job at story telling than a company that makes deck screws.
I work at a company with retention in the 10, 20, and 30 year ranges. We are pretty much working your list every single day. It’s not the place for everyone, but so many of us realize we’re home once we get here. It’s good to have an employer that actually cares.
Thanks for validating these ideas. You’re right. No company is for everyone. But it’s good to have a company that has heart.
Family. They should treat each other like a well-operating family and not one of those dysfunctional ones led by psychopaths that we so often see in houses and in businesses.
Trust. Respect. Responsiveness. Flexibility. Any or all of those kinds of things are needed, but so seldom seen.
Thanks Scott. In one way these ideas aren’t rocket science. But, putting them into action takes insight, values, and resolve. Thanks for jumping in today.
Just a thought related to Mitch’s point: Sometimes it isn’t the end customer that really appreciates your product. A builder may not notice deck screws unless there is a defect. But the retailer or distributor values that the supplier is on time, easy to work with, and will have their back when there are potential shortages or quality problems. They value a supplier who asks them, “What can I do to make your process easier?”, someone who establishes a relationship. Their pleasure can be passed along to everyone at the supplier.
Great post, Dan.