• Karen Gregory

EMPLOYEE RETENTION & RECOGNITION

Why Employees Leave & Employee Turnover: a three part series

We’ve talked about Employee Turnover and Why Employees Leave, so let’s shift our focus to Employee Retention and some of the things we can do to make sure the people we hire and train become productive members of the team, add value to the organization, serve the customers well, and are loyal to the organization.


First things first. If you’ve done your homework from last month, you should have examined your leadership and you should know where you contribute to the turnover problem, and you should also be working on your own development to become a leader that is inspiring and someone your people want to work hard for. This article will give you some more ideas to do just that.


Recognition. It’s in the title of this article. It’s important. Look back at last month’s article. It’s #10 on the list of Why Employees Leave – Not being recognized for performance. Let me make this easy – it doesn’t have to be recognition by $$MONEY. You are the leader – come up with some creative ways to show some appreciation for a job well done. Thank your employees for what they have done – do so publicly if you know your employee would like that. Make sure others know the contributions they make. Promote from within. Statistics show that promoting from within is done only 22% of the time. It’s sad that we aren’t developing our people enough to feel confident promoting them, wouldn’t you agree? Make sure you team knows you recognize their efforts, and remind them of how they make a difference to you, the company, and their customers. Spend some time thinking about how you can recognize a good job – and start implementing those ideas.


Here's an example. LIA did some training at a company in Loves Park, IL – Gleason Cutting Tools Corp. They are an industry leader in their field and are responsible for providing the tools necessary to manufacture gears that affect nearly everyone, everywhere. Without gears we couldn’t drive cars, we couldn’t take vacations on airplanes or trains. Our farmers wouldn’t have the necessary equipment to plow and harvest fields. Gears are in so much of what we take for granted every day and the people who work for Gleason Cutting Tools Corp. make it their priority to provide quality tools that literally affect lives worldwide. They are difference makers. Their leaders should be recognizing their employees for that. And they do.


Here’s a few examples of ways to promote employee retention beyond your leadership and recognition:


1. Hire correctly. Take whatever time is necessary to hire the right person for the job. It’s better to be short-staffed for a bit than to hire incorrectly.


2. Trust your employees to do the tasks assigned to them. Don’t be a micromanager. If you can’t trust them to do the task without you watching over their shoulder every step of the way, why would you even considering assigning it to them? Learn to let go and be a resource.


3. Illustrate to them how what they do makes a difference. It’s easy when you are in health care or social services, etc., but by the example above we all make a difference in some way. It’s important we see how what we do fits into the big picture.


4. Be open to ideas and suggestions from your employees. Be willing to try new things. Let them have input in processes and procedures. Usually they are the ones doing the daily work, they may actually know a better, more efficient way to get things done.


5. Get to know your employee’s goals and objectives. Be their partner in growth. Give them opportunities in the work they do to grow as professionals. Be genuinely invested in them.


The real theme throughout these three articles is leadership. You, as their leader, are involved in all the steps of employee turnover and retention. The responsibilities you have in all of the suggestions keep you directly involved in the process. Your leadership is the real magic.