Retention – Bah Humbug! My Employees Love Coming to Work

Your employees might start kicking down the door to leave

Here's the biggest myth of retaining great people: They show up every day – my employees must love their jobs.

Be prepared for the shock of your life!

I'm re-running one of the most popular blog articles every posted. Most CEOs and Executives reading this article in the past, were suddenly gripped by fear, extreme anxiety, and an urge to take action.

This article was a WAKE-UP call to start focusing on how to retain your best talent.

 

Some of your Best People Are Waiting to Kick Down the Door to Leave

What are you doing right now to ensure your company is capable of retaining your best talent as the job market expands?

I can't predict whether the job market will bounce back into a vibrant job market – in 6 months, 12 months, or 18 months. However, it will bounce back.

You might say “Barry, we have very low turnover and I'm not concerned about losing some of our talent to competitors”.

I would contend that since there are very few jobs available, most candidates have hunkered down and are waiting out the job market depression. Of course you don't have turnover issues now. Plan on having those issues within the next 12-18 months.

 

Job Market Trends Raise Your Risk

We need to recognize a few factors and trends at play in this job market.

First, the tools for candidates to find jobs has increased dramatically.

Secondly, the tools for companies to find candidates have increased, particularly through social media channels.

Third, employee satisfaction is at one of the lowest points since the Great Depression.

These combined factors are unique for the coming job market improvement.

I'm waving my hands in the air sounding the alarms of a dangerous combination of factors regarding your employee satisfaction and available jobs. Perhaps, you'll write this off as the little boy who cried “wolf” too often. Perhaps, you'll read this blog post, pull your management together, and start implementing programs to proactively raise your retention capability.

 

Procrastination, Denial, and Complacency

In my workshops and seminars to CEO groups and management teams, I've noticed that many companies might be at risk to lose some of their most critical and important talent over the next 18 months. As I jump back and forth across the country in my presentations, I am stunned at the lack of attention being given to structured retention programs.

Perhaps, many company executives feel that since there are no jobs available, there is no need to invest in retention programs – as in “our employees are not going anywhere.”

What if 1 or 2 of your top performing engineers, sales reps, or pivotal executives suddenly walked into your office and resigned tomorrow? Do you have a back-up plan in place? Maybe you've been working on a succession plan? What if the 1 or 2 leaving triggered a brain drain or exodus of talent?

 

Review Retention Best Practices

I would like to suggest it might be time to review your current retention programs to update, improve, enhance, and implement changes to ensure your best talent does NOT leave as the job market rebounds.

Some best practice areas to focus on:

  • Culture – is there dysfunction in your culture? Have you surveyed your employees for their satisfaction levels?
  • Feedback – do you have a rigorous process for One-to-Ones for coaching, development, and success-based leadership?
  • Non-Monetary Rewards and Recognition – top talent only performs to a standing ovation. Do you have a series of programs aimed at supervisory, team, and company-wide non-monetary recognition?
  • Acceptance of Mediocrity – top talent wants to be in a success-based environment. Can you claim that you've embedded success-based management principles in the fabric of your business?
  • Learning and Development – how aggressive are you pushing learning, training, and development throughout your organization? Your best people will stay in an organization that helps them grow at a high rate.

Here’s a great question that might keep you awake at night:

What are you doing right now to improve your ability to retain your best talent over the next 12-18 months?

Do you feel any level of fear, anxiety, or an overwhelming urge to wrap your arms around your best talent and express your gratitude they are still part of your company?

Have you used our 8-Point Retention Matrix to verify you're doing everything you can do to keep your best people?  If not, click hear to download this self-assessment tool for checking your retention capability score.

Barry Deutsch

Barry Deutsch

About the Author

Barry Deutsch is a founding Partner of IMPACT Hiring Solutions, co-author of "You're NOT the Person I Hired", and "This is NOT the Position I Accepted". Barry is an award-winning international speaker, retained executive recruiter, and expert on hiring and retaining top talent, and executive job search.

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