As an employee retention speaker and employee retention consultant, I often want to use that famous line just like Al Pacino does in the movie “Any Given Sunday” when I am speaking to senior level leadership. The Sharks are getting their ass kicked and at half time, Pacino, the head coach, tells that to his team. I would LOVE it if more CEO’s, Plant Managers and GM’s would say that to their team. Then, maybe we would see a lot more emphasis on the issue of employee retention and something would get done.
During my years in manufacturing environments, we always seemed to solve problems when they cropped up. Why? We knew that Japan, China, Mexico or some other country would eat our lunch if we didn’t deal with them and we would be out of business. So, we got focused and addressed issues aggressively. The same sort of mind-set needs to occur when it has to do with your employee retention strategies.
The other part was that Pacino was telling it to his TEAM. He wasn’t just singling out one player like often happens when the GM looks at their HR leader and asks, “What are you going to do about our employee retention problem?” Not only is employee retention not an area of focus it is often one where we point the finger at HR and expect the problem to be solved just by HR. It is a TEAM problem that can only be solved by the entire leadership team.
Operations may need to fire some lousy supervisors who are driving away new hires. Finance might need to commit some money to the issue. Quality might want to apply the tools they know to get to the root cause. It is about the team. It is also about the FOCUS of the entire team.
I have written as an employee retention author that employee loyalty and employee retention isn’t just about the bottom line. It is about survival! We are starting to see it. Organizations are being threatened because they simply can’t find replacements to fill the holes that employee turnover is causing them. With that in mind, if you are reading this as a senior leader you need to realize the magnitude of the problem and to take action.
It’s halftime in the game we call business and it’s time to sit down with your leadership team and have a blunt conversation about the threat of employee turnover. When you do, it is time to tell them “You’re not F***king focused!”