This employee retention speaker and employee retention author was not surprised when he saw the banner at the high school while visiting the craft fair with his wife this weekend. The banner said, “Give Respect to Get Respect.” Although I know that is the way the go, seeing it on a banner brought into focus that this is the way we have gone. “Back in the day,” my dad always preached that you “earn respect” and by God with Dad, you had to do a LOT to earn it. In retrospect, that sent the message that I was nothing. I didn’t agree with it then and, as such, I raised my kids consistent with the banner in the high school. And you know what, they turned out pretty damn good. In fact, they do things at their age that I never even dreamed of doing. That tells me that the banner is probably right even though many might disagree with me.
The only thing they forgot to put on the banner is, if you don’t do what you are supposed to do or act inappropriately, you will not get my respect any longer. You start with basic respect, but you can lose that respect. That is about consequences…consequences we have not told the kids or have not put into place when the kids didn’t do what they were supposed to. Why is this so important when it comes to employee retention? If you use the old style my dad did, nobody is going to work for you because they’re not going to be treated like they are less than a person. We’re in complex changing times as to how we lead the millennial generation that is coming into the workforce and continues to grow in size.
If you want to have a revolving door of talent, use my dad’s approach. Use the “my way or the highway” approach. When this employee retention consultant looks at it, it was easy to manage people that way. It takes a real leader to manage in a way that treats people with respect and yet holds them accountable. It’s going to take real leaders to break the cycle of a revolving door for many organizations so that they have the employee retention that’s needed to be successful in a changing world and a changing workplace.
It’s not going to be easy, but if done properly leaders will have the ability to rebuild the loyalty that has been lost in the past 30 years. After all, you have to give loyalty to get loyalty. That’s something we have forgotten and needs to be relearned.