Ask, Listen, Act
As an employee retention speaker and employee retention trainer, I tell my audiences that with unemployment dropping to the lowest level in decades, it’s time to get creative in how you retain your employees. All too often employers are out of touch or simply oblivious to the needs of their people. You can’t live in the past and think that things are the way were even 10 years ago. The best way to find out what your employees need is to 1) Ask 2) Listen 3) Act. Unfortunately, many employers don’t do either some or all of those things.
Ask your employees what are the struggles that they face and what they are looking for out of work. You will be amazed at what you hear. Some things are fundamental like a good boss, don’t micromanage me or just give me some C.R.A.P. (Caring, Respect, Appreciation, and Praise). Asking in and of itself is a sign of respect for your employees and sends the message that what they have to say is important. The things you hear will give you the clues you need in order to make a difference and adjust your employee retention strategies.
Listen to what your employees have to say. Truly listen to what is important to them so that you can determine priorities. All to often, we ask, but have a closed mind to certain things that we may not want to hear for a variety of reasons. Out of necessity it is time that organizations listen to what their employees are saying. Soak it in and absorb it even if it is something you don’t want to hear or don’t like.
Act. This is the tough one. In many cases it means that we have to shift from an old paradigm that we have about the employer/employee relationship because it is something that we don’t want to hear or is totally different than what we are used to. An example of this might be alternate schedules or daycare issues. Traditionally, you may not have looked at these things because they were out of your comfort zone. It is time to shift the paradigm and get out of your comfort zone out of necessity. That necessity is your ability to retain enough employees to run your organization.
As I tell clients I consult with as an employee retention consultant, this stuff is real simple; its just not easy. It’s not easy for most of us to 1) Ask 2) Listen 3) Act on what we hear. But when you do, you will be amazed at the impact it will have on your employee retention.