Put it on the Calendar

When working as an employee retention speaker and employee retention trainer, I constantly talk about the importance of regular visibility in the cube factory, the floors of the hospital or the factory floor.  Visibility is crucial for so many reasons.  This is how you get tipped off someone is thinking of leaving, how you build trust, etc. etc. etc.  The benefits are many.  Yet, my audiences will openly admit they don’t get out of their office and talk to their people daily.  When I ask for a show of hands of people who “stroll” around daily, I rarely see even 20% answer that they do.

The fix I offer to my audience as an employee retention expert is a simple one.  A very simple one.  Schedule time on your calendar like you are scheduling any other meeting.  Pick an employee you want to talk to and put their name in the calendar as if you have a meeting.  You aren’t lying because when you are out strolling around you are going to make a point of meeting with that employee.  You will find that employee and make it a point to chat with them.  You will also talk to other employees when you are out strolling.

When you schedule it on the calendar, schedule one in the morning and one in the afternoon.  Also, don’t forget about second or third shift if you have one of those.  Mix up the routine but do make it a point to get out at least twice a day.  When you wander around, don’t take the same route every time because then you tend to see the same people every time.  Your goal is to touch in with all your employees regularly.

As you get to know more about your people, what they do in their spare time and what is going on with their lives, it gives you an opportunity to touch in with them to see how their son or daughter are doing in baseball or how things are going in the church choir.  Most people love to talk about their lives, their family, their hobbies etc.  As they do, they become people in your eyes and not just employees.  That is critical in your employee retention strategies because most people work to be able to take care of their family, do their hobbies etc. so you learn why they work.  That is key to retaining them.  Also, when they know you as a person and you know them as people, when they need help they are far more likely to open up to you and that is how you improve employee retention.

One of my former bosses used to always tell me, “get out your office and talk to the people.”  The first step that will move you down that path is…put it on the calendar!

Jeff Kortes


Jeff speaks and conducts workshops regularly in Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Indiana. He draws on his experiences as a human resources professional, father, coach, martial artist and U.S. Army veteran to provide thought-provoking programs that yield results.