The Well is Not Bottomless

The well is not bottomless.  That’s what I tell my audiences when I am working as an employee retention speaker and employee retention trainer.  Many organizations think that there’s an endless supply of people to fill their openings in their plants, offices and other types of businesses.  The reality is that if you are experiencing high turnover in your operation, you need to be scared to death that the day is coming when you will not be able to staff your organization so you can meet the needs of your customers.

In the next few years, the baby boomers will be retiring in unprecedented numbers and the number of people available to take their place is far less than what is needed.  The construction trades are already feeling the brunt of this.  They simply can’t find the skilled trades that they need to fill openings.  So, what’s the answer?  This employee retention consultant believes it is going to be twofold.  First and foremost, stop losing people to your competitors.  The way to do that is Give Your Employees C.R.A.P.® (Caring, Respect, Appreciation and Praise).  I am amazed at the number of companies that still have leaders who yell at employees, swear at them, micromanage them and simply do not know how to lead with C.R.A.P.  Instead of listening to their employee’s ideas, they are autocratic.  Instead of celebrating success, they pick at any little thing that is wrong.  Instead of showing some time off flexibility they are rigid in their hours of work.  Those organizations that realize they must lead differently will see a significant reduction in their employee turnover.  They will have a leg up on their competitors.

The other action that must be taken is to start training people.  There is still a reliance on finding someone who can instantly jump into a job and perform.  There is an over reliance on technical schools to do all the heavy lifting.  It’s time to go back to what we did in the past which was to train our own people.  This is as basic as teaching people how to mop the floor.  We assume people know how to do these basic things yet, in reality, less of the kids coming out of high school have ever worked in a job before they get into the workforce.  They need to be trained to do many of these basic things.  When this employee retention author hears people say, “If we train them they will just quit and take their skills elsewhere,” I just want to scream.  Treat them right and they will stay and train them so they can do the job well.  That’s the answer.

The time has come for organizations to wake up and start treating people right and to do some training.  If not, they will not be able to find and keep the people they need to run their organization.  The sooner they realize that the well of people is not bottomless, the better off they’ll be!

Jeff Kortes

jeff@humanassetmgt.com

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.