When are you going out of business?

This employee retention speaker and employee retention author loves to tell a client’s leadership team that I have heard they are going out of business in the next 30 days and that the doors are closing.  I love seeing the bewildered look on people’s faces when they are thinking “No way” or “He’s joking, right?”  Of course, I am joking with them.  They all know that the organization is doing well as they see the numbers and the work that is being cranked out on the production floor.  They then push back and tell this employee retention consultant that they are hiring and business is booming, in fact.  My question to them then is, “If that is the case, why aren’t you celebrating your successes with your employees?”

Most organizations do a horrible job of celebrating the successes they are having in the business.  They are quick to tell people when things go wrong but are slow to tell people when things are good and to celebrate the successes they are having.  We tend to be inherently negative and focus on the mistakes and failures.  I believe in continuous improvement like everyone else but I also believe in celebrating the successes. Celebrating the successes is hugely important.

Celebrating successes is important for two reasons.  It keeps people fired up and energized when the business is booming.  A lot of people are tired because they are working long hours and they are trying to keep up.  When business is good…it’s a lot of work.  So, celebrating successes like big orders, safety records, great profits, new customers, successful ISO audits and a myriad of other things is important to people.  It sends the message that they and the organization are doing a lot of things right instead of always focusing on what needs to be improved or is wrong.  People start to wonder about leadership if all they hear is the negative.  They see leadership as ungrateful and selfish.

The other reason you want to celebrate success is that it will sustain you during tough times.  People will remember those celebrations and realize that business will get good again even if it may be tough.  If the doors are still open and you are getting product out the door even if it is tough sledding, you know you are doing something right.  Focusing on the negative will turn your organization into a negative place where people are not as fired up and begin to question why they are working there.  That’s a recipe for disaster when it comes to your employee retention strategies.

It’s time to realize that most organizations do a lot more right than they do wrong.  If that’s the case…celebrate your successes!

Jeff Kortes

jeff@humanassetmgt.com

Jeff Kortes is an employee retention expert who 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.