As an employee retention speaker and employee retention trainer, people regularly call me to talk, and sometimes lament, what they must go through to keep people. But, as I tell them, employee retention is simple, not easy! If it were easy, then there would not be organizations out there that are struggling to keep people. One client told me employee retention strategies are about blocking, tackling and running your routes crisply. I thought, “What a great comparison!” Employee retention is no different than any sport or the arts.
What does it take to succeed in a sport or the arts? It takes discipline. When you don’t want to practice in the morning because it is easy to slack off, the great violinist gets up and practices anyway. The same is true for organizations with great employee retention. Communication is an excellent example. Day-to-day communication with your people is time consuming. You can slack off and get by without doing it once in awhile, but if you don’t practice it, you will lose people. People want to be informed or they do not feel valued, start to worry, etc. All of which will contribute to employee turnover. You have to be disciplined and do it no matter what. It’s not easy!
Another key is that you have to execute well when it is required. You can’t be sloppy in how you do it. Communication that is not well thought out is not going to convey the message you want, alleviate fears that may exist in your workforce, or shut down the grapevine that is spreading horror stories about your organization. It is important to think through what you are going to say. It can’t be off the cuff and random. Words have meaning and the words you chose matter.
Discipline and proper execution will drive great employee retention strategies just like they drive a great athlete’s or artist’s performance. It really is pretty simple. I said simple…not easy!