As an employee retention speaker and employee retention expert, I hear managers complain constantly about how hard it is to find people in this economy. Well, no kidding. And if you think it is bad now wait until the economy really heats up. What the first words out of their mouth should be are, “What can I do differently that I did not do so I could have kept that employee.” Even the best managers I know complain about how hard it is to find people. They should need to shift their mental focus to employee retention.
The mindset should be that it is their job every day to do something that contributes to employee retention and not when they go to a seminar or lose a person. Shift the mindset so that every activity they undertake has an employee retention focus. When they sit in a meeting, they need to be treating people with respect and not throwing someone under the bus. When they send an e mail, they have to ask if they are better served by getting face-to-face with the employee so they can sense whether or not the employee has concerns. Whenever they do ANYTHING they need to be thinking about the impact on their employee retention. Employee retention needs to ooze from every pore in their body!
We need to get focused on what the important task is…employee retention. That focus needs to start with your strategic WRITTEN retention plan. That is the place to start. Put it in writing and then develop metrics that all managers are held accountable for and not just a statistic that human resources talks about. When the senior leadership team gets together they need to talk about how each group is performing as it relates to employee retention and hold them accountable. When was the last time you heard of a manager being fired for poor retention? Why is retention any different than metrics like productivity, quality and on-time delivery?
Employee retention only gets better if there is a conscious focus by all levels of leadership. This focus needs to get every manager to the point where they don’t walk into the building and not have employee retention on their mind. Unless this is the mindset and the focus your leaders, you will not see the significant gains that you need to make in order to be able to staff your organization and survive in the next decade. It’s time to stop going through the motions and get focused on employee retention.