As an employee retention speaker and employee retention trainer, I get to read a lot of mission, vision and values statements. Most are very lofty and sound wonderful. Rarely do I see one that mentions employee retention. We complain about poor employee retention, a lack of employee loyalty and the millennials and their constant job hopping. We complain a lot and yet we do nothing to solve the problem. The first part of solving a problem is recognizing AND admitting you have a problem. Ask any alcoholic!
The second step is to start to live the values that you expound on in the values statement. It’s great to talk about being an employer of choice…but what does that mean? Why not come right out and say, “we want to have the highest employee retention in the area” or something along that line. Now that is something that you can actually measure and hold yourself accountable for. Then, it’s up to senior management to get the people that can impact employee retention together and actually do something about it.
Chances are, most people in the organization don’t even know what the values are or couldn’t explain what they mean if their life depended on it. If that is the case, it’s time to rewrite them in SIMPLE language that every employee can understand and can apply in their job. Employee retention and promoting loyalty should be one of those values. When you put employee retention in your values statement, it puts the pressure on every level of leadership and particularly senior leadership walk the talk.
After the value system is such that people can understand it, it’s time to put resources to bear to solve the employee turnover problem. That means both time and money. Once that starts to occur, I will guarantee that you will see positive results. In most organizations, employee retention is a lack of commitment. You must build loyalty in a world that has indoctrinated people to not be loyal. It can be done. Some organizations have done it. But if loyalty and employee retention are not part of the value system, you will not have the commitment and focus you need to break through the indoctrination that society has created that loyalty is dead.
You must start somewhere. Start with your value system. If you are committed to employee retention and loyalty, say so. Then, do something about it. As I always say, it’s time to stop complaining…and do something about it!