As an HR leader, one of the simplest yet impressive learning tools I ever saw was showing employees a dollar bill. We had a CFO that used to have a picture of a huge dollar bill that he used as a visual during our all company meetings. He would explain that for every dollar of sales, what the costs were that came out of the dollar including raw materials, scrap, warranty costs, salaries, etc. Then, he talked about those major costs and how we could reduce those costs through working smarter and gave examples to people. He did a great job of connecting the dots for people. In the end, he used to show the meager profit that we made as a percentage of the dollar bill. Our employees were in shock. Many even asked why didn’t the owners just sell the company and invest the money because the owners could make more money in the stock market.
As an employee retention speaker and employee retention author, I mentioned this to the CFO at one of my clients. He loved the idea and started doing it. He got the same reaction from the employees at the company that my prior CFO got. Employees were shocked. Only one of the costs that he showed people was the cost of employee turnover (my idea). People were shocked at the amount of money that was slipping through the cracks because the organization could not retain people.
Some people said it didn’t surprise them given certain actions or lack of actions that the company was or was not taking that my client had the turnover they did. Simple things that the employees pointed out immediately that the company should do or stop doing came out. The ideas just poured out. This employee retention consultant was writing furiously on a flip chart. The employees were literally giving the company their employee retention strategies. It is a great way to build your employee retention strategy.
Most employees are woefully misinformed how a company runs. They don’t know where the money goes. Organizations need to show them like this employee retention trainer did with the CFO at his client. It’s amazing the reaction you will get. This strategy of using the dollar bill can be an effective tool in bringing not only employee retention into focus but educating employees on how the business runs as well. The impact can be incredible. If you are not using this simple technique of the dollar bill, you are missing the boat. It’s time to get in the boat before it sales away without you.