As an employee retention speaker and employee retention trainer, I am very fortunate to work with some top leaders that truly “get it.” These are leaders that know that doing the right thing is going to pay incredible dividends when it comes to employee retention. Why? People respect you when you do the right thing. Also important is the fact that when you do right by people…they talk to their co-workers. That positive talk about how you did the right thing is what helps to build employee loyalty.
Recently, the GM at one of my clients had the opportunity to do the right thing. This employee retention author was not surprised when he heard how the GM handled it. Beyond being a client, I also used work for this guy as his HR leader and as I jokingly tell him all the time, “I taught you everything you know!” The incident occurred when one of their employees had an accident occur in which the employee’s fiancé was struck by an automobile while crossing a busy city street. She had several broken bones, ribs, etc. Needless to say, the employee was very shook up and worried for his fiancé.
When the GM heard about the incident, instead of waiting, he went to the employee and made it a point to tell him to take the time he needed to deal with this event. The employee started to reassure him that, although serious, he would not miss a lot of time from work. The GM cut him off and told him that being with his fiancé was THE top priority and to take whatever time he needed to make sure that things went as smoothly as they possibly could. That’s the right thing to do! They also made it a point to send flowers (nice touch I might add). Several days later the GM received a thank you card from the employee. He and his fiancé were deeply appreciative of how they had been treated. This is the sort of action that engenders employee loyalty amongst a workforce. People talk…and, needless to say, this employee will talk to his co-workers about how he was treated.
All too often we get so focused on getting product out the door or servicing our customers. Instead, we need to realize that if we take care of our employees, they will take care of us by working hard and being loyal employees who stay with the organization. Besides that; it’s the right thing to do!