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This past week, this employee retention speaker and employee retention trainer spoke at a regional SHRM conference in North Carolina.  When I asked the audience how many of the attendees had a written strategic employee retention plan, not one hand went up in the audience.  I was in shock.  Normally, I get at least one or two.  It really surprised me because the attendees had some great ideas and asked some excellent employee retention questions.  This employee recruitment speaker went on to explain why it is so critical to have a written plan and how to best go about writing the plan.

We have strategic plans for everything…marketing, quality and production.  We tend to have a plan for everything!  That makes sense because without a plan, the chances are high you are not going to follow through.  What you do will be an afterthought or be a low priority.  You will find yourself putting out fires and not dealing with any of the real issues.  A written strategic employee retention plan will bring focus to your activities.  I also recommend that with a written strategic employee retention plan, you build in some metrics so you are able to measure how you are doing.  If you don’t have some metrics, you will not hold yourself accountable for your results, or, your lack of results!  With metrics in the plan you will also feel good about what you are doing when you DO start to see progress.  Otherwise, you feel like you are standing still.

The other problem people face is that people struggle finding the time to do these things.  That is totally understandable.  This employee retention consultant had fires he dealt with as an HR Leader and deals with now that he owns his own consulting firm.   I have found a fool proof way to have the discipline to write the plan.  People laugh when I tell them this.  Here it is.  Sit down on your back porch on the weekend…yes, the weekend.  Pour yourself your favorite beverage and start to jot down ideas you want to try in key areas that drive employee retention.  After you have a bunch of ideas that you think you want to try, put them under key headings like communications, growth, performance management, assimilation etc.  (If you aren’t sure on the key headings reach out to me and I will give you some guidance.)  Trust me, this process works.  By your second or third beverage, you will come up with some great ideas!  Your plan is not going to be fancy, but it is at least a plan and it will drive your employee retention.

Without a plan you will be taking a shotgun approach and that will yield minimal results.  You will become frustrated and never get your employee turnover under control.  Once you develop the plan, you will be on your way and be glad you sat down on your porch and had those beverages!