When this employee retention speaker and employee retention author conducts his C.R.A.P. Leadership™ training, I often talk about the fact that your employees are like tomatoes and relate working with your employees is like gardening.  That fact dawned on me as I was planting my tomatoes this weekend as we head into the summer.  This employee recruitment speaker loves to garden and, as you know, can relate ANYTHING to employee retention!

So, think about your tomato plants for a minute.  They need tender loving care if you want to have them flourish and grow as opposed to simply generating just a few tomatoes for the season.  As I planted the tomatoes, I made it a point to put them into good soil which I had tilled well prior to planting.  Think of the soil like your organization’s culture, it has to be conducive to growing great plants.  You can have great talent but if you put people in a culture that is toxic, before you know it, they become toxic or they can’t stand the toxicity and leave the environment.  They are going to wither and die on the vine or they will simply pack up and go elsewhere where they can survive and thrive.

If you want to see your plants flourish, you need to water and fertilize them.  If not, you are leaving it up to mother nature to hope it rains and they get enough water.  You are taking a chance.  People are the same way.  If you water and fertilize them regularly, with appreciation and praise, they will feel good about what they are doing and want to do more for you.  They will be more motivated, engaged and produce more.  People need to hear five (5) positives for one (1) negative in order to stay positive.  Hearing negatives all the time will destroy your people’s morale and will to work.

You also have to weed the garden and protect it from bugs.  In your organization, those are your toxic, negative employees.  You have to deal with them!  If you don’t, this employee recruitment expert will tell you that they will poison your good employees and turn them negative.  Or, worse yet, they will drive your good employees out of the organization.  Good employees hate being around negative employees.  It’s a downer!  People want to be happy doing what they do and being around negative people kills that feeling.

Keeping with the C.R.A.P. philosophy, (Caring, Respect, Appreciation and Praise) you have to use appreciation and praise with your people, or they will wither and die on the vine.  It’s not hard to do, it just takes a bit of work.  Next time you are walking around your facility or department, imagine your people as tomatoes and give them some fertilizer (Appreciation and Praise) and just watch them thrive as they remain with the organization.