This guy saw things 30 years ago that nobody was talking about. He was years ahead of his time and people loved working for him. They saw an opportunity to work for someone that was truly a mentor back in the days when you were lucky if someone around you took you under their wing and showed you the ropes, helped you navigate the politics of the organization and helped you grow in your career. One of the most important things he did was ask this employee retention expert three questions that made me think about my career. The three questions he asked me were:
- Where do you see yourself going? He wasn’t just talking about where I saw myself going in the organization but where did I see myself going in my career…even if it took me outside the organization. Of course, when you are 25, you see yourself as a VP by the time you are 30 years old. He forced you to think about it even if you were unrealistic. What that did was get you to take charge of managing your career instead of coming in and drifting along in your job.
- What’s it going to take to get where you want to go? This question brought a dose of reality into the discussion. Wanting to get somewhere is great, but you will never get there if you don’t have a plan…a roadmap. This forced me to truly start doing something about my career instead of just jumping to the next job. The 3rd question he asked was the one that really got you thinking.
- Are you willing to pay the price? This is a question that people rarely ask themselves. Maybe that’s why people get disillusioned in their careers. They don’t get where they want to go because they aren’t willing to pay the price.
You are probably asking…what does this have to do with employee retention strategies? In fact, you’re saying, “Jeff, aren’t you almost encouraging people to leave with question #1? Not really. Whether it was intended or not, it actually got people to stay longer because they saw that this guy was looking out for them and that he was a valuable mentor from who you could learn a lot. For that reason, people actually stayed longer because they saw how they could grow by working for him. It worked. I stayed a couple of years longer because I saw the value he added and that he Cared. The “C” in C.R.A.P. (Caring, Respect, Appreciation, and Praise)
If you are a leader, don’t be afraid to ask your people these three questions. Everyone benefits and your employee retention will improve. If you are not asking these questions, you will soon see many of your employees leaving as we emerge from Covid-19 because people simply want a change and are not thinking clearly. The 3 questions will add that clarity.
Remember…Give Your Employees C.R.A.P.® (Caring, Respect, Appreciation and Praise) Why? Because C.R.A.P. Works!