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After a workshop concluded, I had the opportunity to talk with the VP of Operations and he mentioned to me that one of his skilled machine operators left several months ago because he went to work as a truck driver because of the money.  He wondered if there was anything they could have done to keep him.  Unfortunately for this VP, truck drivers are making really good money, and this is what lured the guy to leave.  There was no way they could compete with that.  I told the VP that this sometimes occurs, and you can’t do too much about it if the person is simply chasing money.

The interesting part of the story is that the employee who left has a family and his kids are heavily involved in sports.  With the new job, he would have to be gone from home quite a bit.  That was one of the things that surprised the VP because of this guy’s family situation.  He also had a lot of close friends at his prior organization.  It always drives this employee retention speaker crazy when I see a client lose a high-caliber employee but, I never give up hope.

It’s now been about five months since the guy left and by this time the reality of being on the road will have dawned on the former employee.  So, I recommended reaching out to the guy to find out how it’s going.  Part of my employee retention strategies has always been to stay in touch with people who leave because they may find out the grass is not greener on the other side of the fence, yet the former employee is too embarrassed to call their former employer and ask if they can come back.  Never wait for that to happen.  Take the initiative to reach out and ask the employee, “How’s it going?”  If you sense something is amiss at their new employer, tell them that you valued them when they were with you and if they are interested, they could return to the organization.   I’ve seen this work in about 30% of the cases.  The key is not to let your pride get in the way of asking.

In this market, you need to take any opportunity to recruit and retain people.  The key is to be proactive.  Reach out to the former employee and ask them, “How’s it going?”  You may lure them back, but you never know unless you ask!

Remember…Give Your Employees C.R.A.P.®  (Caring, Respect, Appreciation and Praise)  Why?  Because C.R.A.P. Works!