Even though he and I had not worked in the organization at the same time, we discovered in one of the conversations that we had both, at some point worked for this particular owner. My young colleague still stays in touch with many of the people from the company. His contact began talking about the fact there is a major concern in the company because the owner is almost 80 and there appears to be no succession plan in place. This is making many people nervous because their livelihoods are tied to the success of the company.
This employee retention consultant has seen this scenario play out time and time again…often with disastrous results. If the owner has a plan of succession, he hasn’t said anything to the employees in the company. So, what are the employees thinking? They are thinking he has no plan and, if he dies, they are uncertain about what will happen if this happens. If he is considering selling, they are wondering about who he might sell to and what would new ownership look like. They are also wondering if he plans to keep the company and bring professional leaders who will then take over leading the company. All of these things cast a cloud over the organization and the longer the cloud exists, the more scared people will get.
As fear begins to raise its ugly head, the grapevine will take over and accelerate the fear. Unless this owner proactively works to answer questions about the future, the results from an employee retention perspective could be disastrous. Once an organization begins to start to lose people other people will see this and become fearful of what the future holds. The organization will also start to experience trouble recruiting people because the word will get out that the company is a sinking ship. This is a nightmare in the making.
This owner must start communicating with his people. In the opinion of this employee recruitment expert, the owner owes that much to his people. Communication is part of the Respect aspect of C.R.A.P. Philosophy (Caring, Respect, Appreciation, and Praise) of employee retention. However, even if the owner does not believe in C.R.A.P., he needs to start communicating so the company doesn’t lose value because all of the employees are asking, “What’s the plan?”
Remember…Give Your Employees C.R.A.P.® (Caring, Respect, Appreciation, and Praise) Why? Because C.R.A.P. Works!