This employee retention speaker and employee retention expert was shocked when I heard that comment. It was made by a supervisor to the wife of a friend of mine. The organization she works for is currently undergoing some turmoil and they are looking to consolidate work into a remailing facility. The employee is a long-tenured employee. The fact that a leader would even say something like that is insane. Even if the organization wanted people to leave, the message this sends to the workforce (people do talk) is the worst kind of message.
This message says that people are disposable. Even if you have to lay people off, it must be done with dignity and respect. The “C” and the “R” in the C.R.A.P. Philosophy. (Caring, Respect, Appreciation, Praise). The damage to an organization’s employee retention strategies if this gets out can take years to erase. People have the memory of elephants. Moreover, if word of this comment gets out into the community, the ability to attract employees when they need them will be severely damaged. So, what should the organization do?
Assuming HR hears about this, top leadership needs to pull in all of the other leaders and tell them this is unacceptable and if this happens again heads will roll. Top leadership must connect the dots for the other leaders and explain what the implication is and the impact it has on attracting talent, retaining talent and on the organization’s reputation in the community. By simply holding this meeting or communicating it in some way, word will immediately get out to the workforce because the leaders will talk. It will show employees they are respected and the organization cares and this was a remote incident.
This employee retention author has experienced something similar to this in the past as an HR Leader. Action must be taken immediately. We preserved our reputation and people respected us for doing so. Had we not done so, we would have undercut our employee retention strategy. The last thing you want to happen is say nothing and let your employees think the philosophy of the organization is…If you don’t like it…leave!
Is your organization struggling to retain people? If you are an HR Leader, General Manager or an owner of an organization, call me at 414-305-9626 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can explain how the C.R.A.P approach can reduce your employee turnover by 40-80%.