You don’t have to read Fast Company to know that retention is a key issue for many executives in 2015. How do you keep the right people in the right jobs while also acknowledging that employees are capitalists, too?
I have some ideas for you.
Why don’t you do some good old fashioned HR for a change?
I know, I know. That’s crazy. But you have access to assessments, talent management methodologies, workforce planning tools, and workforce optimization software. It’s time to do HR, again, and figure out if Betty from accounting should stay or go.
America needs a raise.
Transparency is a blessing and a curse. During the recession, your CEO earned a decent salary. She was offered a ton of fringe benefits and granted stock, too. Your best performers tightened their belts with the promise of better days — and those days are here. While people don’t always work for money, they certainly don’t work for free.
Punch up your travel and training budgets.
The internet is great. It also sucks. Skype is no substitute for relationships. Online learning doesn’t always meet the needs of your workforce. Your best and brightest people have endured a lot, over the past few years. They want to travel to satellite offices, see their colleagues, and maybe take a three-day course that will pay dividends down the road.
Thank you goes a long way.
I don’t want to spend a lot of time on this one, but your rewards and recognition strategy sucks. At a minimum, you should think about how the words “thank you” can tie into service anniversaries and the performance management cycle. Beyond that, your organization ought to consider what behaviors it values and how to recognize and reward those employees who demonstrate specific attributes. Get going on that. You’re behind.
Offices are back.
Over the past five years, you moved everyone into an open office environment to lower costs but told everyone that you wanted them to collaborate. But that shit doesn’t fly anymore. I know two companies that are losing great people, right now, because of new office arrangements that move them from an office to a pod. (One of those companies put its remodel on hold.) I hate office-seating politics, so I keep it simple: if you have to go into the office in the first place and you have people reporting into you, you should have an office with a door.
One more point on retention.
It’s tough to retain great workers if your company doesn’t have a strategic plan. Do you have a viable path for success? Do employees have a voice and an opportunity to contribute to the strategic plan? Can people make a difference at your company?
Some of us work for cash. Some of us work because we’re full of passion. But nobody comes to work to prop up a depreciating brand. Employees are no longer powerless in our new economy. They can quit.