Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Employee Retention Equals Money

We have documented that the recruiting process mirrors the sales process.  Every step builds on the previous step from creating a job description to the acceptance to Onboarding and now the final step – “Keep them while you got them” Retention.

In the sales process, this is the follow up to the delivery and training for the product or service.  In the Recruiting Process, this is the step where you engage your new employees from the beginning – and keep them engaged.

Why does Employee Retention Equal Money?  Just ask any company where there is constant turnover.  They almost get the new employee where they are productive, and they leave.

What are the costs of acquiring that first candidate?  There are both hard and soft costs, costs to the morale of employees having to pick up the slack, and the additional lost productivity of the manager as they wade through the recruiting and training processes yet again.  All of these costs transfer directly to the bottom line.

Watch this short TV interview on Employee Retention Equals Money - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3-T6s6y0xk&feature=youtu.be 

How long has employee engagement and retention been on corporate priority lists?  Honestly, it depends on the company, doesn’t it?  Does your company value its employees?  Is employee engagement a priority for your company?

Sadly, many companies do not value their employees.  They pay dearly for that decision.  Today’s employees, especially millennials want to be engaged and know they are making positive, measurable impacts.  Therefore those companies turn over the employees who want to make a difference; and keep the ones who are happy getting a pay check.  Is that the balance that you seek?  Probably not.

What is the best way to begin to engage your employees?  Ask them what is important to them in one on one conversations?  Then listen…and listen some more.  Then give them honest feedback.  Now you know what motivates them and what they really want to do.  Keep the door open for future conversations because their needs and wants will change – and so will the company’s.

People who feel their opinions and contributions are important become engaged, if they were not prior.  It is supremely important that the listening continues.  If not, the damage will be irreparable because the company will have lost trust. 

Employee engagement is the foundation of Toyota’s Lean Process Improvement (now sometimes referred to as Agile Process Improvement).  The people who work on the manufacturing lines suggest changes to the project leaders.  They are on the front line and know what needs improvement.  They are making a difference, one that made Toyota a global automobile manufacturer.  It must be working. Toyota’s profits in 2014 were $17,900,000,000 (fun writing that many zeros!).  Now that’s engagement – and I’ll bet the workers are proud of their accomplishments that led to the profitability.

Consistency is another key attribute in a company.  Build a process that works consistently and then work the process.  Employees prefer stability over the plan of the month program.  Time and again you will hear them say, “Can we just see if this works?”

I once worked with a company where someone read a book on management on a plane.  Then decided to implement that plan without thinking about the unintended consequences.  In this case, people leaving the company in droves.  They made the book required reading for all employees.  The author suggested to the reader, “If you don’t like your current company, find a company where you will like to work.”  Many of the employees took the author up on that plan – and left the company.

Think about your plan prior to its implementation.  Does it make sense?  “Should we discuss it with key people at all levels?”  Probably so.  Then they also feel they had a say in the formulation of the plan.

Employee engagement and retention does not happen with the shaking of a wand or sprinkling fairy dust.  It requires work and consistent commitment – and many times reshaping a company’s culture.

What is the payback or Return on Investment?  A company with committed and engaged employees wanting to make a difference – and doing so to increase profits.

I provide training for companies that want to tweak their culture to create a more engaged workforce.  Bill Humbert recruiterguy@msn.com