Is Your Grass Greener?
It is good to see positive signs in front of us as we take our first steps out of this
recession. Owners and managers have made many tough decisions during the past
months. Employees have had to do more with less. Companies have downsized. Many
great employees have been asked to sacrifice by taking pay cuts and benefit reductions.
How has this impacted employee morale? Do your great employees plan to stay with you
when our economy fully turns the corner and more job opportunities appear? Has this
recession changed the rules on the importance of retaining your top talent?
Having the right employees on board as we come out of this recession is critical. So how
do you retain and motivate your employees to stay? By preventing the “grass-is-greener
syndrome” from taking root in your organization. Review your company’s culture
objectively from your employees’ perspective and make sure your organization is “the
place to work” in your industry. Here are four ideas that can help you attain that goal,
and they won’t cost you a dime.
Listen and Talk with Your Employees
Do employees clearly understand what they are doing and why? Job duties may have
shifted during this recession. Have you communicated the importance of their current job
duties to the company’s success? Be aware of the rumor mill. Be careful of management
closed-door meetings and no follow-up communication with employees; the rumor mill
will fill in the void. If employee pay and benefit cut-backs are to continue, tell
employees and let them know your future plans. Employees want honesty.
Lead with Compassion
Employees want to know that their leaders genuinely have their employees’ best interests
at heart. In October 2008, Humanix’s management team met with employees and let
them know that we were concerned for them personally as we faced uncertain economic
times. We asked them to come to us if they found themselves in a financial corner during
these tough times. We were able to offer noninterest loans for employees. Not all
companies are in a position to offer this, but leaders can convey their concern and
compassion and offer community resources.
Check Supervisor and Employee Connection
Employee retention is a management responsibility, not just human resources, and your
front line supervisors hold one of your retention keys. Inform supervisors that their day-
to-day interaction, training, and coaching inspires employees to stay. Supervisors can
help develop an employee through coaching opportunities and develop strong
connections through everyday work conversations. Incorporate some fun at work. This
is a great way for supervisors and employees to build that connection.
Are Your Employees Attending Work or Engaged at Work?
It is important for employees to understand the company’s direction and how each
employee makes a difference. Meet with employees and share information about the
company’s direction. Give employees the opportunity to offer suggestions, and ultimately
understand the company’s economic rebounding strategies and goals. Give recognition
to outstanding work performed by employees. Employees want to do a good job and
getting them involved in the process helps build retention. Each company is different and
owners/managers have the opportunity to take their employee moral up a notch. A good
book to read and use as a resource is, Keeping Good People, by Roger E. Herman. Let
2010 be your year to foster a culture where employees are engaged and committed to
Nancy Nelson is owner/president of Humanix Staffing and Promanix, specializing in
career placements. Nancy is a graduate of Gonzaga University and has been with
Humanix since 1988. She can be reached at 509-467-0062 or firstname.lastname@example.org