It starts with the recruitment process. Hire the right person and they are more likely to stay; hire the wrong one and they will likely leave at some point.
These key recruitment actions will help target the right person for your organization.
Use your strategic game plan and values as context for who you hire. You want an employee who has the capability to execute your strategy and live your values. If the backbone of your strategy is revenue growth through new product innovation, for example, look for someone with the appropriate combination of relevant skills and experience to contribute to these goals. If your values stress “spirited teamwork” find someone who lives this everyday.
The key is to hire someone who is in direct alignment with your business goals and culture. Do your homework on each candidate: a combination of research and interview questions that will expose if they fit or not.
Be honest in describing the employment opportunity you have. Avoid embellishing it and run the risk of setting unrealistic expectations with the candidate. They will run if they take a job that falls short of what they believe you promised.
Unfortunately, even if you hire a person who is in alignment with your strategy and values, you can still lose them based on how they are treated in your working environment.
Ensure these conditions are in place to meet people’s expectations and keep them from leaving.
1. “How can I help” leadership
Employees want to be enabled to perform their role. Command and control is old school; servant leadership is new school. Retention is enhanced in an environment where dictatorial practices are expelled from the culture of the organization.
2. Regular performance feedback
Everyone wants to improve, and if constructive performance assessment is not forthcoming on a frequent basis, people feel abandoned by the organization. And they leave for one that has employee appraisal hardwired into its culture.
3. Career development plans
A career plan is required for EVERY individual and is the vehicle to determine a unique growth path reflecting current performance and the potential for the individual to assume future opportunities.
4. Engagement culture
A culture created not by “corporate programs” but by the everyday personalized acts of leadership. No two people can be engaged in the same way, hence the problem with a single engagement program that is forced to fit each individual. Effective engagement is achieved from the cumulative impact of how every leader interacts with each of their employees every day.
5. Hygiene factors
The basic platform of retaining employees is to satisfy their basic needs: pay and benefits. These are the fundamentals without which it is first difficult to attract people through the recruitment process and second to hold them if they take a position with you. You must be at least comparable to the hygiene market to play the game.
Standout organizations with incredible retention performance invest heavily in both methods to assess the suitability of potential new hires, and processes to create a rich and rewarding world for them while they are at work.
Roy Osing is a former President and CMO with over 33 years of leadership experience covering all the major business functions including business strategy, marketing, sales, customer service and people development. He is a blogger, content marketer, educator, coach, adviser and the author of the book series Be Different or Be Dead.
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