Don’t be misled. A soft economy is no justification for abandoning your commitment to employee retention. Good people are needed today more than ever. You need people connected to your mission and focused on delivering your product or service as efficiently and effectively.
The economy will rebound, baby boomers will eventually decide to retire, and staff shortages will return. Generation X does not have enough bodies to replace the retiring boomers, and the Millennial Generation will not offer relief until 2008.
A difficult truth will be discovered when the bidding for talent returns. An exorbitant compensation package might not attract people in a post-scandal economy. And, it won’t retain them or ensure the productivity your business needs to survive.
People hire into organizations. They stay, leave, or contribute based on their relationship with their manager and their opportunity to both contribute and advance in their jobs. They want to work in a place where they can succeed and feel their contribution is appreciated. A positive response to each of the following questions will help you stay connected and keep your best.
- Does a dear focus and direction exist for the business and the individual? Specific goals linked to a common, compelling vision provide a sense of contribution and focus. Commitment to the job is enhanced when a visible link exists between individual performance and organizational success.
- Do people receive the time, tools, and training to accomplish their jobs? Frustration develops when barriers hinder success. An investment in tools and training reinforces the idea that quality is important.
- Are efforts recognized and appreciated? Sincere recognition to your stars ensures that they don’t look for a better environment in which to utilize their talents. Poor performers can be motivated when managers recognize their value rather than only look for the negative. Those who do a good job each day view recognition as verification that their performance matters. A one-percent increase in performance from those who simply meet expectations makes a tremendous difference in the bottom-line.
- Is poor performance addressed? Top employees grow weary of doing more than their share of the performance load. They want those who are not meeting expectations to be dealt with fairly.
- Are honest mistakes used as a learning opportunity? Most of the important lessons we learn in life are the result of honest mistakes. When people feel punished for those missteps a culture is created where errors are hidden communication lines are closed, and valuable knowledge that could improve performance and results is not shared.
- Is specific and accurate feedback provided in a positive manner? Everyone wants information about how they are doing compared to the expectations for their performance. The best feedback acknowledges effort, points people toward success, and encourages personal responsibility.
- Do people have fun? Environments that promote laughter contribute to higher morale, improved productivity, and lower stress. Having fun is not just playing games or dressing up on holidays. The ability to be relaxed and enjoy oneself creates a bond between team members.
Creating an environment that keeps people feeling connected to the mission and vision is every leader’s task It is the one sure strategy for achieving success.