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Is Your Grass Greener May 2010

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Article in Inland Business Catalyst May 2010 - Strategies for Retaining Employees

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Is Your Grass Greener May 2010

  1. 1. 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.
  2. 2. 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 your company. 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 nnelson@humanix.com