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Retaining Talent Human Resource




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G K Lim

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Hiring and Retaining Good Employees Building a Retention Culture - Retaining Top Talent is a Strategic Imperative 5 Best Practices for Retaining Your Best Talent Retaining Top Performers Retaining Good Employees Maintaining People Places & Retaining Staff Recruiting and Retaining Top Sales People Retaining Employees - 10 Steps To Keep Them Happy The One BIG SECRET To Retaining Great People

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Recruiting And Retaining The Most Talented People Without Spending Penny 41 Retention - 10 Reminders

Keeping Good Staff Is Important But Keeping Your Family Is Critical 47 Customized Employee Retention Plans The Four Cultures of Employee Retention Manage Talent Or Lose It Top Retention Tools - Survey Results Retention of Key Workers is #1 Entrepreneurial Challenge Employee Retention: It's a Changing Game
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R2 = EOC --- Recruitment & Retention = Employer of Choice Employee Retention: Five Leadership Fundamentals How to Retain Top Sales Talent Employee Retention for New Hires Increasing Employee Retention Through Employee Engagement About the compiler, G K Lim

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Hiring and Retaining Good Employees
By Myron Curry Hiring good employees is not only important to business, it’s essential. Employees are the heart and soul of a business; they are the mechanism that makes a business run; they are the breath of life that enables a business to be something more than an idea. A business cannot run unless someone (employees, in this case) is doing the work. Any intelligent business owner should want good employees. EMPLOYERS NOT THE ONLY ONES TO FEEL THE EFFECT Bad employees not only affect an employer by driving down sales, costing the company unwanted expenses due to negligence or simple lack of motivation, etc, but they affect the customer as well. Of course, once a customer has experienced a bad employee, it automatically affects the employer in obvious ways. Although this seems like common sense to most people, it is uncanny how most employers will overlook this fact, whether it’s because of time constraints to effectively deal with the problem or lack of better judgment. Whatever the case, it is a fact that sales get driven down and production slowed for a reason. That reason could very well be because of the customer’s lack of satisfaction with whatever service he or she had received and that lack of satisfaction stems from bad employees. FIND THE RIGHT PEOPLE TO START WITH This is one of the most important things you, as an employer, can do. Getting the right people into your company to start with gets things moving in the right direction at the very beginning.


According to Chairman and CEO, Hal F. Rosenbluth, and Consultant, Diane McFerrin Peters, of Rosenbluth International, the third-largest travel management company in the world, “Most of us choose our spouse with care and rear our children with nurturing and compassionate attention. Yet, we tend to select the people who will join our company on the basis of an interview or two, and once they have joined, they often find that they must fend for themselves. This contrast illustrates the disparity between the environments of family and work. But, given the amount of time we must spend at work, wouldn’t we all be happier if we took as much care at the office as at home to create a supportive environment? Wouldn’t we also be far more successful?” (28). The answer is yes. THE CUSTOMER DOES NOT COME FIRST It’s important to remember that if you want quality employees, your company must be of the same caliber. If you expect to attract an employee who thrives to be as dedicated to the business as possible, doing more than what is expected, and putting forth 110% without any consideration being given to the employee’s personal needs, thoughts, and desires, you are truly fooling yourself. And, eventually, your business will suffer for it. It’s obvious to most, by now, that benefits and perks play a large part in attracting employees. I need not explain the many benefits that a company should make available to attract a good employee because it should be common sense to most, by now. I will say, however, that attaining a good employee must go much farther than just having a great set of benefits. After all, does a wonderful benefits package actually attract only good employees? Of course not. There must be more to it than that. For the customer to be served with the best results humanly possible, a more modern approach to the theory of customer satisfaction must be realized which is that the customer should not come first; the employee should. Therein in itself is one of the most successful ways to attract a good employee. When a business puts its employees first, many things can happen. To begin with, the employee is happy. If the employee is happy, the service


that the employee provides to the customer will be far more outstanding than if he or she were not happy. If the service is outstanding, the customer will be happy and that only spells successful results for the business. This does not mean that an employer must wait hand and foot on the employee. No, it simply means that careful consideration to what an employee thinks, wants, and suggests should be considered. Do not treat an employee as if he or she is a factory robot working on a clock. Treat them as people. Treat them with respect by talking to them as people and not “talking down to them” as “employees”. In fact, a good idea would be to remove the term “employee” all together. One successful company I know of refers to its employees as “associates”, thereby empowering their “associates” with a feeling of more respect and purpose. EMPLOYEE LEADERSHIP AND FLEXIBILITY A MUST An open, friendly atmosphere is a must in a workplace. Micro managing, as most already are aware of, is frowned upon. This is for a reason. When a work environment is open enough for all employees to contribute and offer ideas and suggestions, without ridicule or negative response, this sparks creativity in an employee and, again, empowers them to contribute more to the business. If everyone feels as though they are a part of the leadership process and not just a worker bee, they will have a satisfying feeling that can go a long way. Micro managing completely kills this system. An employer must be flexible. Does there really need to be a rigid schedule? Does lunchtime really need to take place at a specific time? Who actually needs a clock to tell them when they are hungry? This line of thinking is what is needed in every faucet of business, as simple as it seems. It makes an employee feel more like a human; it makes them feel as though the business respects them as a person and will put them first. Once that consideration is instilled in an employee’s mind, there isn’t anything that he or she wouldn’t do for a business. And, when a person looks forward to waking up in the morning to begin working in a place where they feel management gives them respect and thinks highly of them, they will put forth the effort to show appreciation. HIRE NICE PEOPLE


Experience and degrees are great ways of measuring employees’ qualifications and potential…but ask yourself, are they nice people? A person can be the most qualified, educated, and experienced possible employee on the planet but if they have the personality of a wet paper bag or of a caged wolverine, it’s guaranteed they’re not going to do much for your business. Those that have to work with them will be disgruntled on a daily bases and begin putting out a poor performance. The customers that receive service from them will be unhappy and I need not say what happens after that. Hire nice people. Nice people can do wonders for a business. Sound picky? It is. But, when it comes to your business, can you afford not to be picky? A nice person can learn anything. Nice people are pleasant to be around and are easy to teach. They are notoriously quick to learn. So, even if your nice person does not have the skill set that you are looking for, one might consider the possibility of training. Think about the potential, especially if nice people seem to be rare in your neck of the woods. HOW DO YOU FIND NICE PEOPLE This should be obvious. During the interview process, were they downto-earth or were they focused solely on success, success, and more success? As crazy as it may seem, the total, success driven fanatic may not be the best option. Again, the person who seems more like a “person” would be the best candidate for hiring. In the long run, they will make your business more successful because they would make the customer, as well as those that have to work with them, happier. Conduct tests and unconventional interview methods. Why should an interview consist of one or two meetings in a stuffy room? How can we really find out about a person that way? The answer is that we can’t. Instead, how about combining the stuffy office interview one day with another day of playing a game of softball with other, current employees, as Hal F. Rosenbluth and Diane McFerrin tend to do within their company? This would be great for company moral and, at the same time, provide a chance to see how the potential employee reacts in a team environment. If the person is bent on nothing but winning and becomes angry when other teammates drop the ball or do not hit as far as they should, perhaps this person is not the best employee to have around. Chances are that their performance on the softball field will reflect their performance in the office. (31-32).


Go for a drive. As again explained by Hal F. Rosenbluth and Diane McFerrin Peters, the way a person drives an automobile says a lot about a person’s personality. Are they overly aggressive and speed through traffic, weaving in an out of other cars, determined to get to the point of destination no matter what the cost? Or, are they assertive drivers who consider the safety of their passengers and think of alternate routes when confronted with a traffic jam, focusing more on the drive than the destination? (31). Which person would you rather have working for you? Which person would you rather have serving your customers? If you were a customer, which person would you rather have serving you? Invite your new, potential employee to a company social event. Are they the type of person that talks only of themselves and continuously brags about all of the wonderful things that he or she has done? Do they even talk to anyone at all? These are the folks that either want to gain far more than they are willing to contribute or aren’t willing to gain or contribute. These are the type of people that will bring your company down. So, some key points to consider thus far: Consider your employees before your customers. Not only will the employee put out a far better performance due to feeling respected, but your company will also build a reputation as being “the company to work for”, which will attract other, good employees. Be flexible. Constraints in the office constrain creativity and work performance. Go for casual clothing, if possible. Let your employee decide when it’s time to eat and take a break. Be flexible on your employee’s schedule, catering to his or her personal needs. The employee will show appreciation in return, by supplying a good output of production. Hire nice people. Not one customer in the world, no matter what business you are in, enjoys service from someone with less-thanappreciative attitude. And, your other employees will not enjoy working with them either, bringing down moral and production drastically. This kind of person will not be willing to strive at contributing to your company; they will strive to contribute only to themselves. Consider the unconventional when interviewing an employee. The more often you can set a scenario that a potential employee will not expect or


could find to be an unusual method of interviewing, the better. It will give you a chance to see what that person is really capable of, as a person. RETAINING GOOD EMPLOYEES As important as attracting good employees is, it is just as important to retain them. As always, benefit packages help to retain employees. But, again, this is something that most people are already aware of. Sure, there will be those that will want to stay for the great benefits. But, is that all you, as an employer, can offer? No. After spending as much time as you should have in attracting good employees, it only makes sense that you would go to certain lengths to keep them. Chances are, if you really attracted a good employee, it wasn’t just because of the benefits. And, chances are that your good employee will not stay just because of the benefits. Benefits, although a positive force, are not the end all and can, at times, be a false sense of security to an employer. Not everyone develops his or her retention decision on a benefits package, at least not the smart employee. LET THEM CHANGE IT UP NOW AND AGAIN Let your people explore your company. Don’t lock them into one, specific type of work, especially if they express desire to try other things. In today’s job market, job-hoping, as it is known, is a regular occurrence. If you provide your employees with the chance to job-hop “within” your company, this is one way of keeping them there. Give them the opportunity to gain new experience, knowledge, and skills. This will only enhance your company anyway, by having an employee that can do and handle more. It also increases confidence in the employee and makes their work more satisfying. The United States military and civil services such as police and fire departments have already figured that one out. They call it cross-training and fleeting-up and it’s a great idea. COMMUNICATION Communicating is very important, not only in day to day business, but in retention as well. People need to feel as though they have a grasp on what is going on within the company. They want to know where the company is going and how they will be part of that process. They need to feel they are involved in the company. Being part of any planning processes, being able to contribute ideas for the company, and essentially being heard is all part of communication. Again, this is


emphasized in most of the U.S.’s military forces as well, even though they conduct themselves in more of a dictatorship. Know why your people wanted to join your company in the first place and hone in on that. Keep that priority of the employee in consideration, always acting on it and developing it, and the employee will want to continue that purpose with a strong sense. Talk to your people. Not only should you get to know them, you should get to know what they continue to want and think. And, don’t think for a minute that a person’s desires and thoughts on particular matters will be the same later down the road as they were when they first joined the organization. Things change, including your employee’s thoughts and desires. Keep up with those changes. Get feedback from your employee’s. Find out what they think is right and wrong with the company. Provide a feedback forum. And, most importantly, act on the information you receive from this feedback. In summary: Let your employee job hop and provide an opportunity to let them do it within your company, instead of having to go outside the company. More than likely, if they can’t do it in the company, they will venture outside to a place that they can. Take advantage of the multiple skills your people can learn within the company. This not only helps your company out, it gives the employee a feeling of more purpose and he or she will enjoy not having to go far to expand their skills. Keep your people in mind when it comes to information on where the company is headed and what it is doing. If the employee does not feel informed on what is happening, they will not feel as though they are part of the company and, therefore, will not want to stay, in the long run. Get to know what your people want, when they first enter the organization and periodically throughout their tenure. People’s motives and desires change. The good employer is the one that can keep up with those changes. Offer feedback methods and make sure you act on the results. Above all, remember what it was that got you that good employee in the first place. The concepts mentioned in this article that enable an employer to attain a good employee to begin with are basically the same


principals of retaining them as well. It’s that simple. Anyone who works for a company that considers their needs, is just, and can remain flexible, as well as provides other good employees to work alongside, will want to continue working in that company. Hiring and retaining good employees goes hand in hand.

About The Author Myron Curry is President and CEO of a leading provider of workforce and business development training programs designed exclusively for corporate deployment. Myron has over 20 years of successful management experience with leading fortune 500 companies and has written numerous articles about workforce management issues. You can contact Myron at: [mailto:[email protected]][email protected] or visit his company's website Article Source:


Building a Retention Culture Retaining Top Talent is a Strategic Imperative
By Maynard Brusman How to keep workers: The ability to retain top people is critical the success of companies. Commitment, the bond between people and the organization, has become the vitamin C of business. Retaining key people is Number One problem in corporate America. A solution means more profitable companies, happier, more productive employees, and more satisfied customers. In most organizations, the CEO sets the tone for how people are treated. Are people valued for what they do on a frequent, individual basis or are they grouped together as a line item in the budget? Managers need to be held accountable for building a retention culture in their teams and in their departments. Research from the Saratoga Institute shows that 50 percent of work-life satisfaction is determined by the relationship a worker has with his or her boss. Self-managed, agile organizations create work environments where people can continuously learn and make decisions. Employers face an unexpected predicament. The economy is robust, technology is expanding our capacity, and global markets provide new customers. However, companies do not have enough competent people to get the work done.


Retaining the right people is a strategic imperative. Managers and employing organizations need to understand what good people want and meet those expectations. Diverse workers want to control their own destiny and make significant contributions to society through their work. Research demonstrates that most people shift their loyalties to a new employer because of non-monetary reasons. Good people leave their jobs for the following typical reasons: 1.The company mission, vision, and values seem incongruent with their experience, 2. Leaders do not communicate how the employee is valued, 3. Inadequate resources and information, 4. No opportunity for advancement, and 5. Compensation issues. There are a number of important strategies that companies can implement that will provide a solution to keeping valuable people. Which strategies are needed depends on the particular corporate culture. A comprehensive corporate culture survey designed and administered to all employees can help determine which strategies to employ. Selected Strategies for Retaining Good People: • • • • • • • • • • • Create a Statement of Values Share a common vision Offer an open management style Provide career growth, learning, and development Create exciting work and challenge Provide meaningful work Be flexible with work hours, dress, work rules, telecommuting Work together as a team Create trust in senior leadership Provide job security Minimize work-related stress


• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Increase competitiveness of rewards Provide opportunities to use skills on the job Trust your people Appreciate employees on a regular basis Reward leaders who listen and act on employee input Provide proper resources Encourage creativity and innovation Establish a learning culture Provide rewards based on performance Get people involved in decision-making Encourage collaboration Build employees self-esteem Demonstrate integrity in all business endeavors. Provide support with managing change Facilitate open communication Make work fun Create balance between work and family

• Assign coaches or mentors who help employees not only with specific jobs, but in developing their careers


Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. We provide strategic talent management solutions to select and develop emotionally intelligent leaders and lawyers. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded two rare "Board Approved" designations for Dr. Maynard Brusman in the specialties of Executive/Leadership Coaching and Trusted Advisor to Attorneys and Law Firms. Subscribe to Working Resources FREE electronic newsletter at Visit Maynard's Blog at http:// P.O. Box 471525 San Francisco, California 94147-1525 Tel: 415-546-1252 Fax: 415-721-7322 E-mail: mailto:[email protected] [email protected] Web Site: Article Source:


5 Best Practices for Retaining Your Best Talent
By Russell White Companies have a tradition of luring away top executive talent from the competition. In sports free agency has changed the entire landscape of professional athletics as teams constantly fight for talent. The talent wars are now reaching the trenches and companies are taking off the gloves and aggressively going after top talent at all levels regardless of who they are currently employed by. Because employees now know they are potential free agents, they are looking for the best package, not just more money. Who are the people you would hate to lose? It's time to use these five best practices for retaining your top talent so they aren't as eager to see if the money is greener on the other side of the fence. 1. Give them a quality team

Top talent wants to work with other top talent. Most sports are set up where the worst team gets the top talent in the next draft. No longer do players willingly accept this. Some ask to be traded; others refuse to go to the team that wanted to draft them. John Elway was ahead of his time in this refusal. They all say they want to play on a winner. Employees are singing the same song. The best talent wants to be part of a team awash in great talent. Why? Because they know they will be challenged to improve, they know the coworkers understand how to pull their own weight, and they will respect those they work with. Your top talent is looking for more top talent, and so should you be if you want to keep what you currently have.



Provide perks they value

The best expect to be treated that way. Top talent expects to be treated like they matter to an organization. Google is on the fast track and they know without top talent they can't stay the course. They offer their employees free car washes and oil changes in the parking lot while they are working. Other top talent organizations frequently offer exercise facilities free for use during working hours. They know it keeps the employees alert, fresh and demonstrates that employee health is important. One executive in one of my audiences told me he provides a break room for his employees. In fact, he proudly offered, "It is a profit center for my company!" I challenged him to consider offering break room contents for free so more profits could appear on the bottom line and not the break room line item. Take care of the people taking care of you! When I work with Duke University and stay at their Dave Thomas business center, I know at the end of the hall is a break room filled with snacks from coffee, to granola bars, to Dove bars in the freezer -- free of charge. It is not abused, or raided, but it is appreciated and almost expected. When you are the best, you expect to be treated as such. 3. Keep the job exciting

This is the biggest challenge for business leaders because it has never been as important to keeping good talent as it is now. Not only are competitors better and making job opportunities sound fantastic, but we are becoming a society where everyone is ADD! We constantly are looking for the excitement, the adrenaline rush, or the thrill in our entertainment and our personal lives. Television programs shift the camera angle on average of every 3.4 seconds. Cruise lines now offer constant activities such as rock wall climbing. Sporting events fill breaks in the action at stadiums with music, cheerleader routines or on field entertainment. If every part of our lives are filled with this stimulation, why should work be any different? Leaders need to be sharing their excitement for work. If the manager is down trodden the workforce will reflect that and the top talent will be looking for the exit door. Exciting leaders encourage excitement in others and create work environments that buzz with excitement. Top talent thrives in top working environments. Great sales people love the


excitement of "fresh meat." Give them new client to work with, new elephant prospects to try to land, keep them in the field and out of meetings. Ask your best people, what can add excitement to their work day. They will let you know how to create a work environment that will keep them. 4. Challenge them regularly

When I talk about creating challenges I am not referring to constantly giving them higher quotas, or being a manager who is very "challenging" to work with. In fact, those two ways are sure to drive off top talent. To challenge your top talent, get them involved with problem solving. Not reaching the market share you desired? Ask them what they are seeing in the field. Not maximizing your line efficiency? Don’t ask the engineers to study it, ask your top operators how can that maximization occur? Your best people enjoy the challenge of finding answers and want the opportunity to offer ideas and suggestions. When their input is used for innovations they take ownership and pride and become more linked to your organization as a result. Another way to challenge your best talent is let them play on pet projects with pay. Top talent is usually thinking many steps ahead so why not have them doing that for you? 3M allows some of their employs to play on projects that are different from their day to day assignments. In short, PostIt Notes were a result of a pet project that became the top selling product for the company. What could your talent be doing for your organization this way? 5. Job morphing

Once upon a time people tried to hire employees to fit a premolded job description. Today you need to be molding the job to the talent, and let your talent run free! In front of an audience full of sales people I asked them what is the worst part of their jobs? Almost as if rehearsed in unison I hear: paperwork! Why do top sales people hate paperwork? Because sales people are people people and not task-oriented people and they don't like sitting in a cube. They would rather be in the field bringing down big game than sitting in the office on Friday's pushing papers. Companies are essentially benching their best talent for 20% of the week! Hire paper pushers so your top talent goes out and do what they do best -- sell.


Morph the job so the company and the employee get the best from their day. Retaining top talent is critically important in these predatory times. Be sure you are doing what it takes to have them hang up on those trying to poach your people.

Russell J. White, CSP is an author, international speaker and consultant. He is president of Russell J. White International and founder of The Edgewalk Institute where his cutting edge ideas assist businesses in strategic planning, branding, leadership development and growth strategies. His most requested keynote and forthcoming book "That's MY job??? Restoring Responsibility in the Workplace" is solving current problems for more profitable futures. He can be reached at or at 877-275-9468 Article Source:


Retaining Top Performers
By Christopher Thompson Have you ever heard the term “take care of your customers or someone else will”? This saying is often placed on posters and other motivational merchandise within businesses to remind employees that the customer comes first. Taking care of your customers is one of the basic fundamentals of successful business. Well, what about taking care of your top performing employees? Companies who have created an employee-focused culture enjoy the benefits of low turnover, better performance and reduced recruiting and human resource expenses. As employees grow in tenure, their productivity grows as well. To me, it seems as though most companies fall short of creating cultures that are truly employee-focused. Think about all of the sales people you know. How many of them are truly happy with the company and management they sell for? Maybe it’s me, but the majority of top performing sales people I speak with are dissatisfied with their employer for one reason or another. Throughout my career in sales, I have heard quite an extensive list of good reasons why top sales people may be dissatisfied. On February 22nd, 2007, released results from its 2006/2007 “Employee Satisfaction and Retention Survey”. The survey was completed by 11,852 employees and 311 Human Resource professionals. The results are not surprising to me. It showed that over 60% of employees planned on looking for another job within the next three months. Think that’s bad? Over 66% of tenured employees (employed 3-10) years planned on looking for a new job within the next 3 months. I find this data very concerning. Compensation was the number one reason employees planned on looking for a new job, while good


relationships with managers and co-workers and good working hours were listed as top factors that keep them in their current jobs. Very interesting. It all sounds easy right? Pay your people well, create a positive work environment, invest in training and professional development and create flexible work hours for your employees. So why does it seem that companies are not paying attention to this feedback? We have to take some of the data with a grain of salt. If an employee is under performing or in a disciplinary situation, they are likely dissatisfied with their job. Could this have impacted the survey results? Possibly. But here is the reality. Companies have to pay top performers well and design compensation plans that reward overachievement if they want to keep them around. I worked for an executive who used to always tell me “Chris, if you pay people more than they are worth, they will be happy and more productive.” I have witnessed well-designed compensation plans retain and satisfy top performers. Unfortunately, compensation is not the only factor to employee retention. What about the working parents who are stressed out because their manager gives them a hard time when they have to go pick up their sick child in the middle of the day? Or the parents who would love to go watch their child play sports, but feel pressured to stay in the office? How about the person with a personal appointment that falls in the middle of the day? These issues also impact an employee’s morale and loyalty. As a manager, I have tried several different approaches to keeping morale, tenure and productivity high. The one that worked the best was the family focus I developed within my team. That meant family always came first. If your child was sick, you stayed home to take care of him or her. If your spouse or significant other had an important doctor appointment, you went with them. And of course, the famous Rudy rule, “funerals mandatory”. This untraditional approach to employee relations created an atmosphere that made my managers want to work harder. When they had time away from the office, they came in early the next day. When they had a mid-day appointment, they worked through lunch. I never asked them to, they proactively did. Providing opportunities for employees to be happy outside of work makes them happier and more productive in work. I strongly believe this approach works and is effective in any work environment.


Now don’t get me wrong, business needs to happen. Everyone has commitments and responsibilities within the company. You have to be creative and flexible to create additional ways to keep your employees productive, regardless of the circumstances. Take remote access for example. In today’s world of technology, it is both simple and affordable to keep employees productive outside of the office. Creating a system for remote access to the company network will allow your employees to work from home and stay more productive. I have a friend who works in technology sales and does not have a way to do his job in any capacity outside of normal office hours. When I asked him why, he informed me that remote access was only given to the top performing sales people? See a trend here? I found the reason puzzling. What good reason can you come up with for not giving all of your sales people the ability to sell and be productive outside of the office? It is probably the best return on an investment your company will have. I have worked for many managers in my career and I have seen both ends of the spectrum. From the manager that becomes irate when you have to take your child to the doctor, to the manager that would make sure I ordered (and he would always pay) a dessert to bring home to my wife before we ended our late night business meetings. The bottom-line is that top performing employees should be taken care of. By focusing on compensation, work/life balance and ongoing training and professional development, you will create a company that retains and grows its employees, ultimately creating a high performing, more productive and more profitable organization.

Christopher Thompson is the Founder and President of Catch 22 Solutions, a sales performance consulting company and a former Director of Sales at PC Connection, Inc. For more information visit Article Source:


Retaining Good Employees
By Vickie Adair Companies with high employee turnover rates are losing not only valuable resources but also substantial money. Different studies come up with different costs, but these range from $7,000 - $9,000 to replace an hourly low-wage employee and up to $45,000 to replace a mid-level salaried employee. Some estimates on the cost of replacing the average employee are over $125,000. The Saratoga Institute and Hewitt Associates estimate the productivity cost of replacing employees can cost 1 to 2.5 times the salary of the job opening. Aside from the actual cost of hiring and training new employees, turnover can also contribute to customer-service disruption, declines in morale among remaining employees, and loss of corporate knowledge. Turnover has the highest cost in jobs requiring specialized skills, such as nursing and information technology, and jobs in middle or high level management. Many companies and organizations are embracing HR talent management programs that evaluate the issues of employee retention, and far too many are not. Is employee retention going to become a major issue for your company? Well, according to the Gallop organization, 71% of your employees already would consider leaving for a better or more appealing opportunity. Combine that statistic with the current positive state of the economy, low unemployment rate and flexible work arrangements available, and it becomes clear that employees now have more choices than ever before. Now, let's add in the fact that over the next few years while 76 million Baby Boomers begin to retire, the upcoming Generation X (ages 25-34) has a population of only 44 million people, and it becomes clear that each year there will be fewer people available for work.


If your business is highly employee critical, then employee retention is one of the primary measures of the health of your organization. If you are currently losing critical staff members, you can safely bet that other employees are looking as well. And while few of us would turn down more money, according to most studies, money is not the primary tool for retaining employees. A few simple steps that companies can take to help retain the employees they have and can go a long way in keeping employees happy and productive. Employees are people and want what most people want: flexible work schedules, appreciation, training for performance improvement, performance incentives, and clear direction on exactly what is expected of them. If the company is sincerely interested in the employee doing well, usually the employee will do well. Flexible Schedules Up until recently, "flexible work arrangements" meant that if you worked late on Wednesday, then you could come in late or leave early Thursday. Now, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics about thirty percent of full-time employees in the United States have true flexible schedules that allow them to balance work and private lives. A growing number of employees are from dual-career couples, have child and/or elder care responsibilities, or are baby boomers, and these factors create a growing demand for flexible work schedules. Because flexible work arrangements challenge many traditional assumptions about how, where and when work gets done in many industries, developing and rolling out such a program takes careful planning. Training Because employees involved in ongoing training feel that their employer is interested in them doing a better job and cares enough about them to make an investment in their development, a direct link exists between training and employee retention. While training has always been considered a means for positive change and increased employee performance in any business, only recently have HR experts realized that training is a key tool in employee retention. An employee must have the tools, time and training necessary to do their job well – or they will move to an employer who provides them. Performance Incentives


Employees have a human need to feel rewarded, recognized and appreciated. Sometimes just a thank you or a plaque will do, but realistically, work is about the money, and almost every individual wants more. I suggest offering performance based bonuses. Surveys show that employees view bonuses more favorably than they do raises. Employees have extra incentive to work for something tangible, and bonuses keep other employees from feeling unfairly treated when someone else gets a raise and they do not. People understand others getting a reward for a one time achievement, and know that they had the same opportunity. Commissions and bonuses that are easily calculated on a daily, weekly, or other basis, and easily understood, raise motivation for doing a job well and help retain staff. Clear Directions Changing expectations keep employees nervous and make employees feel insecure and unsuccessful. While job growth is important, the need for a specific framework within which people clearly know what is expected from them while they expand their horizons is most important. A motivated employee wants to contribute to work areas outside of his specific job description. Your best employees, those employees you want to retain, seek frequent opportunities to learn and advance, but they need clear directions that fit within the company’s vision for that development. Finally, remember that employees are people, so let them bring their human selves to work, and performance and production will increase.

Vickie Adair is the senior technical writer at Media A-Team and also publishes as a freelance writer. She writes for , a website for Houston manufacturers, providers, and suppliers, and , a directory of online business that sell or manufacture organic and/or natural products. Article Source:


Maintaining People Places & Retaining Staff
By Karin Syren It should go without saying that there is no better way to maintain a carefully created People Place than to hang on to your existing loyal producers. Unfortunately, not nearly enough emphasis is applied in this area. Begin by taking note of who these employees are. Retain Proven Performers Utilize your existing personnel resources – be aware of the experience, skills and ambitions of current employees. Get out and be visible among your staff – they are your most valuable resource. One of the leading causes of discontent is poor placement, the consequences of which are felt at all levels. Unfortunately, all too often these days, any available body is thrown at a position or a set of responsibilities and it’s called a done deal. There’s no better way for an employer to shoot himself in the foot, taking down an otherwise productive staff member with him. If there are no openings available to rectify an existing misplacement, consider expanding the current responsibilities of valued staff members to maximize their valuable experience. Make the most of their know-how in other ways in your organization, such as implementing a mentoring program and offering the challenge to your trusted employees who have “topped out.” Perhaps these staff members would be interested in forming a team of administrative interviewers, or in developing and executing an administrative orientation program. The possibilities are endless.


Perhaps there is a lateral move to a position that would better fit expanding skills, experience and changing interests. Go to great lengths to utilize your existing resources. It is always the less expensive, more efficient route. Don’t underestimate the power of simple recognition in retaining valuable staff. You may not have the wherewithal or the mechanism in place to reward staff members in a tangible way, but that should not keep you from establishing a program to single them out with a “pat on the back.” A small gift at the next company function, a monthly recognition luncheon, a name in the employee news or on the bulletin board are simple and cost effective, but nonetheless expressions of appreciation. Know Your Leaders From your Managers There is perhaps no concept more important than this. Loyal employees can be forgiving of much, but misapplication in this area is often the straw that breaks the proverbial camel’s back. Much of the rest will be naturally addressed by one who knows the fundamental difference between these two concepts. The rule of thumb here is: Manage processes and procedures - lead, guide & teach people. If you are experiencing problems, determine whether you and your leadership staff are confusing these two areas. While an effective management team will often need to be engaged in both, they are not interchangeable, and like oil and water, they don’t mix. It really is that simple, not necessarily easy, but definitely simple. It’s no surprise that people respond to the human approach and there’s little in management of humanity. By nature of the definition, leaders are out in front, rarely expecting of their followers what they have not first paved the way for. Occasionally leaders are bringing up the rear, but then only to protect the rear flank. The mature leader possesses leadership sophistication, a ripeness of attitude, in relating to any given situation, that each member of the leadership team has gained as a result of experience. There is openness and a willingness to continue the personal growth process.


Interpersonal skills are of paramount importance. Leadership must be non-discriminatory, developing solid working relationships across all levels. This may appear to be blatantly obvious, but sadly is all too often overlooked in the name of accelerated organizational progress. Both leaders and managers must be willing to facilitate conflict resolution, as well as to confront issues surrounding relations between teams, departments and organizational levels. An effective leader has a sincere concern for the success of those he leads, treating staff members as individuals, giving credit, taking pleasure in making people look good. A great leader keeps the objective as simple as possible, always promoting understanding, always acting as a role model, and standing out of the way, not interfacing unnecessarily, so staff can get on with their work. An effective leader will make the difference between a successful administration and a failure. The most brilliant processes, designed and directed by the most able managers will fall flat at some point if the leadership is not right. It is not necessary to prioritize purpose over people, or vice versa. If leadership has done its homework, everyone in the organization will arrive at the vision simultaneously.

Karin Syren CTACC, is a Strategic Life Planning Coach specializing in the versatile EffectivenessCoaching© model. She works with leaders in all areas, at all levels, to increase their personal and professional effectiveness by learning to live unique, powerful and significant lives. Follow the link to learn more about The Commonsense Interview – Effective Choices Made Easier, and learn the keys to successful interviewing, a valuable seminar for hiring managers or anyone who wants to perfect the art of communicating with a purpose. For details and to register, Article Source:


Recruiting and Retaining Top Sales People
By Rick Johnson Two of the biggest issues facing the industry today are recruitment of sales personnel and retention. Problems in this area may not be due to bad hires or low unemployment rates. If they are related to bad hires then it means you don’t fire well. You are not holding people accountable. If that’s the case, it only stands to reason that you are probably overpaying a sizable portion of your sales force, as they are not performing as “A” players. The first thing you must do is a gut-wrenching honest assessment of your personnel. This must be done both quantitatively and subjectively. Measurements must be in place. You cannot manage what you cannot measure.. Once you do have a sales system with measurement you must complete your personnel assessment. Upgrade your sales force to minimum acceptable standards. It would be exceptionally rare to find any distributor that didn’t have at least one salesperson that wasn’t performing up to expectations. “If you pull the gun, don’t be afraid to shoot.” Being fearful of sales consequences by terminating a salesperson is the lifeblood of mediocrity in a sales force. Question: Is your sales force prepared and held accountable? Conduct an assessment. Do this for each sales rep. Answer the following questions honestly and fairly. Use this scale as a guide: 1. 2. 3. Very Little Somewhat but needs improvement Meets acceptable standards


4. 5.

Above expectations Walks on water Question


Assign Assessment Score for each question 1 2 Meets revenue and margin objectives ----------------------------Score Follows through on all major issues --------------------------------Score

3 Does not panic when facing a challenge and uses all resources effectively--------------------------------------------------------------------------Score 4 5 6 7 Is confident and knows how to effect change -----------------Score Committed to territory and account penetration planning------Score Is clearly focused and has established priorities-----------------Score Is well thought of and respected by their peers------------------Score

Interpretation: 28 – 35: You have identified an “A” player. 21 – 28: May indicate a solid performer but additional training and mentoring may be advisable to help them reach their maximum potential. 0 – 21: Needs serious attention. Replacement may be the only answer. “It is OK to carry your wounded but you must bury your dead.” Once you have done an assessment and established new acceptable standards the situation you find yourself in may be due to the fact that you don’t clearly recognize your employees as one of your core competencies. Admittedly, they don’t fit the purest definition of core competency as stated in “Facing the Forces of Change”, but it is a fact that it is your employees who are responsible for creating profit.


Once you accept that concept, your next step is to make people part of your strategic initiatives. That means becoming an “Employer of Choice” – someone everyone would like to work for. The following attributes are absolute musts in becoming an “Employer of Choice:” • A personnel skills inventory: Questions would include: What functional area or position is ultimately desired? What interim positions would help you on your way to reaching this desired position? What training do you need to accomplish this? To which area and branch office(s) would you be willing to relocate, if any? List the languages you speak fluently. Hobbies/Interests. Experience in any field including computers, marketing, sales, distribution, and management. All training and education. • People are the company’s highest priority (people aren’t profit but without people there are no profits) • • Pay at market wages Recognize employee contributions with praise and awards

• Have a well organized and defined orientation and training program • Review your total compensation programs annually. Do market testing to ensure you are paying competitive wages. • Make sure Human Resources is more than just one person handling insurance and benefits. • Create an E.A.P. (Employee Assistance Program)

• Do more than annual performance reviews. Insist that all managers meet with their employees for a minimum of ½ hour once a month documenting the pluses and minuses of their performance. • Use the monthly informal evaluations to complete the annual appraisals (example of this form follows). Informal Monthly Employee Review Date:


Supervisor Name: Employee Name: Dept. Positive contributions or strengths demonstrated: Negative issues, problems or weaknesses demonstrated: Recommended Action Supervisor Signature Employee Signature “ A warning. . .make sure you have assessed your team fairly and removed the bad apples from the barrel.” If you still are too small to adopt some of these initiatives, that’s OK, as long as you make your people your highest priority, they will notice. • If you have a recruiter, use them. Do not allow sales management to waste time recruiting or screening new applicants. If you don’t have a recruiter, assign a non-revenue producing person to screen sales applicants based on specific guidelines. • Create a probationary program that has a definite timeline and a plan for improvement that is measurable. It should be crystal clear to the employee that they either meet the criteria in the improvement plan or they are terminated. This follows your assessment rating. • Create both a formal and informal communication channel.

• You must build the human resource strategy, “The People Plan,” into your business plan or strategic plan. – Sign up to receive “The Howl” a free monthly newsletter and get your choice of CEO Strategist's Hiring and


Interview Guide or The Guide to Effective Training Sessions, valuable resources for all levels of management. The Howl addresses real world industry issues. – Straight talk about today’s issues. Rick Johnson, expert speaker, wholesale distribution’s “Leadership Strategist”, founder of CEO Strategist, LLC a firm that helps clients create and maintain competitive advantage. Dr. Eric “Rick” Johnson ( [email protected] ) is the founder of CEO Strategist LLC. an experienced based firm specializing in Distribution. CEO Strategist LLC. works in an advisory capacity with distributor executives in board representation, executive coaching, team coaching and education and training to make the changes necessary to create or maintain competitive advantage. You can contact them by calling 352-750-0868, or visit for more information.Need a speaker for your next event, E-mail [email protected] Article Source:


Retaining Employees - 10 Steps To Keep Them Happy
By Aaron Davis It seems like it is becoming increasingly difficult to retain employees in the IT world these days. I started talking to co-workers and friends about this and came up with 10 things to do that will surely keep your employees happy so that they stay put!

Perform annual reviews on time - this means ON or before their anniversary date. Nothing makes an employee feel de-valued more than wondering what management thinks of their performance (and not getting a raise) Flexible work schedules - now I know a lot of people will disagree with this but why have IT people in the office all the time. With broadband access available almost anywhere, there is no reason not to give some "work from home" time (as long as their performance warrants it). Find out what type of compensation motivates them - this is probably the most important one of all. Some people like money, some like praise and promotion, some like the R&D work, some like time off, etc. Sit down with each one of your employees and find out what they want! (What a concept!) Use an agile process for IT - this doesn't necessarily mean THE agile methodology but a process for IT projects that doesn't suck the life out of people by putting too much red tape in place.


Provide company sponsored "outside" activities - employees love to be given time outside of work with the team to blow off steam. This can be as simple as a round of golf or an early happy hour. Give them input and use it - if employees give input on projects and are ignored, you might as well be telling them that they SUCK! Of course, it has to be relevant input. Bonuses - this one could really be covered by the compensation point above but everyone loves money! If they are doing a good job they are enabling your company to make money so share the wealth. 40 hour work weeks - this is a big one! There are always times when you will need to have staff available beyond the normal 40 hour work week but if it is consistent, you have a project management problem and possibly an employee morale problem. If you don't have the latter, you will soon. Good hardware - don't be a cheap ass! Give your employees the latest and greatest when it comes to computer hardware. It makes the work more enjoyable to be using a kick ass machine and it just might make them a bit more productive. Cross training - don't create silos in your work environment. Nothing will de-motivate an employee more than doing the same thing every single day. Let people move around a bit in the projects. If you have your project management done correctly, this should be pretty easy to do. This also is a HUGE advantage to your organization if you start to have turn-over. The bottom line here is that if you don't show, with action, that you value your employees they are going to become unhappy at some point and leave (even the good ones). Your employees keep your business running so if they are not happy you have nothing to make your customers happy.

Aaron Davis is a Sr. Software Developer. He has been a web/application developer for more than 12 years and has served the IT


industry for more than 14 years. His specialty is .NET development with C# and SQL Server. Article Source:


The One BIG SECRET To Retaining Great People
By Sital Ruparelia So what's the real secret to retaining great people? Well, it's certainly NOT about pay and financial benefits. In fact it's quite the opposite – it's what I refer to as the ‘Non-Financial Benefits.' Trying to sell a product as the cheapest on the market is a difficult strategy to follow. It is better to focus on more than just price and look at the other services and benefits clients gain from doing business with you. In a similar vein, you can never compete on being the best payer in the market place (particularly as a small business), so it is key that you are clear about all the other reasons why people work for you, and then build these factors into the way you then promote these to your current and future employees. In today's economy, the real secret to retaining people is about providing some fantastic Non-Financial Benefits. Your employees today no longer want a "job for life" – instead, they are looking for a "job with life." People want employment where they enjoy the job, the people, and the environment and yet can still enjoy a great lifestyle away from work. Here are 7 sure-fire ways to retain your best people using Non-Financial Benefits: 1. Work with clients & customers who are a joy to work with


Clients who are difficult and rude will drain both you and your team - So tackle these customers and politely invite them to change their behavior – or else change take their custom elsewhere - Having a client base that appreciates and respects your team has a huge impact on your team's motivation and loyalty towards your business 2. Create a great physical environment Is your working environment clean, comfortable and well lit? Is it well heated in the winter and air-conditioned in the summer? - Does the design and décor inspire you and the team? - Look at what you can change to make your premises a more comfortable and inspiring place to work. 3. Provide The Right Tools To Do The Job Do your computers, printers, tools and equipment support your team in doing a great job and providing a great service to your patients? - Look at what tools need repairing, updating or replacing so that your team becomes more efficient and gets more job satisfaction. 4. Offer opportunities for flexible working Do you offer flexible working options to help your team achieve a better work-life balance? - Be creative in offering people the chance to work 9day fortnights, maybe hours to fit around their children and hobbies or provide the option to take half a day off periodically once a month. Whatever fits in with the operation of your business. 5. Offer "Special Leave" options Asda, the UK supermarket chain, offers staff "School Starter leave" for parents wishing to accompany their children on their first day at school, "IVF leave" for those having fertility treatment and" Benidorm leave" for older workers seeking winter sun - one of the reasons why they are regularly voted as one of The Sunday Times "100 Best Companies To Work For" list. - What type of "special leave" can you offer your team so that you keep your best staff with minimal impact on operation of your business? 6. Create a positive atmosphere & have some fun


Do you have negative team members who impact on the morale and atmosphere of your more productive team members? - Make it a priority to sit these people down, offer some constructive feedback and request a change in behavior. How often do you go out socially as a team? - How often do you and your team enjoy pointless laughter, wind-ups and banter whilst at work? - Lighten up, arrange regular nights out and make sure that people come to work not just to pay the bills – but because they enjoy working for you. 7. Offer Genuine Appreciation As human beings we crave appreciation – particularly in the work environment. - So make it a point to regularly tell your people how much you appreciate their hard work and value their contribution. - I suppose, when talking about the "secrets to retaining great people" – this last point really is "the secret." If your team truly feels valued and appreciated then this is a huge step towards retaining their services into the longer term. So make it a priority to create a fabulous working environment where your team can work with clients and colleagues they enjoy being with. An environment where their hard work is valued and appreciated. But a work place which still afford them the freedom and flexibility to enjoy their lives away from work. The stronger the non-financial benefits of working for you, the less sensitive your team become to financial factors such as pay and bonuses. All of which means that you can retain your staff into the longer term with minimal cost. So looking at this list above, what ONE change would have the biggest impact on your staff retention figures - but require the least amount of effort to implement?

Copyright (c) 2008 Mr. Sital Ruparelia


Sital Ruparelia, 'The Recruitment & Retention Expert', works with small and mid-sized businesses that struggle with recruitment and retention issues and helps them implement strategies proven to Find & Keep The Right People quickly and cost effectively. Receive Sital's free report, 101 Tips to Finding & Keeping The Right People now by going to this link: Article Source:


Recruiting And Retaining The Most Talented People Without Spending Penny
By Sital Ruparelia Have you ever purchased a coffee from Starbucks? How come they can charge you five times what it’s worth and we still go and buy it? Ever wondered what’s going on here? Well, the reason is: they are not just selling coffee – they are selling us a lifestyle. Their position is that coffee is more than a drink. It's an experience, an enjoyable moment set in pleasant surroundings where we can relax, savor the moment and engage in conversation. In a similar vein, to recruit and retain talented right people these days you need to offer them more than just a job, a career and a pay check. You need to offer people the kind of lifestyle they desire at the same time as they are working for you. The world of work has most definitely changed in the last 10 years and people are no longer in the market for a ‘job for life’ – instead they want a job with life. Businesses that succeed in offering this will succeed in finding and keeping people.


If you can promote the lifestyle and not the job - you can succeed in finding and keeping the best people without spending a penny. Think about it; if you could promote a lifestyle for your staff that promised them “less travelling,” “more time with your family,” “more time for your hobbies,” “a healthier you,” “less stress” – how much of a problem do you think you would have with finding and keeping people? So how can you use this notion of lifestyle to find and keep the right people?. FINDING THE RIGHT PEOPLE 1. Identify the top 3 lifestyle benefits of working for your business. If you get stuck, look at the paragraph above for ideas or speak to your existing staff. 2. Look at how you can promote these as part of your recruitment process. Remember to “sell the sizzle and not the steak” – i.e. promote the benefits and not the features of working for you. 3. Have some real stories about real people that you can incorporate into your recruitment. This will make the ideas more believable and help people to really connect with them. For example: “Despite working in a demanding job, John is home in time to read a story with little Joshua and put him to bed at least three times a week.” This is much more powerful than talking about abstract terms such as “flexible work patterns” and “home working options” KEEPING THE RIGHT PEOPLE 1. Ensure you are actively promoting the above benefits to your existing people. People always think the grass is greener elsewhere so make a point of reminding them regularly about what is great about working for you. 2. Start developing new ways in which you can provide a better lifestyle for your people: - Talk, listen and observe your team. - Find out what their biggest frustrations are with their existing lifestyles. - Are they stressed from


juggling work with a young family? Are they trying get healthy and lose weight, but too tired to get to the gym in the evening? Do they want to spend more time on their favorite hobby but never have the time? 3. Look at ways in which you can help them achieve these things without compromising your business Learn about the lives of your team and then make sure that you as an employer become the solution to their problems, not the cause. Initiating these changes shows people that you take a healthy interest in their lifestyle away from work and builds a greater degree of loyalty. You see, the foundation of any business is based on solving problems. If your customers have a problem and you have a solution that benefits them, then you have yourself a business. The same applies to your people. If you can find out what the frustrations and problems of potential employees are and you can find a solution, then you will succeed in finding a new employee. If you can then do this on an ongoing basis and make working for you a lifestyle decision, your people are less likely to jump for some more money or a slightly better job. Just like that coffee at Starbucks, the money becomes less important as it’s the lifestyle they are buying into, not just the job.

© 2008 Authentic Resourcing All Rights Reserved. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sital Ruparelia, "The Recruitment & Retention Specialist” works with small businesses that struggle with recruitment and retention issues and helps them implement strategies proven to Find and Keep the Right People consistently. Sital writes a FREE newsletter twice a month with tips on how to Find And Keep The Right People. To sign up now, visit Article Source:


Retention - 10 Reminders
By Rick Johnson Employee retention is heavily dependent upon two key factors: 1. 2. Leadership skills of management Human resource strategy

No matter how wonderful your company is, people won’t stay if their front line supervisor is an “untrained jerk” with poor people skills. Of course, if you have a definitive human resource strategy, the “untrained jerks” will no longer be managing your employees. In fact, he/she will probably be working for someone else. These words may be a little harsh but in reality there are some managers out there with very poor people skills. Even the manager that doesn’t exactly fit this description but lacks basic people and leadership skills can drive employees to seek other opportunities. Retention Reminders 1. Managers are allowed to hold employees accountable through discipline and provide constructive feedback, but never at the same time. 2. Managers should never ask why an employee does anything. Responding to the word “why” requires justification and evokes defensiveness. Try instead, “I would like to understand your reasons for. . . .” 3. There is no such thing as “Constructive Criticism”. Criticism creates discomfort and defensiveness. Consider reshaping the conversation such that it becomes constructive feedback. This can be done by taking a positive approach on every issue.


4. In making constructive feedback, managers should encourage employees to listen to the substance of the discussion and avoid becoming defensive. Delivering constructive feedback well should be a key management skill and a training issue. 5. Managers should never try constructive feedback in a situation unless they can actually suggest positive behavioral alternatives. 6. If an employee fails in a situation, the manager should recognize his/her failure to train, develop, support or communicate with the employee. 7. Both sides should recognize the difficulties inherent in constructive feedback and recognize its importance in transmitting the experience required for growth. 8. The employee should always confirm his/her understanding of the criticism by restating it in the form, “If I understand you correctly, you are saying. . . . Is that correct?” 9. If either party feels uncomfortable after a constructive feedback discussion, they should say so: a. b. Boss, I feel like I’ve just been punished because you. . . Joe, I feel that you became defensive because you. . .

10. When the system works, you have a Win-Win situation because you both have the same objectives. It works better if you try to help each other. Train your managers on coaching and mentoring. It will go a long way towards improving employee retention.

Regardless of your company size and number of employees, if you are committed to becoming an “Employer of Choice” (EOC) you must educate your management staff. All your managers, from warehouse


supervisors up to the President, should receive specific leadership and people skills training. Expecting your managers to create an EOC culture without training them in these skills is like asking Michael Jordan to play in the World Series. He’s a superb athlete but he just doesn’t have the skill set to play major league baseball. Provide the opportunity for your management staff to acquire the skill set necessary to promote retention. Remember, if your turnover rate is high, chances are there is a problem within the management ranks of the company. – Sign up to receive “The Howl” a free monthly newsletter that addresses real world industry issues. – Straight talk about today’s issues. Rick Johnson, expert speaker, wholesale distribution’s “Leadership Strategist”, founder of CEO Strategist, LLC a firm that helps clients create and maintain competitive advantage. Need a speaker for your next event, E-mail [email protected] . Don’t forget to check out the Lead Wolf Series that can help you put more profit into your business. Get the CEO Strategist Interview Guide and Conducting an Effective Sales Training Session Guide just for signing up for “The Howl”. Don’t forget to check out the Lead Wolf Series that can help you put more profit into your business. E-mail [email protected] for your special Howl discount order form. Article Source:


Keeping Good Staff Is Important, But Keeping Your Family Is Critical
By J Timothy Connor One of the outcomes of our lack of focus on our marriages and families is the elimination of joy in our older age. Sure it's important to run a good business, and we want to "make our mark" on the world with the services and products we offer our customers. But the lack of commitment that is becoming common in American families is promising devastating unhappiness to business owners and executives as their lives unfold. Regard-less of what people say, the anger and bitterness that accompany divorce, the sadness and disconnected feelings that children feel when one of their parents leaves under such circumstances, all these take their toll on both us and on family members. But the worst effect won't be felt until we get older, and the loneliness that is the outcome of broken relationships is only now becoming evident to those of us who didn't consider family worth the effort when we were younger and building our businesses. A Focus On Family There is a huge benefit that a couple has when they look back on years of happiness that they've had, and when they begin to talk with sons, daughters, and grandchildren about the things they did together growing up. Trips together, challenges from school, pranks pulled on siblings and friends, even bad times become a joy when they've been shared together and are unearthed in the presence of newer family members. You have only to watch the eyes (and open mouth!) of a kid when his grandparents open up misadventures that one of his parents had when they were young, and the opportunity for learning that comes from memories is stupendous for a young'un during these times. The ability to share memories is fun, a learning experience, and most of all a joy and comfort to people as they get older. But what if you haven't built the


foundation? You'll miss most of those remembrances, or they'll be so tainted with unhappiness that you won't want to consider them. And they come from a foundation worth building! Building It Now The time to begin building important relationships in your family is now, while you're still building and operating your business. Sure it takes time; sure it's work; sure it takes thought - but it's worth it! There is a huge encouragement to people when they can look back on the achievements and troubles of mother and father, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and great-grandparents and see that they made it through. It helps through hard times, difficulties that seem insurmountable, even terrible things like wars and tragedies, to know that someone in our line dealt with the same things and was able to overcome them. How To Do It Maintaining relationships as a couple or in a family requires planning like anything else, except that it's easier to plan! The main thing is breaking the time out, and being sure to use that time for interaction, listening, and understanding. There are several modern "conveniences" that have greatly limited that time, and consequently severely limited our ability to do it. What are they? Television, video games, and internet. In a study done in 2005, the Kaiser Family Foundation found that children ages 818 spend an average of 44.5 hours per week in front of a television, game, or computer screen. Neilsen Research found it to be 8 hours and 14 minutes per day for the average American - 57 hours and 38 minutes per week. Most of that time is non-interactive, and none of it is face-toface interaction. How, then, do we expect to become better at face-toface relationships with our spouse or our kids? Somewhere in here is a big "Duh!". Here are a few thoughts that the author has personally tried, and that work. But keep in mind that you're going to hear some grumping at the beginning - in our age it takes time to get over the habits we've been building! >Limit the amount of TV you and your family watch for two or three months (or more!). Now this is a zinger, and it takes about two weeks to get through "withdrawal" when you take away the television, but the results are gratifying - and interestingly good.


>Plan some interactive activities. It might be cards, board games, or a kid's favorite from my experience: reading together or story telling. >Try doing some things outdoors. Cooking out together, playing badminton, throwing a ball. One caution: those people you'll discover next door to your house are called "neighbors", and they're supposed to be there. Don't be alarmed when they appear. Introduce yourself. >Do a date night with your spouse - and pick a restaurant WITHOUT a television! They're getting harder to find because people are not used to having to interact with one another. >Take a drive in the country. This used to be popular, and although it's expensive with gas prices, it's still a lot of fun. >Historical vacations, one of our very favorite things. Read a book together about some part of the country with interesting historical possibilities, and then go there for a visit. We've read "Captains Courageous", and followed it by a visit to New England (especially Mystic Seaport). Mark Twain's "Roughing It" was followed by visits out west to his old stomping grounds. Use your imagination and begin building memories with your spouse and family. It will pay lasting dividends both now and especially in the future.

The author of this article, Tim Connor, is president and founder of Rodeo! Performance Group, Inc., an Ocala, Florida-based group of facilitators working with businesses and executives who want to make their businesses competitive on a global scale. Tim can be contacted at [email protected] , or by phone at 1-877-284-0009. Visit Rodeo! on the web at Article Source:,-But-KeepingYour-Family-Is-Critical&id=989024


Customized Employee Retention Plans
By James Robbins As a husband I have spent a lot of time in the dark. I was hoping that when the movie "What Women Want" came out in theaters I would at last be given the answer to the question most men spend the first 5 years of marriage trying to figure out. What I have learned along the way however is how women vary greatly in exactly what it is they want. I guess the same thing could be said of men with a few exceptions. Creating a company wide retention program for you organization is kind of like telling a room full of men that to make their wife feel appreciated they just need to start bringing home flesh flowers every week. There would be a percentage of wives that would be very happy at this, a percentage that would consider it a nice gesture but are really not that into flowers, and another percentage that might simply answer, "not tonight honey!" The point is each woman is different and one size will not fit all. The same is true of employee retention. Company wide initiatives can have a hit and miss effect. Certainly for some, the new program will make a difference, but we are not interested in retaining just some. We want to have the best chance at keeping them all. The more individualized you can make your retention program; the more effective it is going to be. In fact the companies with the highest retention are the ones who spend the most time engaging each employee one on one. How on earth do I make an individualized retention program with limited time and budget? Follow these four steps: 1. Set up meetings with each of your direct reports.


These can be formal or informal; it's up to you. During these meetings you want to find out three basic facts: What keeps them here, and what would drive them away and what would they like to do more of in the future. There are any ways to find out this information. Your questions can be direct or subtle. Here are some examples.

What do you like most about your job here? What are the things about this organization that really motivate you? What would be something that might cause you to look elsewhere for employment? Is there anything here that you find challenging to your motivation? Are there any things you would like to see changed with your job or the team you work with? What would you like to do more of in the future? Again these are just a few examples. You have to figure out the best way to gather this information. Is it in your office, or over a casual lunch? You can best decide based on your relationship and style. 2. Create a report for each employee that you interviewed and break it into three sections. In one area list all of their Motivators, the things they like most about their job and make them want to stay. The second section is for Demotivators. Here you want to list the things that if not dealt with might lead them to look elsewhere for work. The third area covers what the employee wants to see added to their job. 3. Make a commitment to eliminate at least one of their de-motivators over the next 30 days. 4. Make a commitment to do something about their desired future in the next 30 days. See below for an example.


Employee: Jane Doe Motivators Team culture (most everyone on the team is a lot of fun to work with) Weekly staff meetings are a lot of fun and motivational Believes in the mission of the organization De-motivators Don't get to give much input on direction of projects One of team members is incredibly challenging to work with Job can be mundane at times What they would like to see happen: Jane wants to get a chance to learn some management skills, and be more involved in some of the creative processes in our project management. Commitment for next 30 days Pull Jane in on next project brainstorming meeting. Send Jane to an entry-level management seminar. There are other things on Jane's list but when you have another 10 employees to go through, its best to keep your commitments manageable. In this situation the manager is able to make two very easy commitments to Jane that will significantly enrich her job and her feelings about her future. Once you have completed these reports you will also want to look for any common themes among your employees. For example maybe seven other people all have a problem working with that one challenging team member. Those are numbers you don't want to ignore. The whole process is incredible simple and yet it is rarely done. It does take some time, but not nearly as much as finding a replacement for Jane. Review these reports in 90 days to check your own progress as a


manager. You want to be eliminating the de-motivators while finding ways to increase the motivators. You should aim to do this process quarterly, as it will make an immediate impact on your retention and level of engagement for your employees.

To learn more about building customized employee retention plans, signup for our free 7-day retention course. James Robbins is a leadership consultant and dynamic speaker helping organizations create engaging and motivated workplaces. To find out more go to Article Source:


The Four Cultures of Employee Retention
By Marnie Green Despite fluctuating economic times and increased globalization of American jobs, most employers are finding it hard to keep good workers. The reality of today's job market is that workers are expecting more from their employers and are not afraid to move on if their needs are not met by your organization. Based on compelling data from the Society for Human Resource Management and others who study workforce trends, leading organizations must take time to analyze their retention realities and ensure that the valuable employees they currently have are not seeking greener pastures. How do great organizations maintain low levels of turnover and high levels of employee satisfaction? The answer is found in one word: culture. Organizations with high rates of employee retention concentrate on creating four distinct cultures that keep people focused on the organization and its goals. The purpose of this article is to explore these four cultures and to recommend practical strategies for developing these cultures in your workplace. Effective retention cultures include an intense focus on choice, balance, development and care. The Culture of Choice Donald N. Smith, the president of Burger King said, "The individual choice of garnishment of a burger can be an important point to the consumer in this day when individualism is an increasingly important thing to people." Burger King recognized long ago that Americans expect


to have multiple choices each day. Workers are not an exception to this rule. Today's employees are looking for choice in the methods they use for completing a job, in the benefits they receive from work, and in when and how they report to work. In the last two decades, we've seen an explosion in the types of employee benefits offered by employers. We've seen an increased acceptance of telecommuting and flex-time. Choices in the tools they use, the methods they employ, and the recognition they receive are all characterized as innovations in human resource management. In short, we continue to learn more and more about employee engagement and the link between empowerment and retention. Do your employees have choices every day? If not, they might soon be exercising their choice to leave. The Culture of Balance Even with increased acceptance of flextime and work/life balance initiatives, employers indicate that stress levels still remain high in their workplaces. Employers with lower levels of turnover recognize the increasingly important issue of balance and are addressing this need with proactive programs to help workers find satisfaction at home and on the job. This trend is being driven by a growing population of women in the workforce. The trend is expected to continue with young women surpassing men in professional degree acquisition. Progressive organizations will recognize these trends and look to their increasing population of women to drive their culture of balance. And, while some organizations have already responded to this call, those organizations with professions that are typically dominated by males may find this to be an increasingly important issue in terms of attracting and retaining workers. For example, in the historically male-dominated world of professional accounting, firms traditionally expected high levels of billable hours and little time off. Some firms are now recognizing the value of creating a culture of balance by offering increased levels of mandatory vacation each year. Coupled with flexible hours and familyfriendly benefits, these firms are recognizing the impact a balancefocused work culture can have on the retention of top performers. The Culture of Development


Bestselling authors Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans, in their book, Love'Em or Lose'Em, say that any organization that ignores the ambitions of good people can't expect to keep them. High rates of retention are clearly linked to the amount of attention the employee gets in terms of their professional development and growth. When employees feel that their career goals have been acknowledged and that they are continuing to be challenged on the job, they are likely to stick around. Employees who feel stagnated, ignored, or bored will likely start to look for other opportunities. So how do great organizations create cultures of development? A culture of development can be cultivated through a variety of tools. Training, mentoring, and clear career paths all contribute to this culture. However, the strongest culture of development is created by the first line supervisor who works with the employee each day. Every supervisor and manager has an opportunity to show that they are interested in the employee's growth and development by asking the right questions and by understanding where the employee wants to go professionally. Kaye and Jordan suggest that managers and supervisors have a regular "stay" discussion with each employee where the following questions are explored: • What learning opportunities can we support? • What work challenges would "turn you on?" • What can we do to help you be more fulfilled on the job? • What will keep you here? Simply by asking, managers and supervisors can begin to create a culture of development, and hence increased levels of retention. A Culture of Care R. Brayton Bowen of the Howland Group said, "In a strict sense, the kind of motivation we need to be talking about in today's environment is inspired rather than induced." As Bowen indicates employees will be motivated to stay put and work at higher levels if they feel that they are cared for and if they care about the work they are doing. In other words, employees must feel a sense of inspiration to fully commit to their daily activities.


In organizations where retention levels are high and turnover is low, research has found that employees find some level of inspiration from their jobs. Such inspiration might be a sense of contributing to the greater good. It might be a commitment to the team and its goals. Inspiration may be derived by following a committed and ethical leader. However the inspiration is created, employees must be lead to care about their work and about the organization. How is a culture of care created? Recently a study was done with employees of a small city government. Written employee surveys indicated that morale was low and that many of the employees, including long-term employees, were considering leaving the organization for other opportunities. In fact, turnover was at high levels in comparison with previous years. In a small organization such as this one, with less than 30 employees, the results of high turnover are devastating to the organization, its productivity, and its reputation in the community. Upon further exploration of the survey results through one-on-one interviews, it was discovered that the reason the employees were dissatisfied was because they felt that they were not being listened to by a new manager. Some employees said they were not feeling respected. They reported that a newly promoted supervisor often trivialized their skills and did not recognize their day-to-day achievements. After further review, the following conclusions were found: • The leaders, including managers and supervisors, directly impacted the culture and the sense of care within the organization. • The leaders did not recognize the impact their behaviors were having on the morale of the workforce. • For morale, and thus retention levels, to improve, the leadership team, many of whom were new to the organization, needed to address their own beliefs and skills as it related to being leaders. In this example, retention and overall employee satisfaction was being directly impacted by the level of empathy and attention provided by the organization's first and second line leaders. It is clear that the relationship between these key players and employees is a major factor in employee retention today. Conclusion


We have all read the ominous reports that indicate the workforce will shrink in numbers over the next ten years with the anticipated exit of the baby boomers. It is clear that organizations will continue to be challenged to attract and retain qualified and committed employees. It is now time to turn our attention internally, to the four cultures of employee retention. Use the following questions to explore the four cultures in your organization: • Does your organization provide ample choice to employees throughout the work experience? Do employees feel that they can control their dayto-day work life? • Does your organization recognize the increased need for work/life balance by employees? How can you continue to communicate this priority to employees? • How is your organization fostering a culture of development? Besides the traditional development strategies such as training and tuition reimbursement, what is your organization doing to foster a sense of continuous learning and development at all levels? What role do supervisors and managers play in creating this culture? • Do your employees feel "cared for?" Have the organization's leaders created a sense of commitment among the staff by showing they care? With the national average length of employment hovering around one and a half years per job, it makes sense to explore what it takes to retain and develop a committed staff. Retention, while often considered a factor of economic times, is now being considered a long-term strategic goal for organizations that recognize its value.

Marnie E. Green is Principal Consultant of the Chandler, AZ-based Management Education Group, Inc. Green is a speaker, author, and consultant who helps organizations develop confident leaders. Contact Green at phone: 480-705-9394 email: [email protected] web site: Article Source:


Manage Talent Or Lose It
By Larry Galler It doesn’t show up on a balance sheet or a profit and loss statement but one of a company’s most valuable assets is the talent of the staff. Yet, unless that talent is properly managed, it can be underutilized, undeveloped, and unappreciated which creates dissatisfaction and eventually high turnover. If the goal is to build a talented staff there must be a culture in place or created. That culture makes it important to first elevate the talents of the current staff and then, as more people are needed, hire highly talented people, train them to understand their part in an environment that honors and respects them, motivates them, illustrates a career path as a longterm part of a company where they can utilize their talents to the benefit of themselves, the company, and of each individual within the company. That talent-rich culture must come from the top of the company and, when it is properly driven there are few restrictions on growth and company-wide energy. Creating a culture that manages talent well is important throughout every aspect of staff development and company development. Identifying talent is (or should be) a company-wide activity. When talented staffers are identified they should be challenged and encouraged to stretch their boundaries, seek larger goals, and perform at a higher capacity or to take on more responsibility faster. It may take the creation of a mentoring program with a high degree of personal feedback to make that fast-track career advancement successful. When it is working well it accelerates growth, focus, teamwork, and company spirit. The whole company profits from a culture that creates an environment where talent can grow and flourish. If a talent-centric culture is not created the results are just the opposite. Talented people become de-motivated, become frustrated and either look for more challenging positions elsewhere or they become inculcated


with the culture of mediocrity and ease off. The whole company languishes, becomes a less competitive follower instead of the harddriving, cutting edge leader so create a company wide culture to manage your talent well or lose it.

Larry Galler coaches and consults with high-performance executives, professionals, and small businesses since 1993. He is the writer of the long-running (every Sunday since November 2001) business column, "Front Lines with Larry Galler" For a free coaching session, email Larry for an appointment - [email protected] Sign up for his free newsletter at Article Source:


Top Retention Tools - Survey Results
By L. John Mason Tips for leaders, owners, managers which can lead to "engagement," loyalty, and then retention. A strong retention policy will also help to create a positive work environment that will help attract the best people which make your hiring practices easier. Consider adopting one or more of the following suggestions to make your workplace more attractive and to better help your workforce "Fall in Love" with your organization. Most of these suggestions can be offered inexpensively or at no cost. 1. Work/Life Flexibility- Flextime, teleworking, 4/10's

2. Meaningful Rewards/Recognition - Feedback, public praise, $ bonus', "thank you Bucks", peer recognition, press releases 3. Integrated Hiring Program- Job Benchmarking (styles/behaviors and values) and fitting in with culture or team more than just reviewing past skills and experience. A great job "fit" will keep people engaged. Also, reduces costly hiring mistakes... 4. Regular Communication meetings with management... transparency (clear vision) Leaders sell the vision so personnel know their role... Create "Buy-in" 5. 6. Follow through with vision/purpose (consistent and with integrity) Employee input with key decisions-part of process from start


7. Good Management Team promoting good relations, managers spend 10 minutes each week with each person supervised (helps to connect,) learn employees job function and come help when necessary 8. Growth Opportunities- training, mentoring, developing- Room to Grow... Job Rotations (keep jobs more interesting and expand your people's skills and experience) 9. 10. Enjoyable Work Environment- Fun! (Coaching available.) Trust Managers, peers, etc...

11. Community Involvement Projects suggested by work force and commitment to these projects with support. "Global" perspective for the "greater good". 12. Best Benefit Package affordable (can be $$$ but worthy of consideration) The Human Resource Professionals participating in this survey have used these techniques successfully within their organization... Now it's time for you to give these a fair chance to succeed in your organization. Contact Dr. Mason for implementation tips...

L. John Mason, Ph.D. is the author of the best selling "Guide to Stress Reduction." Since 1977, he has offered Leadership Success & Executive Coaching and Training. Please visit the Stress Education Center's Human Resource page at Business Solutions for HR Professionals for articles, free ezine signup, and learn about the new telecourses that are available. If you would like information or a targeted proposal for training or coaching, please contact us at (360) 593-3833. If you are looking to promote your training or coaching career, please investigate the [ ] Professional Stress Management Training and Certification Program for a secondary source of income or as career path. Article Source:


Retention of Key Workers is #1 Entrepreneurial Challenge
By Susan Gauff A recent issue of Entrepreneur Magazine reports on a poll conducted in conjunction with PricewaterhouseCoopers to determine the biggest challenges for entrepreneurs. The data showed that 73% rate "retention of key workers" as their #1 challenge. The most interesting thing about the poll is that this issue scored almost twice as high as #2, "developing new products and services" at 38%. Along with reporting the data, the magazine provides a sidebar about how to deal with the issue of retention. The headline is great, "Make your Employees Matter" but the content is about offering competitive retirement plans and allowing key employees to share financially in the company's growth. Problem is, focusing on money matters does not retain employees because it doesn't make your firm unique. Anyone can offer competitive pay and benefits making it easy to jump from one job to the next for more money. Silicon Valley firms discovered this back in the late 80s and early 90s when tech started to boom. Workers viewed all the employers in the Valley as one big company - they jumped from firm to firm depending on the challenge of the work or loyalty to someone they enjoyed working with. It is still common in the technical arena for entire teams of product development people to move together to another employer. They do this because of the relationships and working partnerships they've developed. A few years ago The Gallup Organization did the largest study of employee issues ever conducted - interviewing 30,000 successful managers about their techniques in keeping employees satisfied. They


uncovered 12 workplace characteristics that good managers use consistently to retain and motivate employees. Guess where money or any kind of financial reward stood on that list? Give up? It wasn't even mentioned. This research resulted in an excellent book by Marcus Buckingham called, "First Break All the Rules." The title derives from the fact that all the basics you learned about management in B-school are not what work for really excellent managers. The book revealed the twelve most important rules to use. Here they are: Employees want to 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Know what is expected of them Have the materials and equipment to do the work right Have the opportunity to do what they do best every day Frequently receive recognition or praise for good work Have supervisors who care about them as a person Be encouraged to pursue self development Have their opinions count

8. Feel their job is important based on the mission/purpose of the organization 9. 10. 11. 12. Have co-workers who are committed to doing quality work Have a best friend at work Be talked to about their progress regularly Have opportunities to learn and grow

Based on this research, Buckingham observed that "Employees don't leave companies, they leave managers." Think back to the best job you ever had. Wasn't it great because you enjoyed and respected your manager? Didn't you have a great relationship with that person and the


others with whom you worked? Loyalty to a job is really about loyalty to the people you work with - they're the logical human connection. So yes, Entrepreneur's headline is correct. Meet the #1 entrepreneurial challenge by "Making Your Employees Matter" but in a very personal way - by breaking the traditional rules.

Susan T. Gauff is Founder/CEO of Predictive Hiring Partners, Inc., a consulting firm that provides small and medium-sized organizations with cost-effective tools, techniques and training to hire right the first time, every time. For further information visit the website call 803-831-2371 or e-mail [email protected] Article Source:


Employee Retention: It's a Changing Game
By Michael Beitler As a management consultant, I have seen some poorly conceived retention policies at otherwise well-run companies. The philosophies underlying these policies lack some basic knowledge of two things: 1. human nature, and 2. the changing world around us Human Nature Let’s start with human nature. The practice of management requires an understanding of how people work. Successful managers can be forgiven if they do not know how a particular machine works, or how to debit and credit the general ledger, or how to write HTML code. But, managers must know how people work. Specifically, they need to know how people work well. People are motivated by goals… their own! Organizations that help individuals achieve their goals and career aspirations have less trouble with retention. Are you helping your best employees achieve their goals? I recently read some research findings that were just plain silly. The findings you ask: Workers leave organizations for two reasons: 1. they feel mistreated or unappreciated 2. they can get more money/compensation from another organization


The researchers went on to say, most workers are unaware of more money at other organizations until they feel mistreated or unappreciated. Did you catch that? If not, re-read the “two” findings. Here’s my interpretation: If you treat your workers well and make them feel appreciated they will stay with your organization; money is not the primary driver for workers leaving. Help you workers achieve their goals. I believe “appreciative” workers are more motivated than “happy” workers. Before you think this is more “soft” management talk, let’s look at some “hard” facts. The average cost of hiring a new worker is one-and-a-half times the worker’s annual salary. And, the average worker will need a year to master his/her job skills. The Changing World Around Us As the world changes around us, we must change the way we think about retention (and everything else). Gone are the days of the homogeneous workforce. The world is being changed by unstoppable trends: globalization and an aging workforce. Future work teams will include three generations of workers (a 23-yearold worker, a 48-year-old worker, and a 73-year-old worker), workers with different religions and nationalities, and workers with dramatically different life experiences. The brain drain in developed countries can be slowed by retaining older, highly skilled workers. But, that is not nearly enough. Companies must compete globally for talent. (And remember what is necessary to retain these individuals. We must understand their individual goals and career aspirations.) American companies that hope to depend on American talent exclusively will fail miserably. American knowledge workers are losing their competitive edge. Let’s look at some more “hard” facts: 1. In China, 42% of students earn undergraduate degrees in science or engineering. In the U.S., the figure is less than 5%. 2. Only 70% of U.S. high school students graduate. The U.S. public education system was recently ridiculed by a British news journal. When


you consider that the British public school system is arguably the worst in Europe, Americans should hear this as a wake-up call. 3. Only 32% of U.S. students leaving high school qualify to attend a fouryear college or university. Add to this some alarming facts about off-shoring. One organization recently said it was off-shoring jobs to India not simply because the cost was lower, but because the quality of work was better. The off-shoring of high-level professional jobs (such as engineering and IT) is now a common practice. Conclusion Organizations must do two critical things: 1. develop retention policies that recognize the need to understand the individual workers’ goals and career aspirations, and 2. learn how to recruit and develop talent from around the world. These are big changes for most organizations. Is your organization ready for these changes?

Dr. Mike Beitler is the author of "Strategic Organizational Change." Get a free 7-part mini-course and learn more about the book at Article Source:


R2 = EOC --- Recruitment & Retention = Employer of Choice
By Rick Johnson Problems with staffing and retention may not be due to bad hires or a low unemployment rate. In fact, they may be related to poor management insight by not recognizing your employees as a core competency in your business strategy. Although employees may not fit the strictest definition of a core competency, it is a fact that your employees are the ones responsible for creating many of your core competencies. It is an undisputable fact that failure to recognize the importance of employee contributions will lead to failure regardless of your business strategy. Recruitment and Retention Creating a strategic plan and definitive initiatives is the easy part of the formula for success. The difficult part is finding, recruiting and retaining the appropriate talent combination in today’s market to carry out that plan. Recruitment and retention are major issues in the wholesale distribution industry today. These issues are especially critical to the service center industry for two reasons: • First, distribution is one of our aged-basic industries that doesn’t project the excitement of the high-tech industries and the dot com’s of the new millennium (even though many have crashed and burned). • Second, the number of employees between the ages of 25 and 44, traditionally the bulk of the workforce, will continue to decline in the United States for at least the next five years. The baby-boomers are aging quickly toward retirement.


Under these circumstances, how in the world does a distributor not only recruit new talent, but protect the talent they have? Questions about compensation, training, incentives, benefits and work environment always come to the forefront. The answer is committing to becoming an employer of choice (EOC) with as much tenacity as you commit to being a supplier of choice, always wanting the first call and last look. Pay Attention Many distribution executives pay far too little attention to this part of their businesses. Often the mindset is that this is the “touchy-feely” stuff that’s a non-revenue producing necessary evil. Maybe that thought process didn’t hurt the company in the 80’s or early 90’s when unemployment in some areas reached 10%, but that’s not the case today where the labor unemployment rate in many markets is less than 4%. When unemployment is that low, most people who are unemployed just don’t want to work. As a result, there is a lot of corporate raiding going on. Even with the recent struggles of the automotive industry and some high-tech industries, unemployment remains at a level that just is not conducive to recruitment and retention. So what’s the answer? Going on midnight raids? Offering BMWs as signing bonuses? Paying way above market wages? NO, the answer is building a human resource strategy into your business plan. Get over the old paradigm that human resource departments are too costly and of little value. In fact, those distributors that adopt that philosophy actually spend more money by having highly compensated managers, particularly sales managers, running ads, receiving resumes and doing preliminary interviews when they should be selling. The costs associated with that process as well as the revenue lost due to extended position vacancies inevitably far exceeds the annual costs of dedicated human resource professionals. Secondly, a huge percentage of new hires will jump ship within 18 months if they sense the company is not committed to its employees. They will jump if the company does not accept them into the fold properly by offering initial orientation, subsequent training and a culture that treats the employee as the company’s most precious assets.


The question is not, “Can you afford to invest in this soft touchy-feely stuff?” The question becomes, “Can you afford to not invest in your most important asset, your employees?” The old paradigm creates a bias against paying attention to the human element of the workforce. Many wholesale distribution executives that do strategic business plans initiate from the top down instead of the bottom up often ignoring the real value of a strategic plan. The real value is the involvement and education of your employees in completing the plan, not in the document itself. Are you at the mercy of your workforce? This bias that exists in many distributors is almost as though admitting that employees are the most precious of corporate assets will lead to an anarchy on which owners and managers will fall at the mercy of the workforce. Well, shake your head in disbelief if you want to, but the reality of the situation is that you are at the mercy of your workforce. The rules have to continue to change. If you aren’t willing to admit that and get your head in the game then you won’t survive in the new millennium. “People are not profits but without people there are no profits.” Some wholesales distributors recognized their dilemma years ago. Many of the top performers in wholesale distribution are at the top because they strive to be employers of choice. These are forward thinking distributors that have found solutions to their recruitment and retention challenges. Following in their footsteps requires an initial “gut check.” Honestly ask yourself how your employees would answer questions like: • • • • Do you receive counseling on a career plan? Is there a current wage and salary plan in place? Do performance incentives exist? Do you receive regular training and instruction?

• Do you receive performance updates and recognition beyond a once a year chat with your boss? • Does customer feedback play a role in performance evaluations?


• •

Are suggestions reviewed and awarded? Is there both a formal and informal communication channel?

These questions relate to the basic core competencies of human resources: staffing, training, rewarding, recognizing and organizing. The business strategic plan cannot succeed without paying attention to this part of the business. You must facilitate your employees’ involvement and feedback into this process. This basic premise in implementation across wholesale distribution varies according to size. The same plan for a $20 million privately held distributor would not work for a $500 million distributor. EOC To solve your recruitment and retention problems you must strive to become an Employer of Choice. To accomplish that objective you must have a Human Resources strategy that is integrated into your corporate strategic plan that acknowledges and recognizes the employees as the company’s most precious asset.

Dr. Rick Johnson ( [email protected] ) is the founder of CEO Strategist LLC. an experienced based firm specializing in leadership. CEO Strategist LLC. works in an advisory capacity with company executives in board representation, executive coaching, team coaching and education and training to make the changes necessary to create or maintain competitive advantage. You can contact them by calling 352750-0868, or visit for more information. Rick received an MBA from Keller Graduate School in Chicago, Illinois and a Bachelor's degree in Operations Management from Capital University, Columbus Ohio. Rick recently completed his dissertation on Strategic Leadership and received his Ph.D. He’s also a published book author with four titles to his credit: “The Toolkit for Improved Business Performance in Wholesale Distribution,” the NWFA & NAFCD “Roadmap”, Lone Wolf-Lead Wolf—The Evolution of Sales” and a fiction novel - “Shattered Innocence.” Rick’s next book due to be published in


November is titled; Lone Wolf – Lead Wolf, The Evolution of Leadership. Article Source:


Employee Retention: Five Leadership Fundamentals
By Marcia Zidle Are your management practices on the right track? Retaining your valued or high performing employees must be a strategic issue for your company. Throwing more money at your workers is not the answer and can become very costly. The more effective way to retain top talent is to address their important needs. Universal Truths:

Most people are content being paid at or around the market rate for good quality work. SOME folks are extremely money conscious, but eventually they learn that the paycheck comes every two weeks all on its own, and other motivators come into play very quickly. There are very few folks who can be bought for money alone. Most people want two opposing things out of their jobs. They want to feel they are part of a group that’s able to accomplish greater things than they could on their own, AND they want to know that they stand out as individuals. The job as a manager is to give them BOTH experiences: to bring about a ‘team spirit’ and to let his staff or team know what a great job each one is doing. Finally, most employees have a few ongoing needs that motivate them to do their best work and to stay. They include a clear direction of their job or project; specific assignments that help them grow; access to necessary organizational resources, and feedback on their performance on a regular basis. Otherwise, they pretty much want to be left alone to get their job or assignment done.


Five Leadership Fundamentals: He then realized that his job as manager became very simple. To motivate high performance and, at the same time, ensure employee satisfaction within his group, he just needed to: Provide employees with a clear sense of where we’re going and why. Make sure they have the necessary resources to get their job done. Be attuned to their professional needs and try to provide them with assignments that meet these needs (not always easy but still attainable). Regularly meet with them both formally and informally to give and get feedback on what’s going on. Get out of their way and, at the same time, be available when needed. He ended with this comment: “I don’t have long-term results to share, but in the short-run, I have a staff that reports being happy in their jobs and challenged by the work. And our group has a better reputation for service than the rest of the large department we are part of. So I know I’m on the right track.” This manager’s comments reinforce my observations that the primary reason that people commit to a job, an organization, or an effort is not financial! It is the basic feeling of success. The employee who achieves, who accomplishes his or her goals and objectives, who maintains a feeling of personal worth and value, will more likely remain with the organization.

Marcia Zidle, a business and leadership development expert, works with entrepreneurial organizations who want to be a dominant player in competing for customers, clients, funding or community awareness. In the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy say, “Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore”. Well business, government and community leaders, Marcia says, “It’s no longer business as usual anymore; its business that has to better than usual.”


Do you want to be better than usual? Then subscribe to Making Waves! a free monthly e-newsletter with quick lessons on better, faster, smarter ways to lead. Sign up now at and get a 35 page bonus e-book: Make Bold Change! 101 Ways to Stomp Out Business As Usual. Or contact Marcia directly at 800-971-7619. Article Source:


How to Retain Top Sales Talent
By Don McNamara Of constant concern in senior management ranks is the turnover rate of their sales members. If your goal is to stabilize the sales team, improve their performance and retain your top performers, then you will want to read on. Understanding why sales people leave is critical. It is not money! In fact studies validate that money is way down the list of why sales people leave. Sales people leave when a whole set of other factors come into play and make the job of achieving their goals difficult to reach. Therefore to retain the staff of sales performers that make the difference, management must institute fundamentally sound sales management practice, as we will see. The Starting Point To begin with, sales managers must develop realistic goals and objectives with their team members. These should be mutually discussed and agreed upon collaboratively. Why? Necessity dictates both have bought in to what needs to be done, when it needs to be done and what resources will be required to deliver the results. After that, monitoring progress attainment can be accomplished using a management by exception system. When sales management takes a hands off attitude toward developing common goals and objectives with sales reps you can bet it will not be long before performance issues arise. Furthermore, with a plan, sales management is proactive rather than reactive, or worst of all, inactive. Setting goals and objectives, observing their completion and monitoring success are functions of sound sales management. Winging it, if you will, leaves far too much to chance and luck.


At the end of the day, “What can be measured gets accomplished”. Sales People are the Manager’s Customers The best performers as a general rule know that to use the resources of the entire organization helps them present a more professional image and increases the probability of a sale. Sales managers who spend time with their representatives in the field always have better performing teams. Joint calls permit the sales manager to coach and do on the job training with the sales people. The manager is able to observe skill set improvement, determine loss in skill capability and test the current sales person attitude. Sales managers who spend time with their people have a customer care attitude. In this case, they are taking care of their customers- the sales force. Look at Sales Rep Aggravations 1.Sales managers who take over Skilled sales managers are involved listeners in the sales calls. They do not take them over. When the manager takes over the calls, the customer unfortunately may see him/her now in a sales role, and not as a manager. How can the sales manager and the sales rep know what they did or did not do well in the call? Solid sales people enjoy the opportunity to demonstrate their ability especially in front of the boss. Use this as a perfect opportunity to compliment them for work well done, or assist them in improving their sales skills. Wait until the call is over and do the “post Mortem” afterwards in the car, or over lunch in a constructive and non-threatening manner. 2.Sales managers who don’t listen or want info Sales managers who pay attention and listen to what their representatives are saying to them without fear of retribution establish and maintain solid trust. If management acts in an arrogant fashion and ignores the issues that sales identifies, it will not be long before defections occur. There is no better way to gain the respect of a sales team than by sincerely listening to their sales related issues. Pay attention to what they are saying, then do your part to make the adjustments and improvements as necessary. 3.Managers who lose their cool


Consistency is the hallmark of emotionally mature and self-confident sales managers. For example, does the sales manager maintain composure in times of stress, or does the sales force receive temper tantrums and unprofessional behavior when sales miscues occur. 4.Managers who play favorites Is there evenness in supervising the sales staff, or are there glaring examples of out and out favoritism. Talk about discouragement! Try and imagine the mentality of an over achiever who observes blatant examples of someone else being played favorite. Sales people have pretty developed radar and antennas when it comes to such management behavior. Aspire towards fairness and evenhandedness. Make sure you let your sales representatives know they are being measured for sales results, and leave politics to government! You will be amazed at how well the sales team responds and how the general morale of the group improves. How’s your Sales Culture? In far too many companies the conventional wisdom is if we build it or have it, they will buy it. If that were the case, you would not need sales people! The very finest companies tend to attract, engage and retain the best and the brightest. Recent studies confirm the best product; service or system will be marginally successful unless it is properly presented into the marketplace. This takes sales people. Look at the consequences of having an ineffective sales culture and determine those elements needed to build a positive one. Tend to Your Knitting Why is it that the companies that have the most efficient internal operations expect and get more sales results from the external operations, namely the sales department? Inspect your policies, internal processes, procedures and practices and programs. Do these actually impede the sales force or get in the way of sales person effectiveness? Do they actually encourage sales people to take a sales orientation? Does the sales compensation plan reward the type of behavior and sales achievements you desire? When a company’s internal systems are efficient and effective, you will see a


greater amount of sales time being spent selling, rather than saving prior orders and customers. What you desire is the sales team selling, rather than telling. It may not be that the sales team needs to be motivated as much as the company needs to understand why they are being demotivated. Sales people will get re-energized when they see barriers and limitations to their effectiveness being addressed and eventually lifted. If the entire company is working towards the same objectives, sales people feel they have some control over their personal destiny. Eliminate the factors causing loss of sales force confidence in the company. In conclusion, expect results and performance and expect your sales team to respond. Take a proactive position with sales management. Ensure you and they have the same goals in mind for the sales organization. Insist they supervise the activities of the sales staff toward attainment of previously determined objectives. Completion of successful objectives leads to goal attainment, for both the sales team and the sales management. Amazing results transpire. Top performers will know that they are valued members of your company and their contributions are vital to the organization. Then, sales representatives will stay in place when they see their personal and professional goals have a way to be accomplished within your organization.

Don McNamara is a Certified Management Consultant (CMC) and is President of Heritage Associates, Inc. Heritage Associates is a full service sales management consulting, training and coaching company. Don also speaks and writes on the art and science of superior sales management and top sales performance. With over 30 years sales experience from the field level to executive sales management, in his career he has been an individual contributor, corporate sales training manager, regional manager, national sales manager and vice president of sales. Don is a member of the Institute of Management Consultants, where he serves as Professional Development Chair and the National Speakers Association.


For a free e-newsletter contact Don McNamara at or by phone (949) 230-4363.

[email protected]

Article Source:


Employee Retention for New Hires
By James Robbins The First 84 Days If you have ever seen a zebra give birth (at least on the Geographic Channel) you will see an amazing phenomenon. Once the baby colt is up on its feet the mother will block the youngster’s line of sight to the rest of the herd. The mother will only let her baby colt see her stripes. The reason is that a very important imprinting process is going on in those first moments where the mother is building loyalty into her offspring. Once her pattern is ingrained in her young colts brain, the baby will forever know who her mother is. Those first moments are crucial. In workplaces today there is a similar principle that takes place with new employees. For many organizations, turn over is greatest in the first 84 days. But there are some simple things you can do to increase the chance of employees making it through that probationary period. Before they start 1. Welcome Wagon

Before they even have their first day on the job send them a welcome basket or a card signed by the entire team they will be working with. This will go a long way in making them look forward to meeting everyone. You can even send them a brief and fun bio of everyone they will need to know including fun facts like favorite food and movies etc. You can also have one of the team members give them a call to welcome them on board. 2. Questions Answered

Have HR or someone else phone to explain benefits and any other information they might desire to have.


Once they start: Remember when you first started a new job? It can be a nerve-wracking experience to walk into an office when you’re the “newbie.” 3. Assign them a Buddy

Sometimes if a climber is a beginner he might be short-roped with a more experienced guide. Assign a buddy to the new employee that can personally make it their mandate to show them around and make introductions. The buddy can have a regular weekly lunch times during the first few weeks to help the new person adjust. Plus it’s a good idea to have a friend right from day one, who they can talk to about any issues. 4. Advertise

Post a picture of the new employee in the lunchroom or common area with some fun facts about their likes, hobbies, and family. This can act as a great discussion starter. “You like the movie Ishtar? I thought I was the only one, let’s grab lunch!” 5. Hi from the Top.

Have the CEO or President drop by to say hello and personally welcome them to the company. This always makes an impact on any new employee when the boss makes time to do this. People know the boss is busy and this gesture alone says a lot. 6. Team Lunch. Take the new hire to lunch with the team. Everyone loves to go for lunch when the boss is paying. Relationships are built over food. 7. Inform the team.

Make sure everyone on the team knows the day that your new hire arrives. Give specific instructions on how you want the new hire to be welcomed. 8. Probation – Treat them as if they were not on it.

I understand why you have a probationary period but during it commit to the employee as if there were no such thing. If you wait until after their


first 90 days to see if they are worth investing in, you may have already sent a message that may be heard to erase. If you do your homework on the hiring process, probation should not be a big deal. 9. Don’t have a probationary period!

Here’s a radical idea. Don’t have a probation period. Tell your new hire that you believe in them so much that it’s “Welcome to the team.” 10. Clear your schedule

As much as you can on their first day plan to have a schedule with a lot of flex time so you can give them whatever time they might need. 11. Have a performance review after the first 30 days.

This will help still the insecurity of “I wonder how I’m doing?” that most new employees feel. A performance review after one month will also let you find out how they are adjusting and expose any needs that might need to be met. They say you only have one chance to make a first impression. Take the extra time to make your new hire feel pulled in and part of the team. You went through all of that effort to recruit them, interview them, and hire them, you wouldn't want to lose them before they ever really got going.

James Robbins is creator of The Summit; the online goal setting game guaranteed to help you reach your peak potential. He delivers keynotes on personal excellence and leadership issues such as employee retention and creating engaging workplaces. To find out more go to ; Article Source:


Increasing Employee Retention Through Employee Engagement
By Josh Greenberg You’ve seen it happen many times. An organization that provides top wages and benefits loses a great employee to a competitor for no apparent reason. Of course, some employee turnover is to be expected, but if your company is truly engaging your employees, there is no good reason for the unexpected loss of quality staff members. Many companies already know that wages and benefits are important to employees, but compensation alone is not enough to keep the highly skilled, motivated and experienced workforce your business needs to excel. Defining Employee Engagement What is employee engagement exactly? AlphaMeasure defines employee engagement as the level of commitment and involvement an employee has towards their organization and its values. The primary behaviors of engaged employees are speaking positively about the organization to coworkers, potential employees and customers, having a strong desire to be a member of the organization, and exerting extra effort to contribute to the organization’s success. Many smart organizations work to develop and nurture engagement. It is important to note, the employee engagement process does require a two-way relationship between employer and employee. Why is Employment Engagement so important?


An organization’s capacity to manage employee engagement is closely related to its ability to achieve high performance levels and superior business results. Engaged employees will stay with the company, be an advocate of the company and its products and services, and contribute to bottom line business success. Engaged employees also normally perform better and are more motivated. There is a significant link between employee engagement and profitability. Employee engagement is critical to any organization that seeks not only to retain valued employees, but also increase its level of performance. Factors of Engagement Many organizational factors influence employee engagement and retention such as: A culture of respect where outstanding work is valued Availability of constructive feedback and mentoring Opportunity for advancement and professional development Fair and appropriate reward, recognition and incentive systems Availability of effective leadership Clear job expectations Adequate tools to complete work responsibilities High levels of motivation Many other factors exist that might apply to your particular business and the importance of these factors will also vary within your organization. Engagement Essentials How will you know to what degree your employees are engaged? The first step is to determine the current level of employee engagement. The best tool to determine this base line is a comprehensive employee satisfaction survey. A well administered satisfaction survey will let you know at what level of engagement your employees are operating. Customizable employee surveys will provide you with a starting point towards your efforts to optimize employee engagement. The key to successful employee satisfaction surveys is to pay close attention to the feedback from your staff. This is the only way to identify their specific concerns. When leaders listen, employees respond by becoming more engaged. This results in increased productivity and


employee retention. Engaged employees are much more likely to be satisfied in their positions, remain with the company, be promoted, and strive for higher levels of performance. Listening to employee ideas, acting on employee contributions and actively involving employees in decision making are essential to employee engagement. Taking Action to Improve Employee Engagement Nothing is more discouraging to employees than to be asked for their feedback and see no movement toward resolution of their issues. Even the smallest actions taken to address concerns will let your staff know that their input is valued. Feeling valued will boost morale, motivate and encourage future input. Taking action starts with listening to employee feedback. Then the data needs to be analyzed. Next, a definitive action plan will need to be put in place and finally, change will be implemented. It is important that employee engagement is not viewed as a one time action. Employee engagement should be a continuous process of measuring, analyzing, defining and implementing. What is the Alternative to Employee Engagement? Conditions that prevent employee engagement seldom alleviate themselves. They should be assessed and addressed as soon as possible. Left to multiply, negative employee satisfaction issues can result in: Higher employee turnover - Employees leave, taking their reservoir of knowledge and experience to another workplace Diminished performance - Competency of the workforce is reduced, at least short term, until new employees are trained Lost training dollars - Time and money invested in training and development programs for departing workers is wasted Lower morale - Remaining employees can be overburdened with new duties, in addition the unresolved issues that already prevent their full engagement How Can You Attain Employee Engagement?


Listen to your employees and remember that this is a continuous process. The information your employees supply will provide direction. Insist upon increased engagement at the managerial level, and create and deploy a customized employee satisfaction survey from AlphaMeasure to assess your current level of employee engagement. Identify problem areas, make a plan and take action towards improvement. ---------------------------------------------------------This article may be reproduced provided it is published in its entirety, includes the author bio information, and all links remain active. Proceed to AlphaMeasure for additional resources on [ ] employee satisfaction surveys and employee engagement surveys. 2004 © AlphaMeasure</a>, Inc. - All Rights Reserved Josh Greenberg is President of AlphaMeasure, Inc. located in Boulder, Colorado. AlphaMeasure provides organizations of all sizes a powerful web based method for measuring employee satisfaction, determining employee engagement, and increasing employee retention. The AlphaMeasure Employee Survey System is fully-customizable and allows you to target the organizational topics and challenges facing your staff today. Designed by HR professionals from the ground up, the AlphaMeasure Employee Satisfaction Survey System provides an affordable, feature rich solution for deploying fully-customized employee satisfaction or employee engagement surveys. Click here to learn more about the [ ] AlphaMeasure Employee Survey System. Article Source:


About the compiler, G K Lim
G K Lim, is experienced in sales, marketing and business, and in cutting-edge adult learning techniques G K Lim is a training consultant in the area of consultative / solution-centric selling skills, key account management, negotiation skills, customer service excellence, Emotional Intelligence enhancement, personal development, motivation, stress management, and mind / intuition enhancement. He has had consulting and training assignments in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Philippines, Vietnam, India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, United Arab Emirates, and China, and has appeared on TV2 (KL), TVM (Maldives), UNTV (Manila) and RPN9 (Manila). He is…… • Fellow of the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management; • Approved CMSI Sales Personnel Certification Advisor & Instructor; • ISO Certified In Marketing & Sales (ISO CMS 991182); • Certified e-Business Associate (EC-Council); • Certified EC-Council Instructor; • Certified Herrmann Brain Dominance Instructor; • Certified Competency-Based Training & Education Instructor; • Certified facilitator for "Psychology of Winning," "It's A Deal," "Adventures in Attitudes," and "You Were Born Rich Video Program;" • Accredited Facilitator, Accelerated Entrepreneurs Development Program; • Silva Mind Control facilitator; • NLP practitioner; • Member, Ecumenical Society of Psychorientology; • Member, Intuition Network; • Vice President / Secretariat Director, HRD Gateway; • President Emeritus, China HRM, • Founder / Director, HRD Gateway Management Development Centre • Principal Consultant, Human Resources Services; • and publisher of “Partners,” an ezine for professionals, managers, executives, and entrepreneurs. A partial list of in-house training clients include: ABB, Aesculap, Acer, ANZ Bank Hanoi, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cadbury, Canon, Ciitibank, Cycle & Carriage Bintang, Datacard Group USA, Dell, Dexion, DHL, Digi, Euromedical, GE Toshiba Silicones, HAVI Food, IQPC Oil & Gas Dubai, IITM Sri Lanka, Intel, Jabil, Jaya Jusco, Komag, Landmark Graphics, Maersk Medical, Maybank, Maxis, Microsoft Thailand, MitsuiO.S.K. Lines, Mitsui Sumitomo, NEC, New Zealand Milk, Nordberg China, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, O'Connor's, Panasonic, Permodalan BSN, Public Bank, PSA


Maldives, PWTC, Reliance, Roche, Samsung India, Shell, Sime Darby, Solectron, Syngenta Crop Protection, SWM Resources, Ta'aheel FZ. Dubai, Tara Prima Megah Bandung, Texchem, Tecumseh-Euro-Malaysia, Wearne Brothers, Xepa-Soul Pattinson, and Yves Rocher G. K. Lim is currently conducting research for, and writing, a definitive doctoral thesis on persuasion psychology. Because he has been there "fighting in the trenches," G. K. Lim brings to his seminars / workshops street-smart no-nonsense ideas for survival and success in the highly competitive, fast moving and ever changing marketplace.

G K Lim in action (or go to, search "gktraining")

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