HELP WANTED Establishing a New Vision for Employee Retention

Who’s responsible for employee turnover? Whether a crewmember left the position voluntarily or things didn’t work out and you were forced to let them go, the straightforward answer to why you’re putting out the help wanted sign is because YOU as a business owner failed them in your lack of vision.

“The biggest problem with most small businesses is that because people are so busy doing what they do, they’ve never taken the time to create a clear vision of where they’re going. Because of that, they end up hiring people for the job rather than team members who want to be part of a journey,” says Jim Munro, “Business Talent Magnifier” with ActionCOACH, the world’s #1 business coaching firm.

“It’s hard to bring attractive employees to an organization that doesn’t know where it’s going,” Munro adds.

“At the same time, if you bring somebody in who has no idea where they want to be a year or two down the road, what do you think the odds are that they’ll leave before they get there?”

Hiring the right person from the start, experts agree, is the single best way to reduce employee turnover. Skills are important, sure, but rather than simply judging the best applicant based on a checklist, a more effective approach is to also focus on whether or not they are a good fit within your business model.

A job applicant might be able to shift gears or turn a wrench like nobody’s business, but do they mesh with your company culture? Do they have a solid work ethic; are they accepting of your way of doing things; and are they somebody who you will enjoy working alongside.
“It’s much easier to train somebody who is the right fit for your culture, is motivated and wants to be there,” Munro says.

From day one, new employees should have an adequate training program. This should include an orientation to the position and the business, as well as all necessary information to perform up to your standard, including equipment specifics, maintenance duties and safety rules, among others. Employees who feel knowledgeable and comfortable in their surroundings are more likely to feel empowered with their position.

If you want employees to stick around, one of your most important management responsibilities is making them feel valued and letting them know that they are an important part of the success of your business. According to a survey by the American Psychological Association (APA), half of all employees who do not feel appreciated at work report that they intend to look for a new job in the next year.

Ignoring your employees is one of the biggest mistakes you can make - remember you’re all in this together. Involve your staff in decisions that affect their jobs and the overall direction of the company whenever possible. Create engagement and a vested interest rather than simply hanging announcements on the shop wall.

“Everyone wants to feel valued,” Munro states. “For some, it may be the tangible rewards, while others may feel that recognition through their ability to help others.”

“Each person is different, and most of the time, it’s the simple, little things that have all the bearing on job satisfaction and retention.”

Employers in all industries are saying it’s very, very difficult to get quality people and the individuals themselves are saying it’s very, very hard to get a job. Both may be true, but the solution to finding and keeping productive, satisfied and loyal employees starts in changing the processes from the business owner standpoint.

“Turnover is tied to ownership that has not created a clear vision that is enticing to people who want to grow and have things of their own that they want to achieve,” Munro states. “If employees don’t feel that you can help them reach those goals, they may take the job for the paycheck, but they won’t feel any kind of commitment.” 

by Darin Burt