May 13, 2010

Retention by Design: It's Your Choice

What’s all the fuss about retention?  Why is there such a focus and why are the alarms going off all of a sudden?  Well, if you haven’t recognized it already, people have a choice.  And everyday they come to work by choice and stay or leave by choice because they can.  It’s that simple.

If you’re a ‘boss, manager, supervisor, employer’ you know already that when your employee or team member isn’t there the work doesn’t get done.  And if he/she decides to leave (and they can do that) then there’s potentially a lot of work that doesn’t get done for days, weeks or even months until that void is filled again.  Ouch! That hurts. 

The phrase ‘job loyalty’ went out the window decades ago and over the past 10 years it’s practically unknown.  Employers are quick to downsize, resize or ‘right-size’ the organization if that’s what it takes to keep them in the black.  It’s economics pure and simple. In their minds, people (that’s everyone, including you) are expendable.  By the way, is your resume in order? 

So, no one really looks at their current job as a career anymore.  It just isn’t safe, not to mention realistic.  Without that type of job loyalty all employees are ‘choice conscious’ in whether they stay or leave the current place or position they are in.

Why worry about retention if you’re a manager or director of your department?  Because if you aren’t making conscious choices by design in your recruiting, hiring, developing and retaining processes you will sooner or later loose some (or many) of your team members.  They know they have the right and privilege to choose where they work and who they work for.  Remember, people are hired by organizations, but they leave bosses.

As the economy recovers and more jobs appear those who have been silently suffering or seeking other alternatives will quickly move elsewhere to find ‘greener pastures’.  History will repeat itself again although this time it may be slower.

Retaining and developing each of your team members gives you a rich and stable resource to accomplish the goals and mission of your organization.  A well designed retention process makes good sense.  It’s your choice how you achieve that every day.

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