Some Very Tangible Intangibles!

OK, let’s pretend the nearly 275% increase in profit that we just looked at doesn’t make a strong enough case for being intentional about focusing on ongoing professional development… I mean those particular numbers were only based on the study referenced by the Association for Training and Development, showing the impact on revenue per employee and overall profitability. But other areas of a business can ongoing professional development impact?

Over the last two decades, I've taken part in the orientation process with more new employees at the various companies I’ve worked with than I can count. It’s pretty exciting when hiring happens because the company is growing, but it’s far less of a thrill when the push is to fill the spots of people who leave the company voluntarily. And more often than not, this is a significant cost that’s not tracked all that effectively - with regards to the direct costs of recruiting or the total indirect...

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Effective Communication Skills

Effective Communication Skills is a frequently searched phrase on Google. But why? What’s the big deal? Shouldn’t this be simple to address?

I frequently reference a study done by Salesforce.com that showed “86% of the executives they surveyed cited lack of collaboration and ineffective communication as the primary reason for workplace failure.” That seems like a big deal to me! I read another study done by SIS International Research showing that “the cumulative cost of annual productivity losses due to communication issues alone were more than $26,000 per employee.”

If this were indeed something simple to address, would these numbers really be so high? At the risk of confirming any suspicion you may have about how dense I actually am, I’m going out on a limb here and suggesting that it’s extremely simple - and that’s why so many individuals and organizations struggle mightily with it!

I began learning carpentry when I was around...

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One Way Employee Retention Impacts Recruiting...

In the last post, we made the move from focusing on the importance of employee retention to looking at recruitment and retention strategies. With that in mind, we can never really afford to take our eye off the ball with regards to creating the type of culture that keeps great people onboard and engaged! 

I’ve seen organizations be incredibly hesitant to invest time and resources into intentionally building up the individuals on their team, then increasing their compensation accordingly, and having to fill entry level positions over and over and over again. I’ve also seen organizations that adhere to extremely stringent timelines and procedures before even considering a pay raise. Many times, the companies doing either (or both) of those things also struggle to attract solid candidates for the roles they need to fill. Sometimes a company may even offer crazy sign-on bonuses to reel candidates in, but the holes in their process for career growth keep those same...

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Recruitment and Retention Strategies

As we worked through The Importance of Employee Retention, we looked at just a few of the direct costs that have such a significant impact on an organization’s bottom line when voluntary turnover is high. Now let’s start digging into some critical steps we can take to make each of our organizations a place great team members rarely want to leave AND a place that the best people in our industries WANT to come to work!

Before we get rolling though, I need to make a few statements that I really hope aren’t at all necessary: Building this kind of reputation for any organization will take ongoing effort! This will take time and commitment. It will also be somewhat difficult to achieve but far easier to ruin. When we get it right though, the juice will absolutely be worth the squeeze!

I’ve already shared what John Maxwell says accounts for as much as 65% of all voluntary turnover, people leaving their managers, and we’ve looked at why leadership development...

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Stop the Downward Spiral

As we started looking at the importance of employee retention, I referenced something I found in a Harvard Business Review article stating “Increased commitment (the actively engaged team members) can lead to a 57% improvement in discretionary effort—that is, employees’ willingness to exceed duty’s call. That greater effort produces, on average, a 20% individual performance improvement and an 87% reduction in the desire to pull up stakes.” We followed that in the next post by looking at some of the costs on the opposite end of the spectrum; primarily associated with the time it takes to get a new team member up to speed. But what other issues are we exposed to between those two distant points?

While our actively engaged employees are far less likely to leave and they’re typically quite a bit more productive, the folks who are neither actively engaged or actively disengaged, as well as those who really are actively disengaged, don’t share...

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The Cost of Starting Fresh

Several years ago, I was presented with a fancy certificate of recognition from a regional workforce development board for the work I had done with them on a grant that was focused on getting unemployed and under-employed individuals into skilled, full time roles. This particular grant was designed to take fees paid to the government in the H1-B Visa process and re-allocate them to organizations that were hiring in an attempt to offset some of their training costs. I had indeed worked closely with that group for a couple of years leading up to that but I had no idea that I had written more grants than anyone else in the state. I just thought it made sense and believed doing whatever I could to alleviate the significant costs we were absorbing to train new employees was part of my job… 

The initial grant I was dealing with would cover up to 50% of the new employee’s salary for up to six months, but I had to make a strong business case for the time and costs involved...

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The Importance of Employee Retention

I saw an article recently titled “Nearly a third of workers don’t want to ever return to the office.” Fortune.com shared this particular title but I’ve seen several others from SHRM and multiple legitimate websites… The issues we’ve all faced over the last year have forced nearly every business to consider some significant changes in how it operates. I’ve also heard a number of business owners, staffing professionals, and even front line employees comment on how much government subsidies that have been handed out to individual claiming to not have work available, which have gone largely unchecked the entire time, are making it even harder to get the personnel the need to actually show up to work.

Interestingly enough, the incentives for individuals to avoid reporting back to work never seem to be mentioned in any of the articles about how many people don’t want to return. I’ve also found it odd that none of the articles...

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Can We Afford Not To…?

I closed the last post by mentioning how many organizations view “soft skills” training as something that’s nice to do when there’s time but far less critical to the day to day operation of the business than any technical training tying directly back to their specific industry. But is that the right decision?

In chapter 16 of Leadership Gold, People Quit People, Not Companies, John Maxwell says “Some sources estimate that as many as 65% of people leaving companies do so because of their managers… The ‘company’ doesn’t do anything negative to them, people do.” In many cases, these are the same managers that have risen through the ranks of that company as they’ve developed strong technical skills and became some of the organization’s top producers. But as we discussed in the last post with regards to just how that can impact communication, being great at doing doesn’t always translate to being effective in...

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Like It or Not, That’s How It’s Gonna Be… Really?

Have you ever been told that by a company you’ve done business with? Like it or not, that’s how it's gonna be… Have you ever heard a supervisor say something like this to one of their employees? Have you ever been that employee???

I remember being told something very similar to that by an administrative assistant for the attorney I was dealing with about 15 years ago following a nasty car accident and the other party had a less than stellar insurance company. After being jerked around by the other insurance company for weeks and not hearing back from the attorney for quite a while too, I began calling daily until I got a response. After a few days of this, she told me “You’re not our only client. We’ll get to you when we get to you.” That didn’t go as well as she thought it would…

While I can’t say that I’ve ever been anything like that by a supervisor, I’ve certainly heard it said a few times. It’s one...

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