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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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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How Do You Measure Success?

We closed last time by touching briefly on how critical it is to be able to measure tangible results as we work to avoid many of the reasons for why leadership training fails. Leading up to that, we looked at the wide variations in what’s even referred to as leadership training and we dug into the significant difference between knowing something and applying it… 

As Cindy and I begin working with an organization, or an individual leader within that organization, we always start the process by having a very strategic conversation with the primary decision maker(s) to develop a firm understanding of the issues they’re dealing with so we can assist them by providing the most applicable material for their team members and in creating the most effective plan for how their team members can take action on that material afterward. It’s incredibly important to understand where they are before we ever try to help them move forward! A while back while talking with...

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Clear Goals and an Expectation for Action

I closed the last post by referencing something we can do to help remove a bit of the reluctance leaders often face when faced with addressing tough situations with team members - often due to the concern of hurting or offending them in some way. Separating a behavior contributing to an issue that needs addressed from the individual performing that behavior is far easier said than done! But as we begin to develop that kind of awareness, and really hone our skill in actually doing it, holding the team member accountable for the behaviors they choose involves so much less emotional stress…

So what does that have to do with why leadership training fails? Understanding what should be done and knowing what the specific behavior looks like to accomplish what needs to be done are very different things. Just like we, as leaders, will need to work at being able to separate the behavior from the individual in order to have effective conversations about improving performance,...

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Why Leadership Training Fails

Over the last few weeks in these posts and A Daily Dose Of Leadership, we worked through a question so many organizations need to answer (Why is Leadership Development Important?), then we made the rubber meet the road by Defining Leadership Development. With that foundation under our belts, let’s close the loop here by digging into Why Leadership Training Fails.

As we ate lunch recently, a friend of mine who is relatively new to our area made a comment about how interested he was in having intentional interaction with other local leaders. He’s in a relatively high profile public sector position and has regular conversation with several of his peers in local government positions but he mentioned that even within that community, the views on leadership could vary significantly. He also tossed out the number of leadership books that are currently in print as he pointed out the vast differences in perspective you could find depending on where you looked. As I dug for...

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Accountable for Results

Once we’ve been intentional about defining leadership development, our work should be done! Right?

Before you fall completely out of your chair, laughing at that ridiculous statement, I’ll challenge you to show anything of significance that’s truly that simple… If we want to achieve significant results, especially the tangible results that make a measurable impact on our organization’s bottom line, we’ll have to be sure to see it through - not just issue a statement and call it done…

For close to 15 years, I worked for a Human Resource Manager who was always very vocal about what he expected from me anytime I attended any type of class or conference. I was required to report back to him, and often the entire management team, showing I had learned and what steps I would be implementing in the process I led. I was also responsible for seeing this through and for showing a tangible return on the investment that had been made for me to attend...

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It Won’t Just Magically Happen!

We started defining leadership development in the last post by looking at the importance of truly serving our team members rather than barking commands. While that’s quite the noble concept, it’s far from natural for almost anyone moving into their first position with leadership responsibility. I’ve rarely seen someone promoted because of how effective they’ve proven to be in serving the people around them. Unfortunately, that kind of servant leadership prior to being in a position of authority is often overlooked completely or taken for granted. Have you ever heard anyone say “nice guys finish last”?

In almost every scenario I’ve seen where someone earned a promotion to a position where they now had responsibility for leading a team of people, it was based primarily on a strong ethic and excellent technical skills - both of which are extremely valuable in any field! But having those two important traits doesn’t necessarily translate...

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Defining Leadership Development

Through the last several posts, we worked through just a few answers to the question Why is leadership development important? In that process, I share some statistics from a few different studies citing costs organizations encounter when they don’t put a priority on developing the people filling their leadership roles; costs that are rarely tracked and even more rarely understood or tied directly back to a failure in developing leaders… If you missed any of that, you’re welcome to circle back to a page I put together compiling it all

Let’s take the next step through by clearly defining leadership development… Promoting someone into a leadership role doesn’t make them a leader anymore than selling them at McDonald’s would make them a hamburger! (I considered substituting milkshake for hamburger but I think it’s been years since a milkshake machine has worked at any McDonald’s worldwide…) And hearing a group...

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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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