In the current times, you may have had to furlough or lay off employees. Now that you’re able to hire again you’re considering a rehire. You find yourself weighing the pros and cons of bringing previous employees back to your team. Will this decision be a good move, or is it better to start again?
The fact is, it depends on the specific person you’re reconsidering, the position in question, the culture of your company, and the nature of the former employee’s departure the first time around. Of course, the employee must meet any rehire eligibility requirements, which usually exclude dismissal for cause or violation of ethical or behavioral conduct rules.
The good news is, it is entirely possible for the rehire process to offer a solution where everyone benefits. While HR directors and managers once considered rehiring a former employee to be a bad idea, times are unprecedented and have changed more than anyone could foresee. Many HR directors and hiring managers come to see the potential benefits of rehiring former employees.
If employees see their employer is actively working to bring back talented people, it can have a positive effect on morale and engagement, especially if the rehire was well-liked and respected. Rehiring high-performing and high-potential staff can also bring productive teams back together and lay a solid foundation for trust and confidence.
Unless the employee has been gone for a long time, it is unlikely that they will need to receive much in the way of retraining. This not only saves time when it comes to onboarding costs but also allows you to slot the rehire employee into their position with minimal disruption. Even if some training and development are needed to support them in a new role, the time and cost involved should be much less than training an outsider. Previous assessment records and development plans might even be available as well.
Another advantage of hiring past employees is that there are few, if any, recruiting costs. Since the person already has a track record within the organization, employers have a good idea of what the employee can do so they don’t have to find someone new and recruit them. Rehiring past employees saves on the frustration of trying out a new employee and finding they’re simply not what they seemed.
Another advantage of rehiring employees is that they already know the procedures and the culture within the business. Compared with a fresh hire, they have the advantage of knowing what goes on during meetings, how workflow is handled, and how performance is assessed. They also know why some employees or managers do one thing one way and why others do it another way. The procedures are familiar, enabling them to get up and running fast, which is a big benefit to your company.
Yet another benefit of rehiring employees is that they will be more engaged and committed to the organization upon their return. Many companies find that these employees show a more positive attitude after rehiring. In most cases, that’s because they’ve seen how other companies run and worked with other people, which has given them a chance to know a good thing when they see it. These employees tend to be more appreciative of the company they work for and the team members they work with. They also bring a new perspective with them that could lead to significant changes in an organization.
On the other hand, rehiring isn’t always a great idea. There are a few key reasons why sometimes it doesn’t make sense to bring a former employee back into the fold.
While performance is obviously important, if an employee’s behavior or personality caused friction within a team or made other employees unhappy, chances are good that you’re better off without them. There’s a popular adage that people don’t quit jobs, they quit managers. Bringing back someone who might adversely affect retention or create a toxic work environment is just asking for trouble.
There are many practical reasons why it makes sense to rehire a former employee, but just because it will be cheaper and faster doesn’t mean they’re the best choice to fill a position. If a new person is a better long-term hire for the organization, the added challenge of bringing them in might be worth it. No one wants to miss out on a future high-performer just because they didn’t want to bother with onboarding them.
Organizations can change dramatically in a short period of time. There’s a good chance that a previous employee could be walking back into a work situation that isn’t at all like the one they left. That would negate many of the benefits of rehiring an employee, so you should always consider how much things have changed when considering bringing someone back into the fold.
If you choose to hire a former employee, clearly communicate to your existing team your reasons for doing so. Also, brief the returning employee on the company’s current situation and set your expectations. If the person originally left for a specific reason, be sure that the situation has been addressed to avoid losing them a second time around. And finally, make sure to follow up regularly with the returning employee to make sure they are adjusting well.
Replacing skilled employees is a major challenge for any organization. In addition to the time and expense required to conduct a new search and hiring process to replace a departed employee, there’s also the lost productivity when remaining employees have to pick up the slack until a replacement is selected. That’s why having strong employee retention strategies in place is essential to building a resilient organization. When employees aren’t constantly looking for their next opportunity elsewhere, they are more engaged in their work and take a more active role in contributing to long term success.
There is no universal definition of employee development. Still, most companies understand it to mean a collaborative effort between an organization and its employees to improve their skills and knowledge. In most cases, this is accomplished by making learning resources available while also providing opportunities for employees to gain valuable experience. However, they’re implemented, these programs should be a central component of employee retention strategies.
Employee training and staff development can take several forms. Online learning resource libraries allow employees to learn at their own pace and fit development into their schedules. One-on-one coaching programs pair people with experienced mentors who can offer guidance and suggestions on dealing with new situations and improving in other areas related to their job. Employee training and development programs can focus on hard skills directly related to tasks and soft skills necessary to work collaboratively with others and manage teams effectively.
Investing in staff development also aligns employee career goals with the organization’s long-term objectives. By providing the tools and resources employees need to improve their skills, companies demonstrate that they value professional and personal growth, which helps generate loyalty and improve commitment. It’s no coincidence that a 2018 LinkedIn study found that 93 percent of employees said they would stay with a company longer if it invested in their careers.
When employees feel ignored or undervalued, they can engage in various negative behaviors that are harmful to the organization. Whether it takes the form of declining work quality, poor attendance, or a negative attitude, employee disengagement can quickly contaminate the workplace to diminish productivity and performance.
Providing new opportunities is one of the best ways of pushing back against disengagement. When employees are allowed to improve their skills and gain new experiences, they are more likely to feel valued. Engaged employees also tend to be more productive and efficient overall, which is why companies should spend time thinking about how to emphasize development if they want to get the most out of their workforce.
While today’s employees want development opportunities, they also want them on terms that work for their busy lives and schedules. For many years, companies required employees to attend lengthy seminars or workshops. But this “information dump” approach to learning often left people without a clear idea of implementing the lessons learned (if they even remembered them all after a marathon session). Furthermore, long-duration courses are often inconvenient, either cutting into employees' work productivity or personal time. While some companies have promoted “lunch and learn” or “remote learning” programs, these approaches can create the perception that an employer doesn’t respect personal boundaries.
For many employees, micro-learning resources offer an ideal solution. These programs offer developmental resources in small increments that can be digested quickly and easily during the day. Learning opportunities can also be incorporated into the employee experience more effectively. Providing people with the chance to work on new projects outside their usual responsibilities is just one example of how professional growth can be integrated into employee retention strategies.
It’s a lot easier to help employees understand where they need to improve and what they want to accomplish. Development assessments can provide actionable data detailing what motivates employees to learn, what gaps exist in their natural aptitudes, and what learning and coaching formats are most effective. This allows you to build a customized development strategy for every employee that sets them up for learning success.
Behavioral and cultural fit assessments are also valuable for telling you what environments and situations are the best matches for employees. This can be especially valuable when putting new teams together because it can head off potential conflict sources and help put people in the roles where they’re most likely to be successful. The ability to provide insightful information makes these assessments critical to successful employee retention strategies.
While assessment data is important, it’s also good to know what employees think about their career goals. If someone is happy in their existing role but would like to improve key skills associated with it, they will require a different approach than someone who has aspirations to move into a different role. This is especially important when it comes to preparing people for leadership positions. Not every employee wants to be a leader, but those who generally want to take consistent steps toward that goal. Understanding what each employee wants will make it easier to put the data gathered in their assessments into a meaningful context.
Of course, employees may also have a lot to tell you about the organization (and the people leading it). When soliciting feedback from employees, it’s important to listen carefully to what they have to say. While it isn’t always possible to take action on every point they raise, taking the time to listen and understand their concerns and opinions makes them feel valued and supported. In many cases, their insights can expose issues within an organization and contribute to positive solutions.
One of the most valuable tools for organizations and employees alike is a professional development plan. This document identifies short, medium, and long-term goals the employee wants to accomplish throughout their career. Typically developed in cooperation with a manager or HR director, the employee development plan highlights any skills, competencies, experiences, and education required to achieve each goal. It also identifies potential resources, such as directed learning materials, potential mentors or employee development trainers, and training courses that could prove useful throughout their career journey. With a career development plan laying out a distinct path forward, it’s far easier for employees to see where they need to take steps to further their careers. The plan also helps employers get a sense of an employee’s plans and how they fit into a broader succession strategy.
Organizations that neglect employee retention strategies often discover far too late that they’re actively pushing their best people out the door to seek opportunities elsewhere. When companies implement employee training programs that help people build new skills and become effective leaders, they can significantly improve retention and engagement levels. The combination of development assessments and professional development plans encourages employees to see a future for themselves within the organization.
So…you’re considering a previous employee rehire and weighing the pros and cons of bringing them back to your team. Will this decision wind up being a good move or one of those “What the heck was I thinking” situations?
The fact is, it largely depends on the specific person you’re reconsidering, the position in question, the culture of your company, and the nature of the former employee’s departure the first time around. Of course, the employee must first meet any rehire eligibility requirements, which usually means they weren’t dismissed for cause or violated any ethical or behavioral conduct rules.
Still, it is possible for the rehire process to offer a win-win situation for everyone! While HR directors and managers once considered rehiring a former employee to be a bad idea, many of them are coming around to see the potential benefits of these so-called “boomerang employees.”
If employees see their employer is actively working to bring back talented people, it can positively affect morale and engagement, especially if the rehire was well-liked and respected. Rehiring high-performing and high-potential employees can also bring productive teams back together and lay a strong foundation for trust.
Unless the boomerang employee has been gone for a long period of time, it’s unlikely that they’ll need to receive much in the way of retraining. This saves time when it comes to onboarding costs and allows you to slot the rehire employee into their position with minimal disruption. Even if some training and development will be needed to support them in a new role, the time and cost involved should be significantly less than bringing in a complete outsider. Previous assessment records and development plans might even be available as well.
Another benefit of hiring past employees is that there are few, if any, recruiting costs. Since the person already has a track record within the organization, employers have a good idea of what the employee can do so they don’t have to find someone new and recruit them. Rehiring past employees saves on the frustration of trying out a new employee and finding they’re just not what they seemed.
Another advantage of boomerang employees is that they already know the procedures and the culture within the business. Compared to a fresh hire, they have the advantage of knowing what goes on during meetings, how workflow is managed, and how performance is evaluated. They also know why some employees or managers do one thing and why others do it another way. The procedures are familiar, allowing them to get up and running quickly, which is a major benefit to your business.
Another benefit of rehiring employees is that they will likely be more engaged and committed to the organization upon their return. Many companies find that boomerang employees exhibit a more positive attitude after the rehiring. In most cases, that’s because they’ve seen how other businesses operate and worked with other people, which has provided them with the perspective to know a good thing when they see it. These employees tend to be more appreciative of the company they work for and the team members they work with. They also bring a fresh perspective along with them that could lead to important changes within an organization.
On the other hand, rehiring isn’t always a great idea. There are a few key reasons why sometimes it doesn’t make sense to bring a former employee back into the fold.
While performance is obviously important, if an employee’s behavior or personality caused friction within a team or made other employees unhappy, odds are good that you’re better off without them. There’s a popular adage that people don’t quit jobs; they quit managers. Bringing back someone who could negatively impact retention or create a toxic work environment is just asking for trouble.
There are many practical reasons why it makes sense to rehire a former employee, but just because it will be cheaper and faster to do so doesn’t mean they’re the best choice to fill a position. The added challenge of bringing in a completely new face might be well worth it if that person is a better long-term hire for the organization. No one wants to miss out on a future high-performer just because they didn’t want to bother with onboarding them.
Organizations can change dramatically in a very short period of time. There’s a good chance that a boomerang employee could be walking back into a work situation that isn’t at all similar to the one they left. That would negate many of the benefits of rehiring an employee, so you should always consider just how much things have changed when considering bringing someone back into the fold.
If you choose to rehire a former employee, clearly communicate to your existing team, your reasons for doing so. Also, brief the returning employee on the company’s current situation and spell out your expectations. If the person originally left for a specific reason, be sure that the situation has been addressed to avoid losing them a second time around. And finally, be sure to follow up regularly with the returning employee to be sure they are adjusting well.
Losing employees can be costly for your business and stressful for your HR department, management team, and other team members who have to take on the workload they’ve left behind.
There are different reasons why an employee might leave your organization, but those reasons will usually fall under two main categories—employee attrition and employee turnover. But how are they different, what will they mean for your organization, and how can you prevent them? Get ready to find out!
Employee attrition is defined as the loss of employees through a natural process. This could be due to retirement, resignation, elimination of a position, personal health, or other similar reasons. With employee attrition, the employer will not fill the vacant position left after losing that employee.
Employee turnover, or an organization’s employee turnover rate, is defined as measuring the number of employees who have left the organization during a specified time period, which is typically one year. So, an organization will compare their employee turnover rate year-over-year.
Employee attrition and employee turnover are sometimes used synonymously. While instances of both employee attrition and employee turnover will decrease the number of people you have staff, they are two very different types of employee churn.
Employee attrition is typically voluntary and for natural reasons like retirement or resignation, while employee turnover could be voluntary or involuntary. An example of voluntary employee turnover would be an employee quitting because they don’t like the job, the office environment, their boss, etc. On the other hand, an example of involuntary employee turnover would be an employee who is terminated because they weren’t reaching performance goals or had a consistently bad attitude.
Additionally, with employee turnover, the company must replace the employee who has left, whereas vacant positions left open due to employee attrition typically remain unfilled.
After 30 great years with XYZ Corporation, Jane has decided it’s time to retire. Her company does not plan to hire a direct replacement for her. Instead, her workload will be evenly dispersed amongst the other members of her team. So, Jane is considered part of XYZ Corporation’s employee attrition rates for the year.
Steve accepts a job at XYZ Corporation, thinking he would be a great fit for both the position and the company culture. After a few months on the job, he realizes he is not enjoying his daily tasks and does not get along well with his coworkers. So, he decides to quit and search for a different role more suited to his preferences. Steve is contributing to XYZ Corporation's turnover rate, who must now replace him.
There are a few obvious costs of employee turnover and employee attrition that any business owner, manager, or HR professional is likely already aware of.
For example, let’s look at Jane’s employee attrition example. When the company disperses her workload amongst the other team members, that could cause additional stress for those employees, leading them to ask for a raise. If they have to work overtime hours to complete their new larger workload, this could affect the company’s payroll costs when they now have to pay multiple people over time.
When it comes to Steve’s employee turnover example, there are also obvious costs that the company will incur after he quits. They’ll have to go back to square one and repeat the recruitment, hiring, and onboarding process with his replacement—which takes a lot of time, money, and resources that could be allocated elsewhere.
However, there are also many hidden costs of employee turnover and employee attrition that may not be clearly apparent. These could include:
In 2017, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that 15.1% of the total U.S. workforce voluntarily quit a position, retired, was laid off, or discharged. Other studies have found that 10% is a good baseline number to aim for when it comes to employee turnover rates.
Keep in mind that employee attrition rates and employee turnover rates can drastically vary depending on the industry and complexity of the job role. For example, a very stressful and demanding role may have higher employee attrition rates because employees that are overworked and have been putting in incredibly long hours for most of their career will likely burn out faster or want to retire sooner.
There are many causes of employee turnover that can affect your employee turnover rates, but here are a few of the most common ones.
According to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, money and financial wellness is a huge stressor for modern employees. In fact, a study conducted by Financial Finesse found 66% of respondents feel stressed because of their day-to-day personal finances, and 60% expressed concern about meeting their future financial goals. A financially stressed employee will likely be on the look-out for a better-paying opportunity and willing to take any job offer with a higher salary, even if they do enjoy working for your company.
There’s a saying that goes, “people don’t leave jobs, they leave managers.” The proof is in the numbers—a recent Gallup poll of over one million U.S. workers found the number one reason people quit their jobs is because of a bad boss or immediate supervisor. In fact, 75% of workers who voluntarily left their jobs did so because of their manager, not the position itself. So, having managers who are poorly trained or unable to adapt their leadership style to meet the needs of their employees can leave your top performers looking for someone better to work under.
Top talent that constantly pushes themselves to develop new skills and grow as professionals expect to be rewarded. So, if you want to keep your top-performing employees motivated and engaged, you need to provide opportunities for them to learn, grow, and move up in their careers. In fact, a Randstad U.S. study found 58% of workers said their companies didn't currently have enough growth opportunities for them to stay long-term. Additionally, a Harris Poll study uncovered lack of career development ranked second only to compensation as the top reason employees left their organizations, and 34% of respondents who left their previous job said it was to find a new role with more career development opportunities.
To tell if employee turnover or employee attrition is becoming a big problem for your organization, you need to have data. Keep a list or file of employees that leave, and for each one, make a note of how long they worked for you, the position they held, and the reason they left. Then, over time, you’ll be able to spot trends in their responses and your employee turnover and employee attrition rates.
For example, are there certain positions that you have trouble keeping filled? Are lots of employees that work under the same manager leaving? Do employees keep leaving for similar reasons, like receiving a higher salary or getting more professional development opportunities elsewhere? The answers to these questions can help you determine if you have an employee turnover or employee attrition problem—then, once you know the root of those problems, you can start implementing ways to fix them.
If you identify that you have an employee attrition problem or very high employee turnover rates, what can you do? Here are five of our favorite ideas.
The first step towards reducing your employee turnover and employee attrition rates is understanding the reason behind them. Exit interviews can give you insight into why your employees are choosing to leave your company—then, you can develop a game plan for how to prevent other employees from leaving for the same reasons in the future.
So, it’s important to ask the right questions to make an exit interview a worthy use of time that gives you the insights you need to make changes in your workforce. Some examples are:
Seeing as financial stresses are one of the main causes of employee turnover, finding a way to help alleviate those stresses for your employees can reduce your employee turnover rates. So, many employers have started to implement financial wellness programs to help their employees cope with and overcome stress caused by financial pressures. In fact, 74% of employees in a Morgan Stanley study said a financial wellness program is an important benefit to them, and 60% said they’d be more likely to stay at a company that offered one.
Looking for ideas for your financial wellness program? You could host a monthly lunch and learn or Q&A session on different financial topics, bring a financial advisor or professional into the office for a seminar or workshop, or compile resources to distribute to your employees, such as educational pamphlets or online courses they can take in financial wellness.
The labor market is competitive, and if you want to attract and retain top-talent long term, you need to align with their preferences. This means offering the perks and benefits they really care about. In fact, an AICPA survey found American workers favor better workplace benefits over pay raises 4:1. So, by identifying what those wants and needs are when it comes to benefits and perks, then delivering on them, you can remain competitive and keep your employees.
For example, just one of these in-demand perks for modern professionals is the ability to work remotely because it allows for more freedom, flexibility, and a better work/life balance. Research has found that those who work remotely at least once per month are 24% more likely to be happy and productive in their roles than those who don’t, and remote workers say they're likely to stay in their current job for the next 5 years 13% more than on-site workers. So, offering remote work policies as an employee perk can help you keep top talent satisfied, productive, and loyal to your company long-term.
It sounds obvious, and all employees probably think they’re listening to their employees—but in reality, more than one-third of the workforce currently believes their employers don’t listen to their ideas and suggestions. When employees feel like you aren’t taking their feedback seriously or aren’t willing to implement changes when they come to you with a problem, they’ll likely leave to work for a competitor who does.
How can you show your employees you actually care about what they have to say? One idea is to send out a quarterly survey asking your employees how they feel about their manager, your company culture, their day-to-day-job tasks, and overall satisfaction in their role. It’s important to be transparent about those results and actually apply the feedback you’ve received to make positive changes in the workplace. Another is to hold regular performance reviews where managers can sit one-on-one with each of their team members to review their job performance, uncover skills they’d like to learn or new things they’d like to try, and set future goals for both personal and professional growth.
When it comes to employee retention, information is power. Hiring assessments can give you just that—information. And in a highly competitive labor market, this can be your competitive advantage. Each employee is different, so a one-size-fits-all employee retention strategy won’t help you keep your top talent. Instead, you need to understand each employee's motivators, preferences, strengths, and challenges.
Once you have this information, you can create a customized employee development plan and future career path aligned to meet each person's goals and needs on your team. But, it can take years on the job to uncover this information yourself. Luckily, hiring assessments can give you these valuable insights in just minutes—but you can continue to use them to reduce your employee turnover rates and boost engagement throughout the entire employee lifecycle by:
At Omnia, we believe hiring assessments are a powerful, invaluable tool that can help you reduce employee turnover and employee attrition rates. We’ve got a variety of pre-employment assessments and capabilities for custom reporting than make it possible for you to get the insights you need to meet your workforce and overall business goals.
Whether that means improving your hiring process, reducing employee turnover, or getting more out of your current employees, we’re here to help! Reach out to us today to get more information, request a demo, or start implementing hiring assessments in your organization.
You’ve seen the resume. You’ve conducted the interview. But without a practical pre-employment assessment, do you really know whom you’re hiring? The answer is probably no.
It’s them, not you. Or is it? If your workplace is turning into a revolving door of employees, you might be hiring the wrong candidates. Sure, they look great on paper; however, they might have the wrong temperament to fit into your company. A behavioral assessment helps you gauge a candidate’s soft skills before hiring them.
All things being equal, education and experience should be enough to ensure that a jobseeker fits in perfectly with your staff. Nevertheless, you could hedge your bets by finding out how the candidates will do with things like communication, pace, and need for structure. Moreover, you can predict how they might interact with long-established as well as demanding customers.
Targeting your hiring decisions with employment assessment tools makes it easier to fill critical positions with confidence. Is it possible that the new hire will walk out in a week? Sure, however, it’s far less likely.
Are you looking for someone to groom for leadership or an advanced position in the future? This candidate has a different approach to work than someone who intends to be a top performer in the sales or service department long term.
It’s important to note that although these tests have a high success rate, they’re not necessarily perfect. There’s room for human error. Besides that, you might choose to override a test result because your natural talent is to pick good candidates. Therefore, do not feel that you have to let the numbers master you. Rather, consider them as a guidance tool.
In a word: tradition. So far, hiring managers have always tested hard skills. There were typing speed tests, math tests, critical thinking assessments, and grammar tests. You learned that the candidate could communicate professionally, type quickly, and do ten-key by touch. But you learned next to nothing about their personality.
Another reason is the lack of vision. Maybe your firm hasn’t invested in the design of a mission or vision statement. Heck, you might not even have taken the time to put together a buyer persona. Maybe you just got lucky by offering the market what it wanted.
However, just as there’s a buyer persona, there’s also an employee persona. You can develop it yourself by doing extensive research on the successful staff members you currently have. On the other hand, if you would rather spend your time running your business, let the Omnia Group put together the employment assessment tools for you.
The Great Recession threw many workers for a big loop, but folks are feeling confident again, and turnover remains on the rise.
For sure, not all turnover is bad turnover. Organizations the world over have employees that “the powers that be” wish would leave already.
However, this article isn’t about those employees. This article is about the employees you don’t want to leave but who are nonetheless at high risk of turnover. What are some effective retention strategies to keep these employees from fleeing? Keep reading to find out.
Common Retention Tactics
Competitive wages, health, other group benefits, flexible schedules, paid leave, and free coffee and snacks are standard retention tactics. Companies taking things up a notch add tuition reimbursement, student loan repayment, onsite gyms, onsite daycare, and onsite medical facilities into the mix.
All of that is great for sure. In fact, if a company doesn’t get the basics of retention down, nothing else will matter. For instance, regardless of how much your employee enjoys the work, if they are underpaid and financially stressed, a move toward the Exit Door is inevitable. The same can be said for the employee who’s finding it extremely difficult to meet their responsibilities outside of work – as either a spouse, partner, parent, adult caregiver, etc. – because of unmanageable work demands. At some point, that employee will seek relief. If your organization can provide relief, fantastic. If not, the employee will have no choice but to tender their resignation, even if regretfully.
So again, the best companies take care to get the basics right. However, they do something else that all the other companies only talk about. These companies invest in management. They do so consistently and unreservedly because they know that there’s a lot of truth to the saying that people leave managers and not companies.
The Most Uncommon Retention Strategy that Works Every Time
As another saying goes, all good things must come to an end. This is as true for employment relationships as it is for love affairs. At some point, everyone leaves.
That said, smart employers know that the goal is to get as much benefit from the relationship as possible within the time available and to ensure that when an employee is ready to hightail it, the cause isn’t a poor reflection on the company.
One excellent way to meet this goal is to put resources behind people management. When a company is willing to put its resources behind the development of its people managers, everyone wins. Employees receive the attention and guidance they need to produce their very best, and the company gets engaged, satisfied workers, and its actual work goals met.
Unfortunately, many companies think they’re investing in management when they really aren’t. These companies may have a slew of people managers on the payroll, but the managers aren’t held accountable for their ability to get work done through other people or for their ability to move individuals forward in their careers. Instead, they get graded on their own To-Do lists, and that’s a huge missed opportunity.
Every effective retention strategy aligns with the needs and desires of critical talent, but there’s no cause to overthink things when it comes to people management. Every employee does better with a good manager than with a poor one. That’s just common sense!
So, okay, great management is the best retention strategy ever. How do you get there, and what does it look like?
Your A, B, C Guide to Building Awesome Managers
Acquire Well. The consensus may be that almost anyone can improve their managerial skills, but let’s be honest, people have to give you something to work with. No matter how talented at developing other managers, no one can take someone with no patience, hardly any empathy, very little self-control, zero self-insight, and a ton of arrogance and craft him or her into a stellar people manager. Ain’t gonna happen. You have to start with the right stuff. One way to test your potential manager’s “stuff” is through pre-hire or pre-promotion assessments that reveal behavioral tendencies as well as behavioral preferences.
Be Consistent. Human beings are wired to repeat actions that get them what they want and avoid actions that prevent them from getting what they want. If what you want is for your managers to do certain things again and again (e.g., delegate effectively, share power, not be shy about initiating difficult conversations, provide regular feedback to staff, etc.), you’ll have to be deliberate in consistently recognizing and praising those behaviors.
Coach, Coach, and Coach Again. Managing is hard work. Every leader struggles with giving honest feedback, addressing and correcting underperformance or poor performance, confronting bad behavior, or “simply” deciding priorities when everything seems equally important. If your organization is committed to developing leadership talent, coaching resources, whether internal or external, are a must.
All turnover can be disruptive to organizations, but bad turnover is preventable and especially troubling to responsible employers. Fortunately, the best retention strategy – good management – is well within the reach of motivated companies!