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You’re Retaining Employees The Wrong Way

Chess Pieces Symbolizing Strategy

Retaining employees is a challenge for a lot of companies today. A lot of companies get it wrong and some get it right, but the employee is in the position or company for all the wrong reasons. This post will start to flush out some of things you can do either as an owner or employee to correct the path forward

It is Your Fault!

If you are an employee and you don’t like your job. Maybe you don’t want to take any additional training. Only putting in the bare minimum? Are not in the career you want? Only in place to be a menace? Only at work because you need the money, get fired and whatever else can go wrong. It is your fault. It is your fault you are not being promoted or getting a raise or have terrible reviews.

However, it is the employer’s fault if you are putting in the work, training, asking questions, in a career you want, growing and they do nothing with you, except ask you to “work harder”.

And one last thing on employees. You are not rooted in the ground! You can leave whenever you want. That company you think, you are a golden child at, will have you replaced in a matter of days or weeks. Get over it.

What Can I Do?

If you are an owner and do not train, develop, promote worthy people, scale when you said you would, or lie to employees for your own agenda. Then it is your fault you are not where you want to be. I cannot tell you how many owners I have worked with, and they talk about scaling and wanting to grow, so they tell the employees and then nothing. People start leaving and they cannot understand why! Please understand as an owner, employees are in place to help build your dream!

It is the employee’s fault if you are doing what you need to, and they are not responding. Help them move on to whatever else they want to be doing. Don’t hold any ill will towards them, there will always be more employees to come alone!

For both employees and owners. Be better, learn more, ask better questions, give clear responses, be transparent in your business and scale.

These are some of the highlights about retaining employees that I cover when completing business consulting for companies. Realize that there are so many personalities in a company and every single one of them are different and have nuances to that (more on this later). When you take ownership of the pros and cons, you start to solve the hard issues.

Performance = People

Businesses cannot perform by themselves, especially if they want to scale. Owners need to treat people properly if they think they are going to scale. But it must be reciprocal. Employees also cannot think that they can just show up and the world gets delivered to them. They must put in the work.

I will talk about the external environment of employees later, but today I will talk about the internal metric of staff. You build a business by understanding the personalities of employees. Strengths and weaknesses are the big terms. But you as a person must know where you fit in the puzzle. You may want to be the manager one day, but you must put the time and work in first. Start with a simple personality test and there are a lot of them online you can take, just to get an idea of where you are. It helps you as an employee have a better conversation with your leadership team.

Next recommendation would be for leadership to start to understand those personalities and thoroughly understand Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. Determine where each person is within that pyramid and act accordingly. The world is going to throw you all types of personalities and it will be your job to place them accordingly. Groom them if you will for the next level. If you are a company that is happy with where you are right now, you also need to have that conversation with staff, telling them this as far as the company is going right now. Don’t try and hold on to people because of your own ego. Not everyone is ok with the status quo. If they want to grow, let them go and find someone else.

The People Need Leadership

This may not apply to everyone, but make sure if it does apply, give even more love to your HR department.

They are probably one of the least recognized groups, in my work experience. Everyone always looks to the people making the money, then the ones controlling staffing. However, when you investigate how important they should be, HR should be helping make strategic moves in your company.

HR understands the external world and the internal world of staffing. They will know what is driving staff to go to work, such as compensation norms, benefits, flexible work time, personalities, termination requirements, and so on. If a GM wants to expand and needs multiple staff, HR should easily be able to give them the information such as how long will it take to acquire those people and from where. Also, what tech does a company require to have staff.

Why HR Makes Business Easier

If used properly, HR can make a manager’s life much, much easier than has traditionally been done from my experience. I worked construction for many years, and in the office, we had an estimator, project manager and receptionist. HR was handled whenever it needed to be handled. There was no planning, or when someone had to be terminated, there was always the risk of being sued for wrongful termination.

I understand that HR is an overhead expense, and they typically have no charge out rate to reimburse the company, but the level of pain, HR can help you mitigate is not to be misunderstood. If you cannot afford a HR person, make sure you assign someone that is always your go to. Then when you bring in someone full time, you can have a bit of planning already set up for them.

Respect to all those people in this world that handle HR Day-to-day!

In Conclusion

Retaining employees is something I handle very often when consulting with clients. It is a business challenge that a lot of owner’s face. Making sure employees are content, while also still making the required profits you want in your business. I will jump down the rabbit hole very soon about things you can do to do this, but just wanted to give you the high level start and get your head thinking!

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