Seven Steps of Staff Retention
Staff retention drops significant profit straight to the bottom line. Equally true, our industry averages over 185% turnover. Investing in retention is a tangible alternative to budgeting for turnover. I offer you a pragmatic, and what may feel paradoxical strategy, that builds retention. In just over 1,000 client cases, the steps offered here have worked, in every case. You will see you have a choice. Here’s a seven (7) step strategy that consistently reduces 185% and higher annual turnover, to less than 30% per annum pace in as little as one business quarter.
Step 1: Take the time to define performance excellence for every position in your company.
Most company leaders assume an understanding of excellence. Then you get disappointed when staff doesn’t perform. Don’t assume common sense. What is simple and obvious to you is often new information to others. Staff members are not likely able to read your mind. Take the time to define excellence in performance, both actions and results.
Step 2: Design results based job descriptions for every position in your company.
Most job descriptions are focused on tasks that reduce work to the lowest common denominator. Support performance excellence by focusing on definitive results. Once results are defined, tasks make sense, and provide a deeper sense of why task is done a certain way. This sense of why is critically important to most workers, and provides a more comprehensive sense of performance expectations. Prior to a hiring, ensure every applicant has reviewed the relevant job description.
Step 3: Base your interviews on the match (or not) of the applicant’s sense of excellence to your definitions of excellence.
Design everything in the interview to see and feel how the applicant defines, performs, explores and expands their sense of excellence. Anything less is a waste of your time.
Brief role plays will also provide you a clear picture if what the applicant says they are capable of matches your sense of effectiveness or more, e.g., carry a full tray, greet you as if you were the guest, offer verbal specials, etc.
4: “Maybe” is a “no”… keep interviewing.
Paradoxically, make it tougher, not easier to get a job in your business. Trust what is not easy to trust: more applicants show up when you raise the (performance) bar. Most people want to play on a winning team. When your staff plays on an A+ team they know it. No and yes votes on an applicant are simple. How many times has your “maybe” turned into a yes, and should have been a “no?” A maybe is a no.
Step 5: Invest in training.
Support the excellence you’ve defined by training your staff to perform your expectations. Role play expected behavior, have your staff feel supported and successful. Effective training pays for itself.
Step 6: Managers coach excellence instead of being cops with policies
Be aware of body language and tone of voice as well as language choice. Catch your team doing the right thing and celebrate what is good, then guide the behaviors that need course correction.
Step 7: Celebrate the importance of each job, each position in your company.
My favorite question about the importance of work is this: “If it was your busiest shift of the week and you had to choose between your dishwasher or your manager, who would you lose?
Miick & Associates; Rudy Miick ©2007