Retention: Don’t count on just one thing

October 1, 2013 by Wally Bock

Chief Executive has a fine article on retention titled: “The Trader Joe’s Model for Employee Retention.” Here’s a piece of the opening paragraph.

“Not every company fits the Trader Joe’s model, but some observers suggest that it offers many easy-to-implement ideas: break goals down into smaller, sub goals; celebrate the accomplishment of small goals loudly and joyously; actively solicit and put into effect employee ideas for improvement.”

Articles like this leave the impression that if you do one thing, in this case improve the work experience in a specific way, top talent will stay with your company and profits will rain down like waters. Not in this life.

Keeping good people is important and there’s no one thing that will make it happen. Usually, it’s a combination of a lot of things.

Smart recruiting. Retention starts with recruiting the kind of people who will thrive in the work environment. That means being picky. It also means being honest about your company’s plusses and minuses. Pay and benefits matter, too.

Helping people do a good job. That’s training so they learn the ropes quickly and slip comfortably into your culture. It also means selecting, training, and supporting supervisors who do a good job.

The working environment is important, as the Chief Executive article suggests, but it doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Finding the right people, rewarding them fairly, helping them become productive quickly, supervising them well, and offering them opportunities for growth and development are all important. The magic is in the mix.

Wally Bock is a coach, a writer and President of Three Star Leadership.

Posted in Selection

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