Recruitment: Number Two Priority
By Michael Guld
financial textbooks refer to employees as human capital. The
management textbooks label employees human resources. However, the
most successful companies treat employees as human beings. When
revered and treated with respect, great people will take a company
to the highest levels of success.
member of corporate America, you hear it all the time, “Recruitment
is our number one priority!” While continual recruitment of talent
should be a top priority – even when the company doesn’t have
immediate openings – it should still be considered priority number
two. At the top of the list should be employee retention because
while good people are hard to find, great people are
much harder to replace.
short version of your company’s leadership philosophy should consist
of two words…“hire right.” When management hires the right people,
great results follow. Few leadership techniques will ever
have a lasting impact on the wrong hire. When you think about your
most successful, most productive and most enjoyable years in
business, they tend to center around the years you surrounded
yourself with the best people. And more often than not, it was
rarely anything you did to make them great, except invite them to be
part of your team.
do you keep your best and brightest from crossing the street and
taking the next best offer? Hiring is only the first step. From
there, you need to train, coach, engage, support, encourage,
recognize, reward, promote and compensate them in a way that will
exceed their expectations. Contrary to managers’ perceptions,
studies show that money is not the highest motivator in retaining
employees; especially in the millennial generation (twenty
something’s), which places a greater importance on lifestyle and
result, management can no longer live by the former golden rule,
“treat people the way that you want to be treated.” A baby
boomer’s motivations may be dramatically different than those of a
25-year-old Millennial. Therefore, the golden rule is evolving to,
“treat people the way that they want to be treated.”
leadership role, it’s vital to understand the unique wants, needs,
desires, and goals of each staff member, and make sure your
organization becomes a place where each can be realized. You may
have superstar employees who, if left the company, could
significantly impact your profitability. Provide these individuals
with golden handcuffs in the form of increased salary, bonuses or
other monetary and non-monetary incentives so they wouldn’t consider
working anywhere else. While initially this may not seem entirely
fair, assets to the company should be treated as so; even
professional sports franchises pay their athletes proportional to
their value to their organization.
saying goes, “people don’t care what you know until they know you
care.” Get to know your employees and take a true investment in
their lives and well-being. As a manger, there are many small yet
powerful adjustments you can make to attract, hire and retain the
best and the brightest.
Power of MWBA: Get out from behind the desk and practice
“Management By Walking Around” (MBWA). There is nothing more
insightful than spending time in the bullpen, getting to know your
employees and asking questions in an informal setting. MBWA breaks
down bureaucratic boundaries and shows that you are accessible,
approachable and real.
Power of Hand-Written Notes: Send handwritten notes
congratulating employees on a recent success and let them know, as
their leader, you appreciate their hard work – budget permitting,
include a gift certificate to their favorite store or restaurant.
married employees, send handwritten thank-you notes to their spouses
recognizing the achievements of your employee and acknowledging the
time they spend away from the family – budget permitting include a
spa certificate, mall certificate or other token gift.
younger employees who are new to the workforce, send notes to their
parents, bragging about their young adult’s successes and
complimenting them on raising a great person.
Power of Random Acts of Kindness: Practice random acts of
kindness by freely delivering movie tickets, dinner certificates,
gift cards and other tokens of appreciation to employees who
exemplify best practices. This could be done informally or through
a program entitled “Catch Me At My Best,” where co-workers or
customers are encouraged to share a great experience.
Power of Attractive Benefits: Time off with family and friends
can go a long was in creating loyal fans, so offer paid days off to
each employee for their birthday. Also, provide better monetary and
non-monetary benefits than those inside and outside your industry.
Paying a little more in health insurance, providing profit sharing
or contributing to an IRA will be more than made up by the reduced
the cost of attrition … not to mention improving overall employee
Power of Recognition and Communication: Have peer voted
employee of the month awards, branded to your company, with
personalized certificates including, traveling trophies/banners and
a $100 VISA certificate to the monthly winner. Have monthly staff
meetings to recognize successes, including awarding the employee of
the month and publicly reading all the reasons for their
nomination. In addition, use these monthly staff meetings to
uncover internal and external areas of improvement and set up action
committees to develop solutions (inviting those most vocal to take a
Power of Living Your Own Culture: People are energized by
organizational synergies and feeling part of something greater than
their own contribution. Living the company culture can be as easy
as re-naming your associates. Disney has castmates, Starbucks has
partners, Owens and Minor has teammates, but most
importantly, employees and leaders alike need to live the
culture you create. Calling your associates partners but
treating them like servants will do more harm than good.
Power of Thank You: Use the magic words, “thank you” often.
People appreciate feeling appreciated. Stated with true sincerity,
you will receive the greatest return on investment than anything
else you can do.
Depending on the industry and the position, studies show the cost of
employee attrition – which includes direct and indirect costs
associated with rehiring and retraining – could climb upward into
tens of thousands of dollars, and could increase to much more when
factoring in the opportunity costs and lost revenue. The goal is to
create raving fans who have loyalty beyond reason. It’s very
difficult for other employers to lure away an individual who has an,
“I love my job” attitude. That is the bottom line.
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about Michael Guld.
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