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Dear Workforce How Can I Demonstrate to Managers the Importance of Retention to Our Bottom Line

March 18, 2005
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Related Topics: Retention
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Dear Making Relevant:

I'm delighted to see that you measure employee retention in so many different ways. That effort puts you ahead of most other employers. Unfortunately, measuring and talking about your plans does not generate a change in behavior or improved results.

Four more elements are necessary to achieve the level of success you seek.

First, the managers have to understand the numbers and what they mean--to the company and to themselves personally. A workshop should accomplish this objective. Include scenarios of how things might be different with more or less turnover so they can appreciate the benefits of workforce stability. Also, managers need to be trained in how to help reduce turnover. If they don't know what to do, you will not see performance results.

Second, your division managers need to have the same understanding as your managers, as well as an awareness of the tools and techniques they can use to support their subordinate managers. They must accept the fact that employee turnover is a management responsibility, not a human resources issue. Human resources is there to help, but line management must get the job done.

Third, human resources professionals should provide coaching to help managers improve the way they work with their people. Managers are not necessarily proficient at retention-oriented leadership unless someone helps them along the path.

Fourth, reward achievement of agreed-upon retention goals, and maybe even progress toward those goals. Cash rewards are appreciated, but so are trophies, certificates and plaques, or just public recognition. These awards should be bestowed by division managers as part of their role in inspiring, guiding and coaching managers to higher levels of performance and accountability.

SOURCE: Roger E. Herman,Herman Group, Greensboro, North Carolina, author,Keeping Good People, April 15, 2004.

LEARN MORE: They’re Hired: Now the Real Recruiting Begins.

The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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