Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Healing Employment - Retention and Development

Final in a Series on "Employment is Broken"

An effective employment process is critical for employers when seeking to add new members to their staff. There are seven stages in the process, and employers must understand and effectively implement each stage in order to engage potential employees and therefore successfully select and onboard the best candidates in the field. This series of articles has examined how each stage is currently broken and how companies can use creative tips to repair each important part of the recruiting and hiring process.

In the employment process, the final (and ongoing) stages of engagement are retention and development. You have followed our creative tips for successfully attracting, selecting, interviewing, hiring and onboarding employees in today's challenging marketplace. So, now that they're in, how do you keep them?

Many organizations fall down in the final stages of the employment process - RETENTION & DEVELOPMENT - by neglecting to continually nurture and engage their employees. To avoid this, it is helpful to view employees as candidates to be continually courted and mentored.

Below are a few creative examples for developing what I like to call the "sticky cultural glue" in your company, which will help make it an inspired workplace where employees are "switched on" and no one wants to leave:

Flip the hierarchy - empower employees, respect their time, and encourage their ideas.

Leverage fresh eyes - ask new hires to point out processes in your company that don't make sense - because they probably don't!

Keep employees engaged and looking forward - change up employee work routines with new challenges every 18 months - and ask them what they believe their goals should be.

Pods, Tiger Teams, Tsunami Planning - group employees into pods of 4-7 employees each and ask them to meet monthly for intensive Tiger Team meetings where they develop solutions to existing problems or challenges. Ask these same pods to come together quarterly for Tsunami Planning meetings where they solve problems that haven't even happened yet!

Hold mutual reviews - review your employees quarterly and have them review you. Ask them, "How can we BOTH do things better moving forward?"

Celebrate boo-boos - share mistakes openly and without judgment to help others avoid repeating the same boo-boos.

Creating cultural glue takes real thought, complete buy-in from the top, and constant focus to be kept in place, but it is well worth the effort. Make your organization a place where employees want to STAY and can GROW. Remember, creativity is the difference between managing and leading others.

Kim Shepherd is the CEO of Decision Toolbox (, a national recruitment process outsourcing firm. She is the author of the newly released book, The Bite Me School of Management: Taking a Bite of Conventional Business Thinking. The book takes a large bite of out typical corporate culture. The lessons, funny and concise bite-sized servings, can be applied to all industries.

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