The 2011 Retention eBook

What??? Ben Eubanks let me contribute to yet another eBook?

Another amazing list of contributors (how I made the cut is beyond me). In all seriousness, Ben has great vision and passion for so many topics that this is just another incredible resource he as published. Hope you find this to be a useful tool to spark your thoughts and discussions within your own organization.

Below is an overview Ben prepared to provide an overview of this project:

As the economy turns around, up to 84% of employees across the US have said they are looking at the possibility of changing jobs.

That’s a lot of people.

We all know the numbers on employee turnover and the impact it has on the bottom line. So what’s our alternative? Retention. Keep the good people around (not by force, hopefully) and keep them on our team.

That’s where the free eBook titled “Where do you think you’re going? A guide to employee retention” comes in. It’s full of strategies and ideas for how to retain your best employees in turbulent economic times.

Special thanks to Shauna Moerke for helping me to promote the guide through the HR Carnival channel. I also want to thank the contributors for offering up some great, useful content: Tim Sackett, Heather Vogel, Benjamin McCall, Chris Ferdinandi, Paul Hebert, Laura Schroeder, Dave Ryan, Keith McIlvaine, Robin Schooling, and Stuart at 1.00 FTE. You can find links to each of these contributors’ websites within the guide.

As you would expect, a great introduction from Ben. Now, please click HERE to download the free eBook.

Interview With #DriveThruHR

On March 28th, I had an unbelievable opportunity to be interviewed by William Tincup and Bryan Wempen on their BlogTalkRadio show: DrivetTruHR.

This was my first opportunity to speak with William and Bryan and I am sorry I haven’t spoken with them earlier! I have interacted with them on Twitter but have not met them anywhere. After speaking with them, these are two engaging and interesting individuals (plus William and I have a passion for Manchester United which is always a solid bonding point).

It was great getting calls from Animal, who is always looking to stir the preverbial “pot”, and a call from Tammy, from the 616 in Michigan. It was just knowing that someone is listening out there, regardless of the fact that I know William and Bryan have an impressive listener base.

Thank you again to William and Bryan and everyone at DriveThruHR for listening to me yesterday. If you want to hear the entire conversation, you may do so here.

Hope you enjoy!

What Might You Do To Keep Your Talent

Businesses are always looking for ways to improve upon retention, regardless of how well the numbers appear. Have you, your HR organization, or individual managers reviewed ways to improve upon your retention figures?

One important note to begin, regardless of how desired your company is (like Google) that does not make every person a match for your company. some people just do not work out and that will happen forever.

So what are a few ideas your company may consider to improve retention? Below are 5 (five) ideas to get you thinking:

Manager Reviews
An important topic from 2 (two) perspectives. First, put the right people into management positions. Let’s face it, being a manager isn’t for everyone and there is nothing wrong with that! Managers need to be trained and provided with tools to allow them to be successful. But don’t put someone into this role who isn’t equipped to make others grow, succeed, learn and improve. Second, allow employees to provide candid feedback, a 360 is a nice tool to use. This review will answer two potential concerns; (1) how are managers effectiveness with their group and (2) are their areas of concern that arose from the team that could be a reason for them leaving. Get ahead of the curve and understand what is happening on a micro-level.

Corporate Culture
Culture is an important part of any company. Negative culture is sure to either chase or scare talent away. If your company is progressive that is an important consideration. What about intangibles such as team outings, company sponsored events, free coffee, on-site cafeteria, healthy living programs, and so many other avenues to think about. If employees enjoy coming to the office, enjoy who they work with (and for), and feel the company is there for them… there is still something to be said for these considerations.

In an age of benefit discussions, like Obama-care, benefits remain a selling point. Health care is a hot-button and is one topic that always is discussed in the hiring process. If your company has a strong healh plan, I bet it is easier to attract talent in the offer stages (presuming the company and work are interesting as well). But what if your company has a poor health plan? Do you find it something you have to sell around? I bet so. I also bet that strong health packages are an encouragement to retain employees as well.

Physical Work Environment
This overlaps the “company culture” topic a little. Do employees have a cube or an office? Is collaboration encouraged? Is your company in a desirable location? Minor enhancements to an office can make a huge impact on your employees.

Actual Work
Are your employees interested and challenged with their day-to-day activities. Do you hear excitement when they talk about their job? If any employee is not happy with what they are doing, that is a sure clue that talent may be leaving soon. Take a proactive approach to learning how motivated and interested your employees are, showing interest is just the starting point to being interested in your workforce.

Are all of these realistic for your company? Maybe, but as I said, these are just ideas to get you thinking.

The competition for talent will always be a priority for companies, and so will the challenge of retaining talent. How your company adapts will certainly be a part of this evolution and reflect into the metrics. Help make your company a company with a #winning retention mentality.

White Pager: Employee Engagement

Today I am fortunate enough to be a contributor to a great eBook published by Ben Eubanks; AKA upstartHR, AKA The HR Ninja, AKA an awesome HR pro who engages.

Ben wants to collaborate with the HR community and provide resources to help all of us grow professionally, share great material and (most importantly) challenge each other to improve HR practices.

Want to see what this is all about? Then have a look at the summary below and then read this eBook. I certainly hope you enjoy what is being shared.

Passion. A sense of purpose. Engagement. Studies show that employees that are “engaged” in their work perform significantly better than those who are not. The problem is finding real, tangible ways to make that happen. Good thing there’s (now) an eBook for that.

Recently I reached out to a few people to see if they wanted to contribute to an eBook to help HR pros, managers, and business leaders learn more about this topic. The response was a good one, and today I’m happy to share the free eBook with you. It’s titled “All together now! A guide to employee engagement.”

There are personal stories about engagement and what it means, tips for companies on communication and culture, and some really great, specific how-to content.

Special thanks to Shauna Moerke for helping me to promote the guide through the HR Carnival channel. I also want to thank the contributors for offering up some great, useful content: Nathaniel Rottenberg, Chris Ferdinandi, Paul Smith, Laura Schroeder, Dwane Lay, Dave Ryan, Krista Francis, Jennifer V. Miller, Lisa Rosendahl, Keith McIlvaine, Karen Seketa, Tamkara Adun, Cori Curtis, Lance Haun, Robin Schooling, and Tanmay Vora. You can find links to each of these contributors’ websites within the guide.

A Guide To Employee Engagement (click on the button to download)


Image credit to Ben Eubanks and Zazzle.

It’s Not Just About The Money

Okay job seekers, let’s talk about WIIFM (What’s In It For Me). You are looking for a position in your career, to grow within a company, stretch your ability, learn new skills and be successful. Well, at least that is what I look for in a position as I want to be challenged and make an impact on my company.

What do you truly review when you are looking at a new position? Obviously the job itself, definitely the salary requirements as well as the benefits that are provided. But how deep do you ask about benefits.

Yes, health benefits (medical, dental, vision, disability), retirement contributions as well as vacation/holiday/PTO days are all important to make sure you understand. Do you ask deeper, probing questions about additional or non-high profile benefits?

Think about a few other key benefits you should be asking about and wanting insight to from a company:

  • Business Attire – Although you most likely paid attention to this during the interview process it is always good to reconfirm at the start.
  • Core Business Hours – Make sure you know what hours you are expected to either be in the office or be available. Many of us continue to do work after hours but core hours are another topic important to consider.
  • Company Culture – Yes, company culture is an absolute selling point for many of us. It is important to like (not Facebook “like”) who you work with and how the team works together. It isn’t fun going to work and feeling like you are on an island. Working from Home – A great benefit as this will save on gas, car wear-and-tear, dry cleaning and other expenses. It might even be a tax write off for some people.
  • Corporate Discounts – Companies partner together for mutual benefit. Companies such as Dell and HP will offer corporate discounts for employees purchasing computers or accessories; Brooks Brothers offers a clothing discount. Local stores may also contribute for gym memberships, car repair discounts, and more.
  • Travel – Is travel required for this position? Travel could be a positive or negative given each individuals circumstances.
  • Additional Benefits – Ask the question, “are there any other benefits I am unaware that employees receive?” Could be an on-site cafeteria, dry cleaning services, or free memberships to whatever.

If you don’t ask, companies will not tell you everything. They may try to, but do your best to learn in advance.

Get a complete picture of a position and a company before you make a decision. It is your career and (hopefully) you will be there for at least a few years. Make the right decision and look at the complete package… it could actually add to the value of the opportunity.

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