Employee Retention = Profit and Customer Retention

By Koby Fleck

Imagine the devastation your organization could experience if you lost your best, most well-trained, highest producing employees?

Immediate employee turnover costs are usually considered equal to the employees total annual salary (costs could be much higher when losing “top talent”)
Customer service disruptions; potentially losing profitable clients
Opportunity costs incurred: hiring replacements and their learning curves
Your competition could obtain your best employees and their portfolio of clients

How can you prevent that calamity? Three of the best and easiest solutions are included in this article.

Determine how dependent you are on your best employees:

“If you are in a genuine service-oriented business whereby you sell no tangible product (for example, the medical, staffing, training, counseling fields), then you and your employees are truly what the client is buying,” notes former Robert Half International executive and employee retention expert, Kristine Sexter. In the face of increased globalization and commoditization of goods and services, organizations are becoming more and more dependent on their employees’ expertise, abilities, and client relationships to differentiate them from their competitors.

Employee and profit retention: Three of the most effective techniques:

1. Prevent turnover through Entrance Interviews

Kristine Sexter has developed one of the most brilliant and pragmatic tools I’ve ever encountered that can be used in identifying tactics to retain your employees long-term. “The Entrance Interview can completely alleviate that shocked and sinking feeling of never having seen the top talent’s resignations coming,” says Sexter. This template gives the employer a system that they can use to determine a new employees’ performance expectations while determining what will motivate them to stay with the organization, including what rewards they prefer, how they wish to contribute long-term, and even helps to identify reasons that an employee might leave. I’ve made an arrangement for readers to receive this template at no cost. For the Entrance Interview template, contact us with “Entrance Interview” in the subject line.

2. Be sensitive to your employees’ needs through tailored perks

In recent consultation with one of my resume and career coaching clients, who directs one of the largest and most profitable lending organizations in the Midwest, she revealed her new flextime initiative. She works with her direct reports to craft working hours that make sense for her employees’ personal responsibilities. Some employees are allowed to work from home twice a week and come into the office three times a week. “Employee retention skyrocketed,” she said.

In talking with an additional employee retention expert, Leigh Branham, he was deliberate in noting that, “Employers should be very sensitive to their employees needs, considering their age, what they are interested in, what life stage they are in, etc.” Use this information and the results from the Entrance Interview to work with your employees to come up with ideas, schedules, and benefits that are tailored just for them. Everyone wins.

3. Watch for warning signs

Watch for the warning signs that your best employees might be leaving or are disengaged. Your employees might spend less time participating in meetings, they might come in a little later, or leave earlier, or totally withdraw. Branham says, “Turnover is not an event, it is a process that starts with disengagement. Stay alert and re-engage your employees who exhibit these warning signs.” Re-visit what was important to them when you first conducted the Entrance Interview, and use that information to re-engage them in their work.

Receive the Entrance Interview, at no cost: To receive it, fax your letterhead with your name and the word “Entrance Interview” to 1.877.882.5368 or e-mail the same info (with your fax number).

Copyright 2005 Koby Fleck. All rights reserved.

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