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  • Writer's picturetransformcxdev

Winning the Employee Retention Challenge

I want to spend a few minutes today talking about employee retention, employee encouragement, reviews, and everything we still struggle with as businesses.

There's this underlying comment or tone to some of those headlines that, hey, now the boss is back in charge, we can control who's going to work, how you're going to work, and the things that we're going to hold you accountable for.

During the quiet quitting pandemic, we went through this period where companies panicked and said, "Oh, wait a minute, you know, we've got to start acting differently if we want to retain talent."

That hasn't changed. Yes, we've got hybrid work environments returning, and in some cases, even a total return to the office. In different circumstances, those either work or don't work for other people. We see people who've relocated to different areas because they can get various quality of life.

That's more important to them than working for a particular company. If they have talent, and if they're driven people, they can take those skills wherever they may want to go.

I recently had a conversation with a good friend responsible for managing thousands of customer-facing people.

He is trying to pivot his organization from this traditional model: "Oh, Mr Employee, we're going to put you on a performance improvement plan because of XYZ." In some cases, sampling their performance or an anecdotal response from a customer puts this employee in a situation where their job is at risk.

Their job is at risk if they're on a performance improvement plan.

Of course, employers always say, "Well, that's going to encourage this person to really either fix things, or we're going to get rid of them." But what's happening today, and the evidence shows that people don't respond to that very well.

Often the first thing they do is start looking for a new job. And again, if they have talent and capability, they are the ones who are going to have the ability to lead and pursue those opportunities with other employers.

In some cases, they may be your competitors. So if you're willing and think it's important to retain talent, build tenure, and develop people that deliver great work for your customers, then we should take a slightly different approach to identifying people.

We should recognize people for their performance, not just focusing on the bottom performers but also saying thank you and acknowledging the people achieving their goals and delivering.

It would be very interesting as a good friend is doing a program right now where they will compliment people who are meeting or exceeding their performance standards. They are also trying to gather data to see if that positive reinforcement model drives ongoing, improved performance and or retention within those workforces.

This is something to think about. Rather than focusing on the negative, looking at a sampling of performance, looking at your top performers, how do I keep and retain those people? How do I drive an area of positive reinforcement?

Where do people need help? Ask them. That's a really powerful thing.

Ask people how they're doing and feeling about their job. And if it's not good, what is the driver? And is it something you, as a leader, as their boss, as the CEO of a company, can do to improve that because if they're struggling, the result is probably less than satisfactory customer experience?

To sum up, there is a lot of value to be gained in recognizing people for their performance, showing your appreciation for their hard work, and creating an environment that encourages people to stay.

With the high competition for top talent, employers should consider ways to adapt to the changing times and look at what motivates employees beyond just financial rewards.

Understanding each employee's individual goals and needs and providing positive reinforcement could be the key to a successful retention strategy that leads to better customer experiences.

Let's start a conversation if you need help with your employee retention strategy. Transform-CX can work with you to create a strategy tailored to your needs and ensure you keep the people that make up your organization's most valuable asset - your employees.

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