Employee Retention: It’s All About How You Treat Your People

Employee Retention: It’s all About How You Treat Your People
By Chris O’Leary; Loss Prevention Recruiters
Published May 23, 2013 LP Insider LP Magazine Newsletter

After having been encouraged to write about Employee Retention by my good friends at LPMagazine I must admit that I have been dragging my feet. Like many other topics, there are tons of opinions out there about retention and we all have read many of them. The bottom line is that it’s all about how you treat your people. Now I know that it sounds simplistic but that’s because it is. Sadly there are too many companies out there that have a ‘churn and burn them’ mentality and I can assure you that they have the highest turnover ratios in the industry. No one wants to be treated like a number. We have all worked for that micro managing autocratic desk pounding screamer at some point in our careers and the number one thing they taught us was how not to manage and treat people.

Culture; creating a culture of open communication is a great first step to retention. People like to know what is going on so let them know and stop the speculations with regular updates. Retired Costco CEO Jim Senegal was quoted as saying “Culture isn’t the most important thing, it’s the only thing.”

Developmental programs; your employees need to have positions to aspire for and know that they are being developed into those roles even if it means they will move onto other companies to reach their goals. Your support will go a long way toward building a loyal organization and it will also help you to recruit new people as you and your organization’s reputation for developing people becomes known within the LP community. Invest in your team’s professional development and take the time to find out what they want to learn individually such as the certification programs from The Loss Prevention Foundation. For those team members who need to be more challenged, add additional responsibilities, special projects or stretch assignments.

Recognition programs; don’t wait until employee annual reviews to recognize them or provide feedback. A survey released in 2012 of U.S. workers by Global Workforce found that more than one-third (39 percent) of workers don’t feel appreciated at work and more than half (52 percent) aren’t satisfied with how much recognition they receive. Even worse, 17 percent of employees say they have never been recognized for their on-the-job efforts and 31 percent stated they left a job because they weren’t recognized or appreciated for their work.

Compensation packages; competitive salaries that include bonus, stock and profit sharing are important with retention however at the end of the day it’s all about your people not having that feeling of being trapped in a position just because it pays well in an organization that offers no growth opportunities or that views you simply as a replaceable commodity. Remember recognition and being valued means more than money to most people.
Work-Life Balance; because of the continued expansion of the do more with less approach, employees are expected to pick up the additional work load. This is fine if they are given the appropriate time off to catch that recital or ball game with the family. Simply said you cannot put a price on the importance of a person’s work-life balance.

Pay it forward; and finally you can pay it forward by not standing in the way when someone from your team has a new career opportunity with another company. After discussing it and providing advice the bottom line is that if it makes sense for them then you should be supportive. Great employees are valuable however no one is irreplaceable. In actuality it is a compliment to you and your organization for developing another executive for our industry. It will also be viewed by the industry as doing the right thing and will attract new talent for your company. Ultimately people want to work for a company that is supportive and that genuinely cares about each individual’s career development and advancement.

Chris O’Leary is the founder of Loss Prevention Recruiters a leading solutions provider in the retail loss prevention industry. He is a former loss prevention executive who has provided loss prevention career advice for over twenty years and has placed many leaders in their careers who are currently vice presidents or directors of loss prevention in our industry today. Loss Prevention Recruiters is all about helping people with their careers and doing what is best for each individual because “the best career advisors build their reputations based on providing sound advice and ethical behavior.”

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