Plan now to retain your best talent

Cindi Filer, CEO of Innovative Outsourcing, offers her advice.

Are you worried that your best employee will hand you their resignation? 

If you are, then you are one step ahead of the curve.  A current survey finds that one in three employees in the US is currently looking for a new job.  That’s 1/3 of your workforce and mine. "Not MY employees," you say.  But what if we consider that this may be a reality brewing right under your nose.  And then, let’s figure out what you can do now to retain your best employees.  Over the next few weeks, I'll be sharing some suggestions for retaining your top talent.

IDENTIFY THE CREAM OF THE CROP: The first step is to determine exactly who are your best employees.  Create a three-sheet reference like this: 

  1. EXCELLENT EMPLOYEES - This list should be the top 15% of your work force.  These are the people that you would cry or throw something if they turned in their resignation notice.  They might be the COO or the janitor, but they are good at what they do, and they are great to have around.
  2. WORST EMPLOYEES - This list includes the people that, if they resigned, you would cheer and have a party.  You get rid of them, and you don’t have to pay unemployment!  Hopefully, this list is very small, and your goal is to have no one on this list.  Anyone landing on this list should either be trained, become valuable, and make it off the list, or should be let go (after trying training and with great documentation). 
  3. EVERYONE IN BETWEEN - The majority of your team will land on this list.  These are good employees who get the job done.  You would be sad if they left, but you could likely replace them. 

This week, let's focus on Sheet One. These are your stars. You need to protect them.  Do you have any idea how close they are to leaving?  Evaluate every person named on this sheet, assigning them on a 1 to 10 scale the probability that they will be leaving the company soon.  Next to their leaving-probability rating, write what you perceive that each person values the most, (time off, money, autonomy, encouraging words, etc.)  

Next week, we will start to create a plan for each person. We call these retention plans, a strategy that you make to keep your best employees in this “Candidate-oriented” job market.

In the meantime, please reach out to me with specific staffing issues you need help addressing immediately. I'm here to help!