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Employee Retention


Employee Retention


“As we build the metrics to establish a retention baseline,

we discovered that the most important item was to be an employer of choice.” 

John Burns


Format: 3 hour workshop - 4 day planning session (See below)


What positive, conscious, vigorous steps is your organization taking to retain its personnel? If you cannot relate policies, procedures, goals, objectives and plans specifically designed to address employee retention, then you need this seminar. If your efforts and discussions on employee retention are sporadic, and accidental, this seminar is for you. If you are motivated to talk about employee retention only when there is a crisis, this seminar will save your organization from a great deal of stress.


This program will present a list of practical, adaptable ideas you will use in writing your Employee Retention Plan.  You will then take the plan and the materials back to your organizations for review, discussion and implementation.  You will design the plan to retain your current personnel and create a climate that attracts then holds new people.


It is far easier and more enlightened to keep a valuable employee than it is to find a new one. If you do not take care of your current workforce, you will find them looking for other opportunities. With today's easy access to information, they will not have to go far.


It is an economic reality that the growth and survival of a thriving enterprise will depend on an Employee Retention Plan. The success of new ventures cannot be sustained without adequate staffing. Even successful businesses and organizations will find it difficult to sustain the pace without a talented, seasoned workforce.  The competition for good people has become intense.  Stay out of the fray by keeping the valuable people you have.


Be proactive. Don’t wait for turnover. Don’t get caught with more positions than personnel. Don’t delude yourself by thinking there are several competent replacements for every position. Don’t let your plans go unfulfilled because of a lack of labor. Find good people, then use the information presented in this seminar to write a plan to keep them.




The seminar can be presented in ten modules over four days or can be condensed into a fast paced three hour workshop.  For the expanded format, each module will contain material presented by the program leader, a case study or exercise, and a planning session.  The case study or exercise will relate to the topic being presented in the module and will be used to stimulate discussion and focus the participants’ attention on the subject matter being covered.  The planning session will take place after the discussion and the presentation of the material.  Participants will be encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas.  The end result of each module will be the collection of data that will be used later to create an Employee Retention Plan.


Throughout the four day seminar, participants will work on their organizational Employee Retention Plan.  They will take the outline and their work back to their organizations for discussion, refinement and implementation.

In the more condensed format, each module will be presented and highlighted. The participants will be given the tools to take back to their workplace and write a plan with their team.




Retaining employees is not a cost free endeavor, but the total costs involved in putting an Employee Retention Plan into place will be far less than the costs of replacing people.  People who are satisfied and have their needs met by their employer will not seek other opportunities.  In today’s tight labor market, one thing is for certain: capable, hard working people will be able to find other alternatives. 


Companies with high turnover or have been downsized may find that the people who remain with the organization are those who lack initiative, are not adaptable, do not like risks, feel trapped by circumstance or are not particularly attractive to any other employer.  Morale begins to suffer and motivation becomes more challenging.  This is not a comfortable position for organizations wanting to meet their goals and implement their strategic plans.


When your organization has an aggressive, proactive plan for retention, taking the costly, time consuming, painful steps to replace people will not be necessary.  Developing an Employee Retention Plan is no longer an option.  It is a necessity for sustained success.




It is much more cost effective and there is much less strain on the organization when a solid retention program is in place.  In addition to the very quantifiable impact the following program has on retention, there is the less quantifiable impact on morale and quality of work life.  The same steps that lead to retention will also lead to a climate of high productivity, organizational loyalty, self-direction, pride, satisfaction and mutual benefit.





An Employee Retention Plan can be expensive.  How is it to be funded?  One way is by calculating the tremendous cost savings that will accrue to the organization when employees stay.  Use these cost savings to implement the plan.


How much does it cost your organization when it loses a valuable employee?  Calculate the following:


  • The cost of recruitment and selection, (The placement of ads, reviewing resumes, taking applications, conducting multiple interviews, etc.)
  • The cost of the orientation and training (From classroom training to formal coaching, consider the cost of trainers, materials and time spent in these endeavors)
  • The loss of productivity during the candidate’s learning curve (Everyone learns at a different pace, but everyone needs to be instructed on procedures and processes unique to the organization. This takes time and during that time, the employee will not be producing at full potential.  The more complicated the tasks, the longer the learning curve.  Output will be lower and efficiency will take time to recapture.) 
  • The cost of high-level time and attention during all the stages of this process. (Human Resource professionals, supervisors, team leaders, coaches, mentors, operations personnel and other organizational decision-makers will be involved in the process of planning, recruiting, selecting, orienting and training.  This includes the supervision of the entire procedure.)

In addition there are less tangible costs including:


  • the loss of known relationships,
  • the gap in the historical perspective of the team that no amount of orientation can replace, 
  • the possibility of having a vacant position and burning out the remaining members of the organization,
  • the dissonance, confusion and frustration change can create.




 The following outlines the policies and procedures, which will create the template for your Employee Retention Plan.  Each “C” represents a part of the overall plan. While each one is important, they should not stand-alone.  They are most effective when implemented as a complete package.  Create a plan of action for each vital area.




This module will address the initial phase of the relationship between the employee and the organization.  From the recruitment to the selection, every aspect of the initial contact should be carefully planned with an eye to a long-term relationship.  There will be a substantial section related to the legal rules of recruitment, interviewing and selection.


ACTION PLAN: What is your plan to increase the effectiveness of your recruitment, interview and selection processes?




“A good coach inspires others with confidence in him/her; a great coach inspires them with confidence in themselves.”


Once the selection is made, the employee needs to build confidence and competence.  Training, instruction, encouragement and education are critical to an employee’s orientation.  While many organizations do a fairly good job of orientation and training, in order to develop long-term loyalty the mentoring and coaching of an employee should be ongoing.


ACTION PLAN: Review your orientation plan. If you do not have a formal process, create one. Build a formal mentoring program.




Yes, compensation is important.  Take a broad view of compensation and explore its many forms.  Creativity and flexibility will be the hallmarks of a compensation plan that is designed to retain employees.


ACTION PLAN: Define compensation in your organization.  Build some flexibility into your plan according to what you discover through researching your employees’ wants, needs and suggestions.




Communication must flow through all levels of the organization to get work done and to increase the satisfaction of all members of the work team.  Both receiving information and having the opportunity to share ideas and suggestions are important to hard working, professional, well-trained employees.  It is the component that links people and tasks together and enhances the experience while increasing the productivity of the work group.


ACTION PLAN: How are you going to improve your organizational communication?  Are each of your managers/supervisors/leaders and team members adequately trained in effective communication technique?




“There is no limit to what can be accomplished if no one cares who gets the credit.”


There is no doubt that when someone feels like a valuable part of the whole, they will be more inclined to remain with the group.  Building teams creates a sense of connectedness and this, in turn, leads to longevity of service.  Two heads can be better than one when properly facilitated.  Shared experiences lead to shared responsibility, which, in turn, lead to shared success.


ACTION PLAN: Does your organization have a plan to build camaraderie and esprit de corps?  What training and experience do your mangers and leaders have in this area?  What do your employees have to say about this?




"Humans have a higher nature which includes the need for meaningful work, for responsibility, for creativeness, for being fair and just, for doing what is worthwhile and for preferring to do it well."  Abraham Maslow


Individuals seek responsibility.  They will commit to the organization when the organization commits to them.  After the courtship and the honeymoon and the discussion of ideas, comes the steady, hard work of daily activity.  Frequent feedback, appreciation, and recognition will keep people committed.  In addition, building trust, empowerment and not taking any employee for granted are essential in maintaining commitment.


ACTION PLAN: What is your plan to empower all employees?  Have you a formal process to assess their commitment and collate the thoughts of the collective mind? 




“If you are coasting, you are going downhill.”


An organization must continuously update the skills, knowledge and abilities of its workforce.  While the rapid rate of change in some tasks make training and employee development obvious, every employee faces the possibility of professional obsolescence.  Employees who are not up-dating their skills will be left behind.  They will begin to feel frustrated, unfit, uncertain, and inadequate.  These are painful, unpleasant feelings and many employees will escape to a new job or just give up and put in their time.


It is the responsibility of the organization to keep skills updated through professional development plans.  Educational opportunities, in-house training, mentoring, seminars, conferences, trade magazine subscriptions, tuition remission, sabbaticals and release time for personal improvement will not only increase competence, it will keep the work force interested and refreshed.  It also creates a sense of obligation to the generous organization that provided the opportunities.


“When you are through changing, you are through.”


ACTION PLAN: What plans do you have for employee development?  What does your organization do to contribute to each employee’s continuous growth in both skill and knowledge?




Checklist of Critical Components For Employee Retention

These attributes are of critical importance and should be part of your overall retention plan. Use them to survey your employees to discover where your organization excels and where improvements can be made.


___COMPETENCE: able, qualified, readiness; proficiency; eligibility; qualification

___CONCERN: to relate or belong to; be interested in; engage

___CAMARADERIE: esprit de corps; comradeship; friendship

___CANDOR; openness; sincerity; honesty

___COURTESY: civility; attention; consideration

___CREATIVITY: inventiveness; artistry; imagination

___CELEBRATION: to praise, extol and honor; jubilation; merriment; commemorate

___CONFIDENCE: trust; reliance; self-assurance; conviction; positive; bold

___CLIMATE: environment; ambience; spirit; atmosphere

___COALESCENCE: to grow together; to combine; unite

___COOPERATION: teamwork; collaboration; joint action

___COMPLIMENT: endorsement; praise; tribute; applaud


___CONFIRM: to strengthen, ratify; affirm; authorize; approve; endorse

___CONSISTENCY: agreement; cohesion; uniformity; proportion

___CONSCIENTIOUSNESS: principled; scrupulous; devoted; ethical; dedicated

___CONSULTATIVE: counsel with; discuss; ask for information; confer

___CONTEMPORARY: up-to-date; current; topical

___COURAGEOUS: chivalrous; fearless; gallant; daring

___CONSEQUENCES: aftereffect; repercussion; impact


ACTION PLAN: Use this checklist to assess the current state of retention readiness.  Use each characteristic as a theme for training, orientation and/or meeting topics.  Write them in to job descriptions.  If these characteristics do not describe the current culture, what steps can be taken to change that?




“Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there.” Will Rogers


The participants will have the information they need to map out a plan of action.  Each will begin by drafting a program for their own organizations.  They will share their ideas and insights with their fellow participants before going back to their workplaces.  They will have written a plan that they will share and discuss with their colleagues.  It will be a fruitful as well as insightful three days.