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Retain the Best Employees!
07/13/2008

Retaining good employees?

How do you retain your best employees? Employee retention is growing as the largest challenge to business success. Attracting and keeping the best employees seems to be the "Rubik's Cube" for most employers today.

We all seem to be competing for the same pool of qualified applicants. We are also attempting to entice the best from our neighbors without shame. The problem for business is that these "good' employees" know their value and are not ashamed to leave you for a better offer. In fact, skilled employees are perched in the driver seat and starving companies will do almost anything to get them.

Following are five tips to better employee retention:

1. Trash the traditional schedule. Flexibility and time off for fun is critical for long-term retention. Four 10-hour shifts per week will attract more interest than five 8-hour shifts.

2. Use technology. A clean, bright work environment with modern technology to make work less physically demanding will keep employees even when someone offers more money down the road.

3. Train, train & train. The more learning opportunities you provide the stronger the bonds with your team will remain. Training provides information and you cannot share too much with your people.

4. Forget control. Control is really just an illusion. Empower your people to solve problems and meet challenges. If your team feels challenged (even on boring tasks) they are more likely to stay rather than leave for a few more pennies per hour.

5. Communicate. Remember your audience needs information. Why are you doing what you are doing? How is it beneficial to the individual, organization and the public? The more information you share, the better employees will feel about being on your team.

Generation "Y"

This generation was born between 1981 and 2000 and have been influenced mostly by the Internet. For most of their lives they have had information at their fingertip. As a result they want to know "why" and "because I said so" simply will not work. Generation Y is the second largest population demographic (60~70 million strong). Regardless of what you think of them, Generation Y is our future workforce.

Following are the seven worst management traits that will drive away Generation Y:

1. Close-Mindedness - "They never listen!"
2. Ineffective Delegation - "Don't assign meaningful work"
3. Lack of Knowledge and Delegation Skills - "They don't know what they are doing"
4. Inability to Train or facilitate training - "They don't know how to teach"
5. Disrespect for Young People - "They treat us like idiots"
6. Intimidating Attitude - "Who wants to work with anyone like this?"
7. Overemphasis on Outward Appearance - "Are they managing the book or the cover?"

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