Employee Retention – Beware the Golden Handcuffs

Golden HandcuffsEmployee retention is more than about offering a cool pool table room at break time, or fabulous vacation time, compensation and benefits. They are compelling attractors for an employee initially, but are they good motivators for keeping them satisfied and staying with your organization for the long haul?

Many stay because they have a mortgage to pay and kids to put through university and the benefits are good, while others get tired and leave. This results in a miserable corporate culture.

In a study of over 5,000 businesses, 46 per cent of new hires failed within the first six months. That’s a sobering statistic considering the costs in time and money expanded on making those hires.  While hiring right the first time can be numbers game and requires employers look at a number variables, it doesn’t have to be complicated, if you first understand the business you’re in.

For example, Big Boot Inn, a long established, family-owned footwear store based in Kamloops, British Columbia clearly get that they are in the business of people and maintain a high employee retention rate.

“We hire really good people who intuitively know how to make our customers feel welcome. They exude positivity and can relate to our diverse customers, from the wildly fashion conscious to the outdoor maverick to the hard-working steel toed crowd. When looking for right employee fit we look at character, first,” says co-owner Ryan Gentile. “Our people feel engaged and happy because they share the same qualities as our brand — authenticity, quality and attention to all the details that go into great service.”

Better Strategies to Improve Employee Retention

It starts with values-based hiring. If the person you hire doesn’t fit your company culture, then all the strategies to keep them won’t help. In addition to a specific skill set, employers must look at a potential employee’s character and integrity – two traits that are not easy to determine without a systematic and proven approach. A values-based approach to hiring not only creates a stable culture but increases performance, reduces turnover and increases morale.

This means finding the candidate whose values aligns with your company’s core values and who also has talent. This may not be the top producer from another company nor the top business school graduate, but he or she will be the best fit for your company and its growth.

Simple, right?

Well, it can be, but truth be told, in many cases, it’s not that simple. It takes time to filter through the candidates.  Employers who are willing to wait for the person with the right fit, wins.  There are, of course, a number of tools you can use, not the least is the interviewing process.

But first things first: A company must have a clearly defined mission statement, which states its core values along with its operating policies. If not, then it might be a challenge to find an employee to fit into the corporate culture if there isn’t one. Your goal is to create a workplace that attracts, retains and nourishes good people – a place people want to come to work.

The next steps are recruiting and interviewing. There are a number of hiring methodologies you can use to assess an applicant’s skills, personality and values and all are gravitating towards focusing on core values rather than technical competencies.

Don’t waste money and time on the wrong hire. Read my e-book The 5C’s of a Great Hire and find out how to ensure you get the best employee for you company.

 About the Author

Barbara Ashton is the owner and founder of Ashton & Associates Recruiting. She is an expert  recruiter helping BC businesses to hire exceptional employees for over 25 years. She has offices in Kamloops and Kelowna to serve her growing list of clients throughout the Okanagan and Interior.

Business leaders rely on Ashton & Associates to recruit skilled employees who honor values and accountability, excel at winning new customers, and increase bottom line.



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This post has been approved for public release by Barbara Ashton. All certified posts carry this Google Authorship link to Google