Over the past 30+ years, I’ve unfortunately conducted hundreds of exit interviews.  Surprisingly, compensation has rarely been a legitimate reason for leaving. According to Leigh Brahnam, author of the book “The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave”, those reasons are:

  1.  The job or work place was not as expected
  2.  Mismatch between job and person
  3.  Too little coaching and feedback
  4.  Too few growth and advancement opportunities
  5.  Feeling devalued and unrecognized
  6.  Stress from overwork and work-life imbalance
  7.  Loss of trust and confidence in senior leaders

Have you ever considered the actual costs of hiring, training and retaining quality help?  An industry leader suggests the all-in costs of hiring and preparing a person to effectively manage a dealership is approximately $140,000.00 – 150,000.00, and approximately two years with the company working in various positions to learn the business and hone their skills.  

Suggestions to improve employee retention:

  1.  Be transparent.  During the interview process, paint the truest picture of the job and its requirements.  When a new hire realizes things are not as portrayed, doubt is created in the employee’s mind – “what else is wrong” or “what else are they lying about”.  
  2.  First rule of thumb, you will see the best side of people during an interview.  If you have a bad feeling, pass on the person or ask them to come back another time.  Assure the applicant has both the aptitude and attitude to be successful, or don’t hire them regardless.  Hire happy people. Hire people you would enjoy working for. Hire people who can one day replace you.
  3.  Coaching employees seems simple to me but is one of the greatest challenges I’ve witnessed among most managers.  Teaching a task, observing the student perform the task and offering feedback doesn’t seem so challenging to me. Maybe you don’t think it important, but your employees do.  They want to know how they are doing and what they must do to become better at their job.
  4.  Growth and advancement:  The number one reason people stay at companies has to do with developmental opportunities not how well they are paid.  Besides job enrichment, cross-training can increase the skill set and value of the employee, thus improving their preparedness for promotion.  
  5.  Folks want to work for a leader who recognizes their importance to the team regardless of position or responsibility and sincerely appreciates and acknowledges their contributions and accomplishments.  
  6.      Things have changed with the people we are hiring.  Work/life balance is far greater priority to employees today than ever before.  What is the culture at your company? Are you forcing employees to choose between having a career or having a life?
  7.  Inspire your employees by providing clear vision and purpose.  Empower them by delegating more responsibility and allowing them to do their job and more.  Demonstrate your trust and confidence in their ability to accomplish the goal, whatever it may be.  

A parting thought… Take a personal inventory of your leadership.  Identify the opportunities for improvement and establish a plan to reduce your turnover by becoming the best leader possible.  

-Bill Elizondo, February 1st, 2019

Working for a dollar an hour …

My first job (besides babysitting) was in produce department.  I started out sorting potatoes; taking out the stinky rotten ones. This was not fun, and I wanted to get it done quickly. I learned that “slopping” through it was immediately apparent, so I just got a rhythm going and got it done efficiently. This led to getting to sort other produce that stunk less. Soon I was able to help do some of the more fun stuff that the boss worked on. 

The day came when the boss was out sick. The truck had delivered produce and I knew that it had to be put in the cooler. I also had been taught to “rotate” the cooler first. I went to work and got it done.  I was back to sorting the produce when the store manager came up apologizing that he was sorry, time and had gotten away from him and we were going to hurry to get that stock in. He was totally shocked when he came out of the stockroom and asked if the truck had not come. He nearly hit the floor when I showed him it was already done. The next day the produce boss was there, but one of the butchers in the meat department was sick. The manager came and got me, and I learned how to wrap and price the meat.

After that I worked both departments. It all came apart when the USDA inspectors came in when I was cubing steaks.  The store was fined (because of my age), I could not work in meat department, and my hours were cut.

I was finally offered a job as a cashier.  Soon when it was not busy, I started cleaning up the check stands. Before long they were keeping stock in the office, so I could refill the gum and snacks.  My hours increased, and I was again the person with the most part-time hours. A friend of mine asked how this was possible. I told her my story and she started doing the same and getting more hours. Some of the others started to complain but were told to work as hard as us and they would get more hours. I even heard the owner that ours was the best run store he owned.   

I certainly learned valuable lessons from that first job:

  1.  There is always something that needs to be done.
  2. If you are always doing something, whether it’s your job or not, you will be rewarded.
  3. Even if you are not monetarily rewarded, the feeling of accomplishment I felt was well worth it.
  4.  Always do all your job and as much as possible of your boss’s job, they will notice!

I was extremely fortunate to have had such a wonderful experience there. I did not even understand it at the time, but what I was learning was LEADERSHIP!

-Joyce Guest, July 6th, 2018