The Coming Storm Part 2

April 10, 2006

The Coming Workforce Storm

By: Gregory P. Smith

In spite of the staggering cost of turnover, the majority of most businesses do not have a formal retention program. It is bad business when good employees depart, but stupid not to try to improve it.

As our labor pool shrinks, employers must focus on creating an environment that lets people work productively and effectively and makes them feel good enough to stay.

  • Improve your hiring process to create a better match between the individual's talents and job requirements.

  • Improve the work environment. In its National Study of the Changing Workforce, the Families and Work Institute showed earnings and benefits have only a 3 percent impact on job satisfaction. "Job quality" and "workplace support" have a combined 70 percent impact.

  • Improve workforce participation rates by providing the environment and benefits attractive to an older workforce.

  • Provide time to hire and train those managers to understand what leads to higher retention and greater job satisfaction.

  • Hold managers responsible for retention in their departments.

  • Start measuring the cost of turnover.

  • Focus more energy on the key jobs that have the most impact on profitability and productivity.

  • Show people the big picture. Help them understand how their job individually impacts on the overall company mission.

  • Promote managers whose behavior is consistent with the organization's values and philosophies.

  • Terminate or reassign managers/supervisors whose behavior is inconsistent with the organization's vision and values.

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Greg Smith is a nationally recognized speaker, author, and business performance consultant. He has written numerous books and featured on television programs such as Bloomberg News, PBS television, and in publications including Business Week, Kiplingers, President and CEO, and the Christian Science Monitor. He is the President and "Captain of the Ship" of a management-consulting firm, Chart Your Course International, located in Atlanta, Georgia. Phone him at 770-860-9464. More articles available:

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