Monday, February 26, 2007

Got Satisfaction?

It seems we care about employee turnover again - on an international basis, no less. Finally. Frankly, I never stopped. In an ideal world, managers would always care about employee turnover, no matter what the market; and employees would always recognize they have a choice about where they work - again, no matter what the market.

I'm sure I've said before that treating employees badly just because you know they feel trapped isn't good leadership. Well, neither is jumping onto the keep-them-satisfied-at-all-costs bandwagon, especially if you don't know what you're doing or what you're really trying to accomplish. Good leadership means truly understanding employees and looking for ways to help them meet their goals in a way that's aligned with the goals of the business. Good leadership means finding creative ways to make this happen without overspending... so that you have the money to spend when it's the dollars that really count.

And if you have a manager who doesn't get it, then maybe that person isn't a pointy-haired idiot or a ruthless climber... maybe your boss just needs help seeing the bigger picture. Although I have seen plenty of managers attempt to rein in employee turnover by blocking promotions, and others who have offered lame perks in place of raises, and still more who do their best to 'do right' by staff to the exclusion of sound business practices, I've only rarely seen this done out of malicious intent. Usually it's just cluelessness and often that can be fixed.

Talk with each other; a cup of coffee or hot chocolate together is one of those low-cost, high-gain tactics that good leaders favor. Identify what the real needs are on both sides and look for opportunities to meet them. And if you find you need a roadmap or directions, you can always chat with me.

I'm curious; send a message to me at and share the most interesting retention strategy you've ever used or had offered to you. I'd like to know what people really find useful and motivating as opposed to what just makes you want to roll your eyes (or worse).

What really makes you want to do well in your work?

Kimm Viebrock is an ICF-credentialed Associate Certified Coach who helps technology professionals and service-oriented technology groups develop and use their skills more effectively and increase their value within the larger organization, allowing them to do more, do it better and have more fun doing it. Kimm is devoted to finding the connectedness in life.