Roberta Chinsky Matuson
Creating Exceptional Workplaces and Extraordinary Results
Roberta Matuson's Blog

Inconsistent Consistency

Consistently InconsistentWe took our family out to breakfast this morning at one of our favorite restaurants, where I experienced first hand what happens when you deliver inconsistent consistency. My meal came out lukewarm and was severely lacking in flavor. I found the experience quite puzzling, as I’ve ordered this dish before and remember how flavorful the food at this restaurant has always been. That was yesterday. This is today. The problem is, there will unlikely be a tomorrow. Why? Because I no longer trust that this business can deliver a consistent acceptable dining experience. How long will this establishment will remain in business is anyone’s guess, if this is their new norm.  I suspect this could be the beginning of the end. Hopefully it’s not your business I’m referencing.

The concept of inconsistent consistency isn’t completely reserved for restaurants. I see this phenomena occurring a lot with leaders. One of the biggest complaints employees have about their bosses is that many are too unpredictable. One day they are working for Mr. Nice Guy and the next day his evil twin brother, Mr. Not So Nice shows up for work. It’s enough to make a sane employee seek counseling! Here are some tips that will help you as a leader remain consistent day in and day out.

Write things down. It’s hard enough recalling what you told one employee yesterday. Now multiply this by 10, 20 or even 50 employees who are all working remotely. Create a folder on your computer for each employee and use it to  jot down notes from conversations. Refer to this folder prior to providing employees with responses to their questions, to ensure you are consistently giving them the same response.

Establish policies. Entrepreneurs typically hate policies until such time as they reach the point where their organizations are too large to manage by the seat of their pants. You know it’s time to establish some concrete policies when you can no longer recall who you promised what! If you are adverse to policies than at a minimum, establish some guidelines. Your employees will thank you as they will know exactly what to expect.

Survey your employees and customers. You may think you are delivering high levels of consistent communication and service. However, you’ll never really know unless you ask your employees and customers for their opinion. I suspect I’ll never receive a survey from this restaurant, which means they’ll never know why I have chosen not to return. They’ll also never know how many others I will advise to steer clear of their establishment. Now imagine how differently things might have gone had a member of management asked me how I enjoyed my meal. Don’t wait for your employees to quit or your customers to depart. Ask them now how you are doing and ask them again next week. Ask until you consistently receive the answers you hoped you’d receive.

Posted in General Observations, Management, Thought Leadership

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Why You Are Struggling To Fill Sales Jobs With Millennials-Part II

Office chair Help Wanted Job Hiring IconsIn part one of this two part article, we shared stories and ideas on why so many companies are struggling to fill sales jobs with millennials. In this post, Part II, we’ll share what you can do to reverse this trend.

Start solving the millennial challenge now, says Francis.

“Building the best team possible is a crucial step for businesses that are serious about accelerating their sales,” explains Colleen Francis, founder of Engage Selling Solutions. “Solving the millennial challenge needs to be your top task in that bigger job.”

As a sales strategist, Francis works with companies to develop field-tested, winning methods of attracting and retaining top talent. While that search cuts across generational lines, her work with top-ranked sales organizations has helped her formulate specific advice on how best to reach this millennial generation—the sales force and sales leaders of tomorrow.

It starts with adopting a new mindset. “Get ready turn what you think you know about sales on its head,” says Francis. “The tried and true methods of recruiting young people just don’t work anymore. And that means you need to take a hard look all the way down to your corporate structure and rethink what it needs to do to be able to better drive sellers and influence buyer behavior.”

There are five steps your business can take now to help solve the millennial challenge.

1. Money really does talk. Time does, too.

Pay for performance with no cap. Far too often executives put a cap on sales incentive plans. That just turns off millennials. They view it as an arbitrary limit on their earning potential. And quite frankly they have point. Consider individualizing your company pay scale. Don’t be afraid to have unique bonuses for individual top performers. Put away the old-school invitations to a President’s Club winner’s circle. Instead, offer something that is meaningful to the seller—ahead of what’s meaningful to your organization.

Time off can be just as valuable as money. Consider the example of a sales director (let’s call him Brian) of an international software company. He successfully motivated his younger team members by offering them a mix of time off and some extra money to invest in what they enjoyed doing.

2. Catch people doing the right thing.

Praise goes a long way, even with younger employees. Millennials want to feel they are contributing to your organization and to your client base. Case in point:  a client recently lost a top performing millennial seller who was earning $250,000 annually. Why? Because that seller felt her contributions were not valued by the CEO.

Take more time to listen carefully to their suggestions, and offer praise for good work. Just as important, go out of your way to highlight client success stories on a regular basis. When a client accomplished great things using your product or service this is a sign that you are not just “selling stuff,” but making a different to the lives of the people and businesses that you serve.

3. Flexibility is a big deal.

Does it really matter if your sellers are in the office 9-5 every day? Consider adopting flexible work arrangements for top performers, allowing them to work at home if they are producing.

Here are two examples. First, there’s Melissa, a young sales director based in the Netherlands, managing a team in Singapore. She chooses to work from Miami Beach throughout the winter. Her company’s leaders are happy with this arrangement because her results are excellent. Second example: David in Edmonton Alberta is a top seller who works hard at managing two territories and consistently delivers great results. His employer lets him go home every weekday from noon to four to rest up and have an early dinner. Then he comes back to the office and works late into the evening. While that’s not a great schedule for many people, but it’s ideal for David and his performance numbers back that up.

4. Be a leader, not a follower in embracing new technology.

Too often, this gets overlooked in organizations with legacy systems. Millennials are highly connected. Embrace a work style that encourages this, using multiple platforms and multiple media for reaching clients. Excessive limits on—or over-managing of—social media activities only repel this new generation of sales performers, to say nothing of what it can do to your reputation with customers.

If you’re worried about responsible behavior online, offer a class to sellers on what’s expected of them before you allow them to log-in to their platforms of choice. Never shut them off completely. If you find yourself on the wrong side of progress, you’re bound to be seen by millennials as not worth their time.

5. Rethink your expectations about retention and loyalty.

One of the biggest complaints companies make today about millennial hires is that they leave too soon and jump from job to job. That’s not a generational problem. It’s a symptom of a corporate problem: of not knowing how best to harness the millennial sprit, their capabilities, and of accepting that ambition is an important part of being young. The old way was to assume you would keep a seller in place for five years and it would only be in year two that they would become profitable. What if you assumed today that this seller was only going to be in place for two years? Could you onboard them quickly and make sure they were profitable in 6 months? The faster a millennial seller is profitable, the happier they are. The happier they are, the better job they do, and the longer they will stay.

Your next step: know what’s at stake.

Experts tell us that 2015 is the year millennials will surpass the Baby Boom generation as the largest living generation in the United States. That’s a worldwide trend and it’s one that will keep growing well into this century.

Therefore, it’s vital that businesses get serious about tackling the millennial challenge: making your organization a more attractive place for this young, vibrant generation to invest their time and their considerable talents.

This is about more than chasing a demographic. These are the future leaders of business and the future top-performer in sales. You need them more than they need you. By making your company be seen as a great place for these young sellers to grow and thrive, you are positioning yourself for steady growth and accelerating sales for years to come.

We welcome your thoughts and ideas on what companies can do to attract and retain millennial sales talent. Please post your comments on the blog.

 © Matuson Consulting and Engage Selling Solutions, 2015. All Rights Reserved.

Roberta Matuson is the Talent Maximizer® and president of  Matuson Consulting. Her latest book is Talent Magnetism: How to Build a Workplace That Attracts and Keeps the Best. 

 Colleen Francis is The Sales Leader ™, founder of Engage Selling Solutions and author of Nonstop Sales Boom: Powerful Strategies to Drive Consistent Growth Year After Year, among other titles.

Posted in Hiring and Recruitment, Leadership, Millennials, Retention, Sales, Talent Acquisition and Retention, Talent Maximization

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Five Characteristics Of A Great Mentoring Relationship

MentoringI’m currently helping a number of my clients design and implement mentoring programs, as they seek ways to deepen their relationships with their employees, by providing additional developmental opportunities to their people. This is a great strategy for attracting and retaining top talent. If you’ve ever had a mentor or been a mentor, then you know how this relationship can be a game-changer for years to come. Here are five characteristics of a great mentoring relationship:

  1. The relationship is mutually beneficial. The best mentoring relationships are those where both parties are getting something out of it. The mentor may receive personal satisfaction knowing he or she is helping someone who is looking to propel his or her career forward, while the mentee feels fortunate to have access to someone who knows the playing field fairly well.
  2. There are high levels of trust. Trust is the thread that holds the mentoring relationship together. Without trust, neither party can move forward. Here are some signs that you have a trusting relationship. Both parties share personal challenges. Neither person thinks twice before speaking. Honesty is the rule rather than the exception.
  3. Communication flows easily. Both parties look forward to their next point of connection. Conversations become more sophisticated as the relationship matures. Both mentor and mentee actively listen to one another and remain in the moment.
  4. Commitment is strong. The relationship is a priority to both parties. Meetings are rarely missed.
  5. The sun sets in a timely manner. Nothing lasts forever, including mentoring relationships. When the relationship has run its course, neither party hangs on out of convenience. Both agree that for growth to continue, one must let go.

What would you add to this list?

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Posted in Careers, Employee Engagement, Leadership, Learning and Development, Mentoring, Talent Maximization

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Why You Are Struggling To Fill Sales Jobs With Millennials-Part I

Office chair Help Wanted Job Hiring IconsA few decades ago, a career in sales was a much sought-after career by young graduates entering the workforce. College seniors would clamor to get on the interview list of on-campus recruiters representing blue-chip companies like IBM and Xerox who were hungry for top sales talent.

Today, it’s much harder to sell young people on a career in sales. And yet it’s vital for successful organizations both large and small to overcome this barrier if they want to grow their sales force and their profits—not to mention their market appeal to this giant demographic group.

In this two-part article, Talent Maximizer® Roberta Matuson of Matuson Consulting looks at why sales gets a bad rap from millennials, and sales strategist Colleen Francis of Engage Selling Solutions explores what you can do to reverse that trend.

Identifying the problem is key, says Matuson.

“Finding ways to make top talent stick with you is one of the biggest challenges that businesses face today,” says Roberta Matuson. “Nowhere is this challenge more acute than with this new generation of bright, young people moving into the professional workforce. More than just retaining them, you need to make a convincing case that a career in sales is a noble profession where they can really make a difference.”

Matuson, who helps world-class companies like General Motors, Best Buy and New Balance attract, engage and retain top talent offers the following examples to show how businesses are tackling this problem.

Repackaging the appeal of sales.

John Geist, VP of Sales for the Boston Beer Company, believes the business of selling has an image problem. “When young people think of sales, they conjure up an image of a guy in a plaid jacket going out to sell a product. At Boston Beer, we are professional, yet casual. Ties for men are no longer required for daily wear, although reps are expected to have one available in case the situation calls for it.”

Steve Richard, Founder and President of VorsightBP, believes that colleges and universities do little to promote the field of sales to their students. “You don’t see sales courses in colleges and universities,” says Richard. “There is a lack of exposure to the positive and productive sales roles that are out there. Instead, many times the only exposure a student has to sales is a poor one, when they go with their parents to purchase a car.”

Richards is on a mission to change the way young people view sales. He is passing the college placement offices. Instead, he’s building relationships directly with the professors and the undergraduate business fraternities. “We put on programs and seminars for the kids,” says Richards. “We host lunch and learns. We buy them pizza and soda or healthy drinks and we talk about sales and provide advice on their job search.”

Getting young people excited about sales is crucial, according to Richards. He makes it a point of staying in touch with them through marketing automation tools like Hubspot. “We put them in the nurture stream, so we can be front and center in their minds.”

Besting the competition.

Technology companies have had a huge impact on the ability of sales leaders to attract millennial talent. According to Geist, “The creativeness and freedom they offer is appealing, whereas sales requires discipline that many people don’t have today.”

In other words: tech is hot, sales is not.

Ted Kennedy, VP of Sales and Marketing at William B. Meyer, Inc. is preparing for the fight of his life. Working in what he describes as an old-line industry, he explains “we are not glamorous nor are we sexy,” but that the opportunities for young recruits with his firm are nevertheless considerable. Despite this, they struggle. “I have 20 people in sales,” says Kennedy. “Our average age is high 40s to low 50s. We cannot attract a millennial into our organization.”

Kennedy acknowledges that as his sales force ages, he has to have new people to replace them. His company is thinking about starting an apprentice program for the children of some of their best employees, who can be groomed for these jobs. Kennedy admits that they’ve been thinking about ways to attract new talent to the sales organization for the past three or four years.

However, reality is now hitting him in the face and he understands he must take decisive action, rather than merely thinking about things.

Nurturing and retaining new talent.

Back at Boston Beer, the focus is on retention. “The big challenge for us is holding onto our sales people past the two-year mark,” says Geist. Promotions at Boston Beer often require relocation, which young people agree to, yet resist when the time comes to make a move.

Be sure to come back and read Part II, where Sales Guru, Colleen Francis will offer ground-breaking ideas on how you can solve the millennial challenge.

© Matuson Consulting and Engage Selling Solutions, 2015. All Rights Reserved.

Roberta Matuson is the Talent Maximizer® and president of  Matuson Consulting. Her latest book is Talent Magnetism: How to Build a Workplace That Attracts and Keeps the Best.  

Colleen Francis is The Sales Leader ™, founder of Engage Selling Solutions and author of Nonstop Sales Boom: Powerful Strategies to Drive Consistent Growth Year After Year, among other titles.

Posted in Employee Engagement, Hiring and Recruitment, Millennials, Sales, Talent Acquisition and Retention, Talent Maximization, Thought Leadership

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Make Time To Stop And Smell The Cherry Blossoms

IMG_8177Many of us are running around like chickens with our heads cut off. So much so, that we miss out on the best that life has to offer. I’ve traveled around the world (more than once), yet I had never seen the world famous Cherry Blossoms in Washington, DC. As luck would have it, my mentor scheduled our annual meeting this year in DC during cherry blossom time. I immediately cleared my calendar and made it a point to arrive early so I could enjoy the day.

I guess the horrific winter paid off, as the blooms were delayed this year, and I arrived in DC on what many consider to be the peak of the blossoms. The weather was spectacular as were the blossoms. Breathtaking. So much so, that I will bring my family back next year so they can experience this for themselves.

If I had just waited one more day, I would have been too late. You see, the day after I took a stroll by the tidal basin to view the cherry blossoms, it rained. That combined with strong winds quickly brought the season to a quick end. In retrospect, I’m glad I made the decision to take time to smell the cherry blossoms when I did, as the next day work was still there but the blooms were gone.

What are you going to do this year so that you can stop and smell the cherry blossoms? Will you become better at delegating so that you can take a vacation with your friends or family? Will you learn to stop saying yes to every request that you receive? Will you pencil in vacations at the beginning of the year so that you are sure to have time to do the things that you truly want to do?

You only get one life. Make sure you enjoy it fully.

© Matuson Consulting, 2015. All Rights Reserved.

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Posted in Musings, Worklife Balance

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Five Keys To Building A Joyous Life

Jumping with balloonsI know a lot of people who move through life as if they are carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders. You probably know some of these people as well. They are the friends on Facebook who start each day with a tale of another disaster that has just taken place in their life. I keep wondering if and when they will realize that what is happening to them is directly related to something they have either done in their life or have not done.

Take the twenty-something year-old, who is constantly complaining about her earnings or is dissatisfied with her job. Yet, this person refuses to complete her college degree or seek employment in a field that is more suited to her liking. Or the person who complains daily about the boss, who is a jerk, yet refuses to seek out a new boss who might be more respectful.

Here’s what I want to say to these people. Stop it! As far as we know, we only get one life. Here’s how to build a joyous life.

1. Discipline. You might think it’s odd to begin a conversation on joy with discipline, since many find the idea of discipline to be unpleasant. However, much of our unhappiness comes from lack of discipline. We are overweight because we don’t have the discipline to refrain from eating foods we know are not good for us. We stop attempting to reach for our dreams because we come across a roadblock that at first glance appears to be too hard to overcome.

Imagine how different life would be if people intentionally made the effort to power through some of those tougher moments. I bet most people would be happier.

2. Build on your strengths. No one is great at doing everything, although sometimes you might feel like a sibling or friend is incredible at everything. Focus on what you do really well and build upon this. For example, you may be a whiz at using computers. Keep challenging yourself to learn more programs. You’ll become invaluable.

3. Have fun. If I asked you the question, “Are you having fun?” how would you reply? If the answer is no or I’m not sure, then it’s time to reexamine why you are doing what you are doing in the first place. Life is too short to wake up everyday without loving what you do or at least enjoying some aspect of your work and your life.

4. Build your career around what you are great at doing and what you love. We spend so much of our waking lives at work that it seems like a life wasted if you have chosen a career that does not give you joy. There has never been a better time in our economy to explore careers where you can soar.

5. Shed the naysayers. As you mature, you’ll find that some people no longer serve a purpose in your life. They are negative more than they are positive. They work diligently to ensure that you remain on their level. These are not people that you need in your life. Shed them and allow yourself to make room for those who will support you in your efforts to build a joyous life.

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Posted in Careers, Coaching, General Observations, Job Searching, Learning and Development, Millennials

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Leadership Lessons From Las Vegas

Welcome to Las Vegas NevadaI’m flying back from three jammed packed days in Las Vegas, where I had the privilege of presenting a session at the Saba @Work Conference, to a room full of people interested in upping their game in the world of talent acquisition and retention. Here are some lessons learned while attending the conference, as well as my time spent on The Strip.

There is always room for improvement. Representatives from some of the top companies around the globe were in attendance for this three-day event. All were there to improve the way their companies operate. If each person returns with just one idea they can immediately implement, then I would say they have achieved their goal and then some.

What are you doing to improve your company? Are you putting yourself in situations where you have access to global thought leaders who can present new ideas and opportunities that you can apply at work? Are you actively networking with others so you have a pool of people you can access when needs arise?

Go big or go home. If you’ve been to Vegas than you know things tend to be larger and grander than anywhere else on earth. Take the shows. I’ve seen a number of touring Cirque de Soleil shows, which are certainly enjoyable. However, nothing compares to being in a theatre that is specially designed to accommodate the grand stage that is common in Vegas.

I had the opportunity to take in the Cirque Michael Jackson One show, which was certainly much larger than the touring production I saw in my hometown. Too many “ooohs and ahhhs” to count. But then again, this is Vegas and people have big expectations.

What are you doing half-heartingly in your organization and what can be done to step up your game? If something isn’t worth doing in a big way, then perhaps it’s not worth doing at all.

The recession is over. The last time I was in Vegas, we were in the midst of the recession. Cab drivers shared stories of declines in revenue of at least 30 percent. This time around, cab drivers were smiling and happy to declare that Las Vegas has come through the recession and is bigger and better than ever.

Is your company still operating as if you are still in the midst of the recession? Are you taking advantage of all the growth opportunities in front of you or are you still holding on tightly to your piggy bank? Now is the time to invest in your business. Wait any longer and you may miss the boat entirely.

Know when to hold and when to fold.  I’m not much of a gambler, but I do like to play the slots when I’m in Vegas. I usually set aside a budget of $25. (I know, laughable.) This time around was different. I placed a dollar in the first machine that I came to and wound up winning four dollars. I immediately cashed out my winnings, figuring that I should quit while I was ahead, and off to bed I went, smiling all the way to my room.

In my business, I see companies throwing good money after bad all the time. They bet on an employee, who clearly is a long shot and continue to double down, even when it’s apparent that this story isn’t going to have a good ending. Take my advice and quit while you are ahead. Put those resources into someone else who demonstrates every day that they are worth the investment.

Persistence pays. I don’t usually take no for an answer and I’m glad I didn’t when trying to score tickets to one of the hottest shows in town, Diana Ross. The opening night performance was sold out. I kept thinking clearly there must be a single ticket somewhere. I placed a call at 1:00 AM to the concierge at American Express to enquire. I was right! One ticket was available and in the time it took me to say, “I’ll take it!” it was gone.

I tried the hotel concierge the following morning to see if he could score a ticket for me. He kindly called the box office and was told there were no tickets. He tried one of his trusted brokers and again was unsuccessful. He knew I wasn’t leaving without a ticket in hand. He tried another broker and scored one ticket, third row, center for a reasonable price (well reasonable for Vegas). It was amazing show and I had the best seats in the house. I’m so glad that I didn’t give up!

How many times have you given up after the first no? What might have happened if you kept pushing until you got a yes? Like Diana Ross says, “Ain’t no Mountain High Enough” and that holds true when you are in the pursuit of business. Go forth, push through and climb to new heights of success!

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© Matuson Consulting, 2015. All Rights Reserved.

Posted in Leadership, Management, Talent Maximization, Thought Leadership

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The Leaving Speech: How To Get Your Employees To Stay By Preparing Them To Leave

Rob-nixon-blogprofileI always tell my clients to start with the end goal in mind and work backwards. Magnetic leader, Rob Nixon, CEO & Founder at PANALITIX , and author of the newly released, Remaining Relevant, has taken this to the extreme. Nixon delivers an awesome leaving speech to each employee on his or her first day of employment, based on how he’d ideally like them to think about his firm and their experience working there, on the day they leave.

Nixon understands that his job as a leader is to ensure his people achieve their maximum potential. He know there will come a day when his best people will leave. so he does what he can to make sure they are fully prepared to fly from the nest and soar.

Nixon recently announced with joy the resignation of one of his star employees. He couldn’t be more proud of her. Here is what he wrote on his blog.

Today marks the end of a 5 year and 2 month era. But it’s also the start of a new one. One of our star performers, Sharon McClafferty is leaving to look for new opportunities. She started as a sales coordinator and was quickly promoted into the role of sales where she quickly started outselling seasoned professionals. Within 12 months she was the sales manager where she grew and lead a team of 7 people. She had never sold anything before joining our company yet in 5 years she has sold in excess of $5M of new revenue. An absolute superstar. When Sharon sells she doesn’t sell. That’s the difference. She is an amazing relationship builder who makes a difference to those that she engages. She tells me she has done over 750 consultations to Accountants which is awesome.

On or close to the day she started I had the ‘leaving speech’ with her. It went something like this:

“Sharon, welcome to the team. We’re thrilled you’re here. I am sure you’re the right person for the job and I know there is a lot going on this week. I just wanted to talk to you for a few minutes about the day you leave. You will leave one day, everyone does. I know this is your first day and I know you’ll leave sometime in the future so I figured we should talk about it now.

I have a number of hopes and desires for that inevitable day. Firstly, I hope we part on good company. I don’t want someone to fire you because you didn’t work out or make you redundant because of a business downturn. Secondly, I hope that you learn a lot, contribute a lot and have a lot of fun. Thirdly, I hope that you live by our values, service and culture standards and the standards we set become part of your life. And lastly when you look back at this block of time, no matter how long it is, you look back on it fondly as an amazing part of your career. Welcome to the team. That’s all I wanted to say.”

I do this with every new team member close to the day they start. Sharon has ticked all those boxes and she has grown into an extraordinary professional.

Imagine what it must feel like to work with such a magnetic leader as Rob. After reading his blog posting, I was ready to pack my bags and move to Australia, just to experience what it would be like to work for someone who cares more about his people than he does about his profits. Is your leadership style making this kind of emotional connection with those who you’ve  hired or are about to hire? If so, tell me what you are doing to make such a deep connection and I may very well write about you next time. If not, what are you going to do differently today, to make sure you are channeling your inner Rob Nixon?

Posted in Creating Exceptional Work Places, Employee Engagement, Hiring and Recruitment, Leadership, Management, Thought Leadership, Workplace

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How Many Employees Are Waiting In Your Departure Lounge?

Passengers waiting in airport departure loungeNobody likes to talk about it, even though it is happening in workplaces all across America – employees who have decided it is time to fly the coop. Departure lounges are overflowing with these types of employees – all waiting for their final boarding call.

Employees rarely start a job thinking they will tour around the company for a while and then seek greener pastures, and yet it happens all the time. Here are five things you can do to prevent employees from taking flight:

Guard Your Exits

Are employees exiting as quickly as you are hiring them? If this is the case, there is a malfunction in your hiring system. Closely examine all the parts of your hiring process to determine which pieces must be fixed. For example, suppose turnover is particularly high during the first 90 days of service. Ask yourself the following:

  • Are we hiring the right types of people for these jobs? Yes, it is nice to hire Ivy League graduates, but are they really well suited for beverage sales?
  • Are we accurately representing our jobs to candidates? If your administrative job descriptions sound more like the CEO’s job, then it is time for another re-write.
  • Are we over-promising and under-delivering? Perhaps it is time to get real. Sure, we would all like to operate like Google, but few companies actually do. Accurately describe your work environment and let candidates decide if the fit is right for them.

Now is a great time to dust off plans you may have designed for a formal exit interview process. Start asking exiting employees what you could have done differently to have prevented them from leaving. You will then have the information you need to make changes before others fly out the door.

Formally welcome everyone onboard

Imagine a place where employees are welcomed before they even set foot on company soil. This would be a place where employees feel connected before their first official day of work. Some might even start recruiting their current co-workers to join them on this new journey. Welcome to the world of Onboarding.

Onboarding is the one chance you will get to create a positive new employee experience. Just think how productive you might have been during your first few weeks or months of employment had your current or former employer taken the time to make you feel welcomed, valued, and prepared. Come to think of it, if they would have done this, you might still be working there.

You might be thinking that you don’t have time to hold someone’s hand or that all employees should have to suffer just like you did. Would you feel the same if you knew that with a little effort, you would have more time to focus on other initiatives besides replacing newly-hired employees?

Make checking-in easy

 Could your check-in systems use some improvements? Do your employees have to stand in long lines just to have a conversation with their manager? Are employees fully aware of how well they are performing? Or is last year’s performance review still on your desk waiting to be completed?

Checking-in is a two-way street. When it comes to performance, both employees and employers should know what the other is thinking. Provide feedback throughout the year so employees can adjust their performance, while seeking feedback from employees regarding ways you can improve the management of the company.

Drop the Excess Baggage

Nothing weighs a company down more than excess weight. Do you have marginal performers hiding out behind strong team members? Are employees still in your employ who have received their fifth final warning?

In this economy, you cannot afford to have anyone or anything slowing down the momentum in your organization. Look around and begin the process of eliminating excess baggage. You will be surprised how many top performers change their travel plans once they see you are committed to building an organization of outstanding employees.

Throw in some perks

 The trend of slicing and dicing employee benefits seems to be quite popular during lean economic times. Many organizations have started to charge employees for items that used to be free. But is this really a way to retain the people who you will be asking to take on more responsibility during tough economic times?

Show your employees you care. Figure out what types of perks motivate your team and then start thanking them properly.

Make these changes now and you will not have to fret the next time you hear the phrase, “This is the final boarding call…”

© 2015 Human Resource Solutions. All rights reserved.



Posted in Employee Engagement, Employee Turnover, Hiring and Recruitment, Retention, Talent Acquisition and Retention, Talent Maximization

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Ten Reasons Why You Can’t Fill Jobs And What You Can Do To Change This

Office chair Help Wanted Job Hiring IconsIt pains me to stand by and watch others continuously try to fill the same jobs day in and day out. I’ve reached the point where I can no longer sit back and be silent. Here are ten reasons you can’t fill jobs, and what you can do to change this.

  1. Your expectations are ridiculous. Requiring administrative personnel, such as receptionists and executive assistants, to have degrees is just plain stupid. It’s difficult enough to find good administrative help. Why make it harder? When setting qualifications, be reasonable and realistic.
  2. You’re stuck in a time warp. Requiring a specific SAT score in order for a candidate to be considered for a job (true story) gets a failing grade in my book. I know a lot of smart people who received low performance grades at work. Focus on what matters most — potential.
  3. You’re not that impressive. Sorry to be the one that has to tell you this, but when I go to your website, you don’t appear all that impressive. Your website is all about you, and speaks nothing to me. You can change this. Call today for a consultation, and we’ll have you looking really good in no time.
  4. You had me at hello, and lost me at, “Can you hang on a minute while I answer this call?” Your hiring managers are repelling candidates. It’s not entirely their fault. Be sure everyone involved in your hiring process knows the importance of making a good impression. Train them to turn candidates on, rather than off.
  5. Your reputation proceeds you…and not in a good way. I recently presented a webinar for Glassdoor titled, 3 Reasons Why CEOs Can’t Ignore Glassdoor, and was surprised to learn how few executives know about this site. Glassdoor is a transparent community where employees and former employees anonymously review companies and their management. Don’t get caught off guard. Manage the reputation of your employment brand. It’s all you’ve really got.
  6. You’re taking too long to hire. I recently bought a home in a very hot real estate market. I had to develop a strategy to circumvent the bidding wars that were going on all around me. You must do the same. What can you do differently in your hiring process that will allow you to be more nimble and avoid the craziness of a hot job market?
  7. You appear to always be hiring. You haven’t figured out how to take those filled job openings off your website. You think that’s a good thing when someone leaves again. Perhaps not, as your company appears to be a revolving door. Assign someone to manage the job openings on your website and be sure to remove jobs as soon as they are filled.
  8. You are refusing to pay agency fees. Well good for you! That leaves more of the recruiter’s time for those willing to invest in hiring the right people, some of whom may be working for you right now.
  9. Talent isn’t a priority for you. If it were a priority, you’d be on the hunt every day for people who would be a good fit for your organization.
  10. You are overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin. You are not alone. Hiring the right people for your firm requires considerable thought. Of course being paralyzed and doing nothing to advance your cause isn’t very helpful either. Begin by picking up the phone and asking for help. I promise you’ll be glad you did.

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Posted in Hiring and Recruitment, Talent Acquisition and Retention, Talent Maximization

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