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Matuson Consulting // A Newsletter On: Creating exceptional workplaces and extraordinary results

It’s February and love is in the air - or is it? In this issue of The Talent Maximizer®, we look at how connecting to the hearts and minds of employees can make a huge impact on employee retention and increased profitability.

We have two new clients to announce—Microsoft and Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Mass Bay. Both clients were referrals from people like you, who continue to receive great value from working with me. I’m always appreciative of your referrals. Keep them coming!

How to Get Your Employees To Fall in Love With You Over and Over Again

Imagine going to work every day and hating what you do. Unfortunately for many, you don’t have to imagine. Those people are you, and it appears that you have a lot of company. Less than a third of U.S. employees were engaged with their jobs in 2014, found a new Gallup poll. Managers have the greatest impact on employee engagement, yet, only 35% of U.S. managers are engaged in their jobs! February is the perfect time for a heart-to-heart discussion on how to get your employees to fall in love with you over and over again.

Be authentic. If you’ve dated more than one person in your lifetime, then you know what it’s like to be enchanted the moment you meet someone. Everyone is on his or her best behavior. Flash forward a month or two later, and you realize that you may have been sold a lemon. You quickly depart.

I’ve spoken with enough candidates who have broken up with their employers to know that many hiring managers aren’t being completely truthful. The job they are presenting to prospective employees isn’t quite the same as the job these people are accepting. Prospective employees and those in your employ prefer transparency. Always be yourself, and understand that you most likely aren’t right for everyone. That’s okay, as you are looking for that one-in-a-million who will say yes and commit to you long-term.

Be nice. You’d think this would go without saying. I’ve worked for several really mean bosses who would make Meryl Streep’s Miranda Priestly, of The Devil Wears Prada fame, look like a dream boss.

If you’re finding that it’s really that difficult to be nice, then perhaps management isn’t for you. Lots of people are successful being solo contributors. You can be as well.

Treat employees like you really do care whether they stay or leave. I’m now in love with Jason Fried, CEO of Basecamp (don’t tell my husband). Fried, who just agreed to speak with me for my new book, The Magnetic Leader: Attracting Employees, Customers and Profits, really cares for the hearts and minds of his people. He’s working against the technology grain to create a sane workplace.

Employees at Basecamp, which develops project management software, not only receive paid time off to take vacations, but the company pays for their vacations as an annual "gift" to those with at least one year's tenure. And believe me when I tell you these aren’t camping trips. This year they can get to choose among travel to such places as Martha's Vineyard, the Grand Canyon, Ethiopia, and Verona, Italy. Sign me up!

As you’ve probably figured out by now, relationships require continuous effort. Just because an employee falls in love with your organization doesn’t mean they will automatically remain in love with you. Unless of course you keep reminding them daily of why they fell in love with you in the first place.

Why Pilot Programs Don’t Work and What to Do Instead

I’m so impressed with my newest client. She’s accepted some really tough feedback and is making rapid changes. One in particular comes to mind. She and her team have taken the findings from a talent assessment that I’ve conducted on her behalf, and are going all in. They are completely changing the profile of candidates they are hiring for several key positions.

She’s not dipping her toe in the water and calling this a pilot. You know, the kind of project where you sort of give it a go and when it doesn’t immediately work, you say, “I told you so.” And then you go back to what you were doing, when you decided things weren’t working. She and her team are committed to hiring a completely different profile of new hire and we are all betting this will help the organization dramatically slash their turnover in half, without impacting the quality of their work.

The next time someone suggests a pilot program, just say no. Save your time and money. If you don’t believe it’s going to work from the start, then you are better off doing nothing.

Five Secrets to Finding Great People

  1. Hire the underemployed. Start with Starbucks. Lots of smart people are working as baristas these days.
  2. Drop degree requirements for those jobs where it really doesn’t matter.
  3. Ask your best employees whom they know and pay them a referral bonus when you hire someone they refer.
  4. Seek out military spouses, especially for positions that can be done virtually. These people are typically well-organized, flexible, and used to multi-tasking and change.
  5. Forget Harvard. Build relationships with faculty and career center professionals at state colleges and universities. Lots of bright students on these campuses.

Rules of Attraction: Your Monthly Tip on Attracting and Retaining Top Talent

Everyone can improve and benefit from an impartial view of how they are doing. I have an advisor who helps me be the best I can be. How about you?

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For more tips on attracting and retaining top talent, download a copy of Talent Magnetism. Call us today at 617-608-3633 if you’d like to discuss applying these concepts to your organization.

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Meet Roberta Matuson

For more than 25 years, Roberta Matuson has helped leaders in Fortune 500 companies, including General Motors, Best Buy, and, The Boston Beer Company, achieve dramatic growth and market leadership through the maximization of talent.

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“Roberta has been a tremendous mentor and coach to me over the past year. She has partnered with me on multiple professional development fronts, as well as helping me through some very challenging situations. I found Roberta to be wise counsel!”

Allison DiSiena
VP of Recruiting, Marketing, Interactive and Creative Services Division
24 Seven Inc.

“For the past six months I have had the privilege of having Roberta as a mentor, her no nonsense approach helped crystallize my thinking and gave clarity and direction to my career ambitions. Within weeks of working with her I had secured a promotion and gained commitment from my organization on the next steps of my development. If you feel trapped in the ‘corporate mist’ I would wholeheartedly recommend you enlist Roberta’s support to clear the road ahead."

Head of Corporate Sales
Consumer Products Company

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Email: Roberta@MatusonConsulting.com
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