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HR Matters // A Newsletter On: Creating exceptional workplaces and extraordinary results

Over the past several months, I have travelled to San Francisco, Dallas, Toronto, Washington, DC, and Chicago, and have heard the following in each place where I did business:

  • We can’t find talent.
  • We can’t keep people engaged.
  • We can’t keep talent.
Here in Massachusetts, the unemployment rate fell to 5.6% during the month of May. This is the lowest that it’s been in six years. Other states are experiencing similar scenarios. It’s going to get a lot worse for employers who are already complaining about the difficulties of filling key positions. My clients are working diligently to increase their magnetism and are experiencing stellar results. Call me today at 413-582-1840, or e-mail me at Roberta@matusonconsulting.com to explore ways your organization can attract top talent that will stick around.

Guard Your Exits

If you do only one thing differently this year, it should be this. Companies are wasting millions of dollars every year on talent acquisition, when instead they should be focusing on the retention of their top people. In conducting research for my latest book, Talent Magnetism, I interviewed dozens of magnetic CEOs and executives who shared their proven strategies for engaging the minds and the hearts of their employees.

What they all had in common was their never-ending commitment to employee satisfaction. Notice how I didn’t say customer satisfaction. That’s because they know that it’s impossible to have high levels of customer satisfaction, and therefore repeat business, with a workforce that is even slightly disengaged.

Here’s what I mean by this. I experience happiness when I stay at a Kimpton Hotel. Everyone at the hotel treats me like I’m a royal guest. I’m given the keys to the minibar and never receive a bill for what I take. I’m upgraded (at least it feels that way to me) to a room that’s larger than many suites that I’ve had at other hotels. I’m truly welcomed. I asked former President and COO Niki Leondakis of Kimpton Hotels why I’m treated better at a Kimpton than anywhere else. She said, “Without employees, a hotel is nothing more than a building with rooms.” She went on to explain how Kimpton has very low employee turnover. “We hire great people, and we trust that they will do the right things when it comes to taking care of our customers.” Kimpton employees feel good about their work and the way they are treated. Can you say the same about your employees?

Call Your Company… Please!!!

I’m convinced that most CEOs have no idea what is truly going on inside their companies or they would be outraged enough to do something about the service failures that are happening all around them. Two situations immediately come to mind. I recently called my local YMCA to cancel my membership, since I’m away on business more than I’m home. I was immediately referred to the Director of Membership. The first thing she said to me, in a tone that immediately turned me off, was, “What’s your issue?” Not, “How can I be of help?” She instantly assumed I was damaged. The conversation went downhill from there.

How on earth can the CEO of this facility allow this woman to be in charge of memberships? Does he realize that her attitude is turning off members, rather than persuading them to stay? He’d know this if he routinely called into his own organization, or had a trusted advisor do so on his behalf.

Next up is National Grid, who seems to tell people that the gas repair person is in their neighborhood and will be by momentarily, but cannot communicate with anyone to see if this is really true. This game of tag went on for an entire day until my husband decided to break himself and our son out of prison (also known as our condo) so they could go out for rations. Come 7:00 PM, they departed for good. At 8:30 PM, my husband received a call from the technician, who was outside our condo. Needless to say that wasn’t particularly helpful, since my husband was ninety miles away.

There is no excuse for this type of customer service, or shall I say lack of service. By the fourth phone call, a manager should have taken control. I don’t blame the technician, who was simply trying to do his job with one hand tied behind his back. However, I am grateful that he has now given me the hidden language to use the next time we attempt to have the gas company arrive to turn our gas back on.

CEOs… call your own companies now, and then call me for advice on how to create a customer-centric workplace where employees love to work and customers love to do business. It can be done. You just have to want it bad enough to make it happen.

The Real Truth About Ratings

I finally took the plunge and used my Uber App while on a recent business trip to the DC area, and I’m hooked. I predict this superb service will put some taxi companies out of business! I love the fact that you can rate drivers based on the cleanliness of their cars as well as their service. Here’s a fact that I didn’t know until my driver told me: drivers rate passengers.

The first driver who picked me up commented about my stellar rating. Interesting that I had never used the service before, yet I had a very high rating. Apparently I’m considered a great catch! That got me thinking. How many managers give their employees stellar ratings just because they show up? My guess is many.

If you want to make performance ratings count, then you have to have some substance behind them. Just showing up doesn’t cut it.

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

You can’t win the race for talent by following the pack. Instead, you have to be on the lookout for shortcuts that can put you ahead of the competition. Here are three ways to do this:

  1. Take the recruiting function out of HR and incorporate it inside the operations.
  2. Select magnetic leaders who will attract top talent towards them.
  3. Have an unbiased third-party analyze your hiring processes to determine where blockage may be occurring. Then take action to unclog the arteries that may result in sudden death of your company.

For more tips on attracting and retaining top talent, download a copy of Talent Magnetism. Call us today at 413-582-1840 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 Best Buy, New Balance, The Boston Beer Company, achieve dramatic growth and market leadership through the maximization of talent.

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