How Retention Gives Life to Your Bottom Line by Jimmy Mas

It always surprises me even in the rough and tumble world of the marketplace, how many leaders and upper level managers have a tendency to ignore (what I believe are) the prime assets in their respective corporations.

The best of the best that we all have to work with—is exactly the “who” we work with!

In every organization and business environment there exists champions of your vision and yes, your bottom line. Those precious and hard to come by people should be treasured and KEPT! 

Retention in an age where we are told few stay committed too long is no longer a luxury but a focal point of real marketplace prosperity. There are a few key tactical investments and mindset changes that you as a key leader of your organization can make to ensure you retain the very best people to help you get the job done and insure profits keep coming!

For starters, it’s important to note that the new is not always better than what you currently have. In the environment of shaving costs many principals determine it is wisest to get new or (young) and cheaper over familiarity with the company’s purpose. So many businesses have done themselves a disservice by eliminating those who have carried the mantle for the business and have the necessary instinct to avoid landmines— simply because they cost more. In so doing, you risk dismantling a familiarity that has the capacity to troubleshoot problems while they are producing.

I believe that if a legitimate cost analysis would be done it would be discovered that reproduction of trained personnel through those who know the business, rather than replacement is a far better growth factor. It’s a knee jerk reaction to always blame stagnation on those who matter most to an organization and look at the proverbial shiny new object to get you over the hump. Keep your real producers and give them incentive to grow their share of responsibility by increasing their share of the profit when they win for you!

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Another important strategic measure is simply the old (and equally bad) tactic of ignoring the obvious within the organization. 

Many times middle management fails because they have been failed. When they are ignored or simply allowed to wait indefinitely for acknowledgment or attention because all of your attention is focused on acquisition of new talent—a back door is created! I learned this lesson at fourteen while working at a fast food burger outlet. I was used in many different ways including being part of the open-crew on weekends. They recognized me as a good worker but I really wanted to grow and move up where the real talent was—making sandwiches. The manager promised and promised and even allowed me to work at it a few times with great promise. Week after week I kept getting promised but sadly was always relegated to the broiler or fries making. My heart was to stick it out but his heart was to simply avoid any confrontation with other workers. I was the scapegoat.

Needless to say, after many weeks of waiting for a shot—any shot at forward movement, he just kept ignoring the need I had to learn and be valued. One weekend, in spite of needing the job I decided I needed to move on because even as a high school freshman I just wanted a little respect. As an emotional youngster, I put myself in some hardship as a result of that decision—but nonetheless it was final.

Today, you are more apt to have other organizations tap into your prized leaders discontent by offering them what they always just wanted with you.  Pay attention and keep your promises!

Thirdly, negotiating on the backs of your standard bearers is a cancer that will fight back and destroy the riches of productivity you may currently be enjoying. Simply put—don’t attempt to secure additional resources or talent while those who have served you best and hardest are expected to continue on smiles alone! There will always exist tension to acquire new (and expensive) talent to keep current and successful. But doing it while using important and vital resources you need for retention is a HUGE mistake. This cannot be overstated! The best principals in the marketplace have learned the talent of doing both—acquisition and retention. Familiarity may breed contempt in many places but it should not in you!

And finally another strategic investment is to leverage additional training for your best and brightest for growth. The best organizations use this as a fulcrum for health and growth. However it is important to note that additional training that gives additional responsibility requires that you compensate for that additional workload. Anything else spells out loud and clear, “I’m using you!” The notion that training alone helps them is pretense that hurts you NOW and spells promotion for them—elsewhere!

Retention breeds life into your bottom line like nothing else can. It’s no secret that the best places to work are where people are cared for the best. And, news travels fast where so many talented and inventive people are looking to last and add life to their work.

2018 © Jimmy Mas    New City Ministry / www.newcityministry.com