Hiring Wisdom – Top 10 Ways to Guarantee Your Best People Will Quit

By David Levy

Mel Kleiman, the president of Humetrics, a company that works to improve the hourly employees' employment and retention process, presents ten ways to guarantee that your best people will quit.

In almost each of the items he lists, a vibrant employee-owned environment would address the issue.

10. Treat everyone equally.
This may sound good, but employees are not equal.  Some are worth more because of the results they produce and should be treated differently.  Treat everyone fairly, not necessarily equally.

9. Tolerate mediocrity.
A-players, who you should be aiming for, don't want to spend their life working with C-players.

8. Have dumb rules.
No one said that you shouldn't have any rules, but do you need the dumb ones?  Your A-players want guidance and direction, not rules that get in the way of their jobs or conflict with the values that the company says are important.

7. Don't recognize outstanding performance and contributions.
Remember, behavior that you want repeated should be rewarded immediately.

6. Don't have any fun at work.
Is one of your dumb rules that work has to be serious?  If so, it should be destroyed with your other dumb rules.  The workplace should be fun.  Find ways to make work and the environment relaxed and fun and your employees will look forward to returning to their pleasant work environment each day.

If you have an employee-owned environment, are you celebrating ESOP month?  Are you engaging your fellow owners adequately?

5. Don't keep your people informed.
It's important that your team knows what is happening - the good, the bad and the ugly.  It is much better that they hear what is going on from you than to allow the water-cooler gossip to rule.

If your environment is conducive, then open-book management allows this to be extended even further.

4. Micromanage
A recipe for disaster and a mass exit is to tell them what you want done and how you want it done without any of the 'why.'  Don't ask for any input as well.

3. Don't develop an employee retention strategy.
Kleiman believes that employee retention deserves attention every day.  Make a list of those people who you don't want to lose and what you are doing to keep them engaged and on board.

2. Don't do employee retention interviews.
Wait until a great employee is leaving and then conduct an exit interview to find out what you could have done differently so that they would not have left.

1. Make your on-boarding program an exercise in tedium.

Remember that employees are most impressionable during their first days on the job.  Everything they hear will either reinforce their "buying decision" (to take the job) or will lead to "hire's remorse" (what was I thinking?)

A poorly organized, inefficient and boring orientation or training program can ensure "hire's remorse."

On day one you should reinforce their "buying decision" by having key management involved delivering these three messages:

- You were carefully chosen and we're glad you're here.
- You're now part of a great organization.
- This is why your job is so important.

Keeping these 10 steps in mind and engaging constantly with your employees, whether employee owners or not, will help keep your involuntary turnover down and make your hiring decisions even more valuable.


About the Author

David Levy

David Levy is the principal of Consult Levy. He works with companies of all sizes to improve their profitability. His specialties include executive coaching, operational streamlining, project management (including IT) and executive financial review.  He has more than 20 years of experience advising companies. He helped one of those companies become 100 percent employee owned. David can be reached via e-mail at dlevy@consultlevy.com or by phone at 858-453-3778. You can also learn more about his services or read past articles by visiting his website at www.consultlevy.com.
© Consult Levy – David Levy 2014