Got The Time? Really?......

Brian Beck PHR, MHROD
February 18, 2009 — 1,617 views  
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Love, Inspire, Respect, Communicate, Recognize......all very powerful words that managers can show their staff members each day.  There are many books on these kinds of subjects.  I've written several blogs on these kinds of topics and readers have responded with positive feedback.  Part II, however, is this question:  How much time do you really spend with your staff?  Loving, Inspiring, Respecting, Communicating and Recognizing staff can't happen unless you actually engage in human contact and dialogue with your team.  How much time do you spend at work each week?  There are 168 hours in a week.  If you work 40 hours/week, you're spending 24% of your week at work.  If you work 50 hours/week, that number is 30%.  Anyone who works over 50 hours in a week should stop...you're on the road to health issues.  Believe in the fact that things can wait until tomorrow. 

Now, during those 40 hours per week, how much of that time is spent in meetings, conference calls, seminars, emails, voicemails, emergencies, shop talk, side bars, lunch, breaks, communting, getting ready for meetings, conference calls, etc.?  I have a pretty strong guess that it's at least 38 hours per week.  Here's the catch......how much time does that leave managers to spend engaging in active conversation with employees?  2 hours, or 24 minutes a day.  For some of you that may be even less.  How discouraging!  We wonder why we have retention problems?  

We do spend some time with employees during evals or performance management/disciplinary issues.  That gets a manager's attention....but sadly and truly, that's about all our staff get.  Remember that organizations out there are not in a recruitment crisis.  Don't let the experts tell you that organizations are in this kind of predicament!  It's selling books, that's for sure.  Organizations are in a retention crisis.  If your open job reqs are for anything other than growth, military or spousal transfer, the organization and most importantly, the manager, has dropped the ball.  It's just that simple.

So, how can we offset some of that sting?  Spend time with your staff!  Open your calendar and reserve time each day/week to just talk with your teams.  Nobody can touch or plug a meeting into that time slot.  It's untouchable...taboo...off limits....  Sacrifice that time with your people and watch the morale and return on TIME grow! 

Brian Beck PHR, MHROD

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Brian J. Beck, PHR, M.H.R.O.D., has worked in the human resources field for over 15 years, focusing on recruitment/retention, HR strategic planning, organization and leadership development.