Employee Retention - How much is retaining the wrong employee costing you?

Chris Young
December 4, 2007 — 2,247 views  
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A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of speaking at a conference about employee hiring, retention, and interpersonal communication based on behaviors. The audience was comprised of business owners and their immediate senior management team members. One of my favorite things to do during the breaks is to engage audience members about what they are seeing through their experiences in the workplace. Invariably I learn of everyday problems managers and owners are dealing with. A case-in-point that is an all-too-familiar story... Dealing with the employee who "doesn't get it" and is a real problem. The conversation typically goes like this... "What do you think I should do with this particular employee?" The manager went on to describe an employee that they had pretty much done everything they could think of to help them "work out". The manager had come to the conclusion that there was very little left to try. She wanted my advice. My response was... "What does your gut tell you to do?" "Let her go." "Have you done everything you can including - making sure they understand the needs of the job; ensuring it's not just a conflict between you and them; and revisiting your decision to hire them in the first place?" "Oh yes... I have thought a lot about this particular person. I have given them many, many opportunities to improve, " she said. "Question for you... How much time a day or week do you spend dealing with this particular person or issues brought on by them?" "At least an hour a day..." I then asked, "What would you do with that one hour a day, 20 hours a month, or 6 weeks a year you could free up if you let this person go and hired the best possible team member for the job?" She then had that "far away look". I could see she was thinking about the possibilities. She knew what she had to do but didn't want to go there. I wonder how much this problem has cost this organization? This interaction causes me to think of two things... First... Where is this problem really? Is it with the manager? Does the manager have development opportunities that need to be enhanced? Second... If the problem is with the employee... How much time will pass until that "problem employee" is let go to seek employment that is more meaningful to them? As business owners, managers, and leaders, we have a moral obligation to ensure that the right team members are sitting in the right seats on the bus. To accept mediocrity in any form is to invite problems that cost the organization in terms of lost opportunities and resources. More importantly - there are good people in the wrong jobs whose lives are not fulfilled. That is a moral travesty in my opinion. We can do better. Maximize Possibility If you'd like more information about how your organization can hire the best fir individuals for the job and dramatically reduce employee turnover, please contact Chris Young at [email protected]

Chris Young


The Rainmaker Group is a human talent maximization company specializing in helping organization maximize their bottom lines by improving employee retention, hiring the best talent possible, and strategic talent management and coaching services. From the Fortune 50 corporation to the small medical office, The Rainmaker Group guarantees lasting organizational change via a unique blend of energy, insight, and science to maximize talent, transform organizational culture, and provide strategic intervention.