Recognition

RETENTION AND RECOGNITION STRATEGIES

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You get the knock on the door, “Got a minute”? One of your star performers walks in and starts telling you that they are leaving the organization. Ouch, this was quite unexpected and this person is an integral part of the team.  What should we do next? How can we prevent this of type of “bad turnover” from happening again?

Which comes first, employee retention strategy or recognition? Voltage CEO Jeff Smith and I did a recent radio show, Illuminating Leadership on this very topic. Below are some of the tips and tools we talked about.

For answers to the questions above and a deeper dive into Recognition and Retention Strategies please click this link:

                                                Recognition IS a Retention Strategy                                                                                             The Big “3” F-R-C

1.  Feedback – “Retained” employees want and need consistent honest feedback about how they are doing.

2.  Recognition – Ignoring star performers paves the way for them to be recognized by another employer.

3.  Caring – “Retained” employees feel a real sense of integrity from their reporting relationship.

                                     How to practice Recognition as a Retention Strategy

  • Find out what do employees want from their culture. It’s your job as a leader to create space for the retention discussion to consistently happen! Be inquisitive, get behind the Manager’s closed door and understand their satisfiers and dissatisfiers.

  • Don’t get hung up on trying to have the “perfect” retention program. Don’t delay on starting to recognize top performers and keep it simple. Even with little or no budget just do it.

  • Avoid the “Iceberg of Ignorance” - Ask staff and teammates, “what should we be doing differently”? Some data suggest that only 4% of “true” organizational problems are understood at the “C” level while 75 – 100% of the front-line managers and staff live with them every day!

  • Practice Re-Recruiting – Treat them as if you wanted to join your Team. What would you do differently?

Recognition ideas:

  • Lunch with the boss – Make it about them, not a defacto session

  • Don’t forget their birthday – simple, but many forget this simple opportunity

  • Peer to peer recognition – Build esprit ‘d corp by setting the example to follow

  • Hand written notes to the employee’s home / spouse, (with gift card / dinner etc)

  • The Travelling Trophy -Simple, fun and never goes out of style, (take their picture with it)

  • Give Time Back – ie, Time off to let them participate causes they care deeply about

  • March Madness – For fun only, tap the passion and excitement of the road to the final four

  • Let vacation be vacation -  And when they return, let them adjust a little as they “re-enter”

  • Work from Home day – Trust them to do what they need to. Give them the freedom to be who they are.


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Lee Hubert is a Speaker, Facilitator, Trainer and founder of iTrainManagerforSuccess affiliate of Voltage Leadership, with over 20 years of experience in human resources development in healthcare, technology, financial and energy sectors. 

Love the One You’re With

I am borrowing the song title from the Stephen Stills famous hit from 1970—here is the link in case you want to sing along with me. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HH3ruuml-R4

I got the idea for the blog listening to an interview on NPR’s Marketplace recently. Host, Kai Ryssdal, asked Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, to discuss a recent mistake that he had made. Nadella paused and then said he sometimes gets distracted by shiny bright objects and forgets about the needs of his current customers. He gets excited about potential new products and forgets that these new features might impact the current customers who have been loyal to Microsoft. He went on to say that he has stopped short of making the mistake, but not before nearly forgetting about the current customers.

What about you? Do you get distracted by the potential new customer and forget about the needs of your current customers? I know I have made this mistake. A couple of years ago, I landed some new customers that took me out of town a good bit, and made it hard for others to reach me for live meetings. The work with the new customers was lucrative, but were short term projects.  My current customers missed the extra touch that I normally gave them, and it was harder to renew work the next time around. If I had spent more time with my current customers, I might have gotten new work and I know I would have had greater loyalty if I had stayed connected. Thus, love the one you’re with! What are you doing to retain your top customers? Do they know how much you value them? What can you proactively do to amaze them?

 

I think this same concept can apply to our employees. It can be easy to look at our current team as good but not always great. We go to a conference and we meet someone and think they can be amazing for our team. This might be true, and I am not saying to not look for new talent. However, are you taking the time to truly develop your current team that is loyal to you? It is a lot easier to keep a team member that believes in your mission, understands your leadership, and is a cultural match. Instead of loving our current team members, we often covet other people. We tend to see the weaknesses of our team members and forget about their current strengths. I have one client that was loyal to his organization for years. He would receive feedback that he needed to be more direct. He would do this and then he would get feedback that he was too direct. He then would be told he was almost ready for a promotion and then they would bring someone in from the outside. He recently left and is a superstar in the new company. His old company called me and asked if I knew anyone like my coaching client because they said he was a superstar. If they had told him that while he was there and given him more positive feedback, he would never have looked for another role.

Take time this week to re-recruit one of the superstars on your team. Tell them why you love what they do for your organization. Call one of your customers and tell them why you enjoy working with them so much. Let me know how the conversation goes and in the meantime, “Love the One You’re With!”

Generational Mythology / Boomers & Millennials

“I'm not trying to 'cause a b-big s-s-sensation just talkin' 'bout my g-g-generation”

It had been on my mind for some time to do our radio show on the topic of on some of the stereotypes that may exist between the Baby Boomers (My Generation) and Generation Y - Millennials. Our Office Manager and a Millennial at Voltage Leadership, Diane Nguyen, was our gracious guest on the radio program to drill down on some of the “mythology” between these two groups.

Although there is some slight variance of thought on this, we will define Boomers as those born between 1946 – 1964 and Millennials being defined here as born between 1981 – 2000.

What do both groups have in common?

1.      Both want to be heard and respected

2.      Both want to make a difference in the world around them

3.      Both see themselves as “rebels” and dislike stereotypes about them

What are some tips for Boomer employees of Millennial managers?

1.      Don’t expect face to face meetings to last as long as you think “customary”

2.      Don’t assume ALL emails or text messages are urgent

3.      Don’t think you need to be “seen in the office” all the time

4.      Don’t expect Millennial managers to accept, “This is the way we’ve always done it

5.      Don’t expect the Millennial boss to treat you any differently than “younger” employees

How can we work together towards maximizing mutual respect and understanding?

1.      Make the effort to learn each other’s language, (and they are at times very different)

2.      Form your own conclusion based on experience vs assumptions or “noise”

3.      Respect each other’s competencies vs titles or positions

So, for all of you Boomers out there with FOMO, understand YOLO, emoji.
For a deeper dive into this topic, click this link to listen to our VoltCast Radio Show “Millennial Mythology

Retention and Recognition Strategies

You get the knock on the door, “Got a minute”? One of your star performers walks in and starts telling you that they are leaving the organization. Ouch, this was quite unexpected and this person is an integral part of the team.  What should we do next? How can we prevent this of type of “bad turnover” from happening again?

Which comes first, employee retention strategy or recognition? Voltage CEO Jeff Smith and I did a recent radio show, Illuminating Leadership on this very topic. Below are some of the tips and tools we talked about.

For answers to the questions above and a deeper dive into Recognition and Retention Strategies please click this link:

                                                Recognition IS a Retention Strategy                                                                                             The Big “3” F-R-C

1.  Feedback – “Retained” employees want and need consistent honest feedback about how they are doing.

2.  Recognition – Ignoring star performers paves the way for them to be recognized by another employer.

3.  Caring – “Retained” employees feel a real sense of integrity from their reporting relationship.

                                     How to practice Recognition as a Retention Strategy

  • Find out what do employees want from their culture. It’s your job as a leader to create space for the retention discussion to consistently happen! Be inquisitive, get behind the Manager’s closed door and understand their satisfiers and dissatisfiers.
  • Don’t get hung up on trying to have the “perfect” retention program. Don’t delay on starting to recognize top performers and keep it simple. Even with little or no budget just do it.
  • Avoid the “Iceberg of Ignorance” - Ask staff and teammates, “what should we be doing differently”? Some data suggest that only 4% of “true” organizational problems are understood at the “C” level while 75 – 100% of the front-line managers and staff live with them every day!
  • Practice Re-Recruiting – Treat them as if you wanted to join your Team. What would you do differently?

Recognition ideas:

  • Lunch with the boss – Make it about them, not a defacto session
  • Don’t forget their birthday – simple, but many forget this simple opportunity
  • Peer to peer recognition – Build esprit ‘d corp by setting the example to follow
  • Hand written notes to the employee’s home / spouse, (with gift card / dinner etc)
  • The Travelling Trophy -Simple, fun and never goes out of style, (take their picture with                       it)
  • Give Time Back – ie, Time off to let them participate causes they care deeply about
  • March Madness – For fun only, tap the passion and excitement of the road to the final                       four
  • Let vacation be vacation -  And when they return, let them adjust a little as they                                        “re-enter”
  • Work from Home day – Trust them to do what they need to. Give them the freedom to be who they are.
     

CYA AND THE IMPACT ON YOUR TEAM

I bet you are thinking I’m referring to “Cover You’re a$$!” with CYA. Well, that one can definitely have negative ramifications on your team so I am writing about a different CYA.

Choose Your Attitude! Your team is often taking your lead on their mood based on your behaviors, mood and attitude.

I am working with a C-Level executive who had been starting all his meetings with the problems happening in his area.  The meeting started by listing where the team had missed the mark and then progressed to a general inquisition that occasionally resulted in a beheading. The form of punishment would last until you were either dead or decided to leave the department/organization.  While it was not quite that drastic, it felt that way to the participants of the meeting.  The leader’s mood would shift from inquisitive to frustrated to pissed off to victim to persecutor and generally wrapped up in resignation by the end of the meeting.  Have you ever attended a meeting like this?

How could this go differently? Let’s go all the way back to getting out of bed.  One exercise that I both utilize and recommend to my coaching clients is choosing a word or two for the day.  When I know I have a challenging meeting coming up, I might choose “curious.” This helps me stay interested in why people are feeling and acting the way they are acting.  When I have a busy day filled with coaching sessions, meetings, and kids’ soccer games, I might choose “energy” to help keep my energy up all day.  Another common word for me is “awesome”. I like to use this one after a so-so night of sleep.  It is easy to respond with “Fine (or okay) because I did not get a great night’s sleep” when you are asked how you are doing. However, when I say awesome, I feel a lift in my step and the other person looks at my quizzically. I generally then say something like I got to take my son to school today and I have 3-4 coaching sessions today that I am looking forward to.  Does this work every day, of course not! However, it does help me and my clients create their own story each day instead of showing up like a zombie just getting through the day and reacting to everything.

Okay, so now let’s get back to the team meeting. One recommendation I had for the leader was to get there 2-5 minutes early, and have a personal conversation with his teammates so he could connect better. Next, I asked him to consider starting the meeting with 2 questions for each person—“What has been going well in your area? What are your desired outcomes for this meeting?” These questions shift the mood from defending your areas to celebrating accomplishments and naming what you need help with.  This is the land of possibility vs. justification.  There are still problems that need to addressed, but the team will get to those after they understand the desired outcomes. The leader I was discussing started doing these two habits and his team is doing significantly better.  They feel like they really know him better and they want to come to work for him.  Before this started, several team members had confided in me that were looking outside the organization for a new job and they dreaded coming to work. They still know the meetings will be intense at times but that is okay because this team gets results. They feel much more supported now and they know their leader listens to them.

What is your attitude towards change? Do you embrace it or do you whine to your team about another area “making you and your team change.” I can promise you how you describe the change will impact how your followers will respond.  I am not saying that all change is easy to accept or that you like it, however, if you state the reasons for the change and why things will be changing, others will follow your attitude and lead. Yes, there will still be some whining but a lot less then when you get in the trenches and whine with your team.

One final thought—how often do you provide recognition vs. giving developmental feedback.  I encourage you to try to provide 5 pieces of positive recognition for every piece of developmental feedback you give. People will love this. Watch how your change in attitude will impact the team. So, what attitude will you bring to work tomorrow?  Have some fun with this and send me some feedback on what you see in your team. Good luck!