Retention “ToolKit” – 63 retention tools and tips you can use tomorrow

I was speaking at an International Institute for Research seminar last week (they are great people) and my Retention Tool kit got a good response. Here it is in checklist form.

Retention “ToolKit”

63 Retention Tools And Tips You Can Use Tomorrow

  1. Measure and reward managers (teams) for attracting, developing and retaining the best.
  2. Identify and fix bad managers.
  3. Treat people differently (special) and tell why.
  4. Develop a Challenge plan for every employee. Realize employees rank it #1.
  5. Do a barriers to productivity survey.
  6. Ask people why they stay.
  7. Ask them to stay, and to tell you before they consider leaving.
  8. Treat Hi-Pers like volunteers/ free agents/ mature adults.
  9. Buy CEO time for Hi-Per visits.
  10. Realize the relationship between attraction, motivation, Cust. Satis. and retention.
  11. Calculate the cost / impact of turnover on time to market and product development.
  12. Make it the most talked about topic.
  13. Have HR stop employees and ask them “are you challenged, listened to & recognized.”
  14. Use focus groups to identify issues.
  15. Involve head hunters and recruiters in identifying our weaknesses and strengths.
  16. Appoint a retention director team. Make someone accountable.
  17. Buy all managers the “1001 Ways to Reward” book
  18. Do post-exit interviews to find out why employees “really” leave.
  19. Fire Lo-Pers (low performers).
  20. Do forced ranking to identify Hi-Pers.
  21. Practice random acts of attention and recognition.
  22. Do an in depth analysis of the actual costs of turnover.
  23. Shift retention responsibility to managers and employees (“Managers Manage”).
  24. Stretch orientation over the first 6 weeks.
  25. Have a party for all new hires.
  26. Have their computer, Bus cards, office ready before they start.
  27. Ask employees who is at risk of leaving.
  28. Develop constructive confrontation skills among your employees.
  29. Measure “performance” turnover (turnover by performance ranking).
  30. Institute “Part-Time” job rotations for full time employees and short-term assignment programs.
  31. Ask your employees what they want (more of / less of).
  32. Train managers/ teams on how to retain their employees.
  33. Over-Communicate with your employees.
  34. Remember, it’s hardly ever just the money.
  35. Do a Garage Factor / Start Up analysis (risk of leaving) on the very best Hi-Pers.
  36. Develop Compelling reasons to stay.
  37. Excite the workers before the headhunter calls start, teach them how to say no!
  38. Increase your employees “learning speed.”
  39. Hire “cool” people.
  40. Place an ad thanking your employees.
  41. Develop internal “smoke detectors” for employee relations problems.
  42. Practice Intraplacement to actively move internal candidates.
  43. Have employees write up “dream sheets.”
  44. Be flexible on international retention practices (one size fits one).
  45. Treat employees like mature adults.
  46. Do a “pulse” e-mail survey to gauge retention issues.
  47. Do a quarterly “human asset’ review (turnover = assets out the door).
  48. Set outrageous goals (turnover of 0% top- and 100% of bottom performers).
  49. Use headhunters to “validate” salary.
  50. Offer “stay on” bonuses to encourage key people to finish projects / close plants.
  51. Offer referral bonuses to non-employees (suppliers, customers, etc.).
  52. Develop “corporate head count “fat” identifiers to avoid morale killing layoffs.
  53. Remind employees on a regular basis why this is a great place to work.
  54. Involve and recognize the family get the spouse to be a retention ally.
  55. Create an “overdue” for recognition/ promotion list.
  56. Hire your competitors best recruiters away so they can’t hurt you. Involve recruiters in the long term retention of those they recruited.
  57. Don’t pay retention bonuses unless you make them ‘happy” with their job first.
  58. Develop a list of corporate “traumas” (layoff, loss of CEO, stock price drop, etc.) that are triggers to increased turnover.
  59. Develop lists of precursors (predictors) of imminent turnover. Leaving early, Resume updating, completed advanced degree, rejected for promotion.
  60. Increase the quality of ‘first month” welcome & orientation activities to cut frustration.
  61. Pre-qualify internal candidates for promotions to lessen anxiety and turnover.
  62. Identify the unique needs of diverse employees and tailor programs to make them feel needed and part of the team.
  63. Ask recent hires why they said yes and “turndowns” why they said no.
© January, 1998

As seen on Gately Consulting.

About Dr John Sullivan

Dr John Sullivan is an internationally known HR thought-leader from the Silicon Valley who specializes in providing bold and high business impact; strategic Talent Management solutions to large corporations.

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