Executive Education

3 Retention Strategies Known Only by the Most Successful CEOs

It’s no secret employee retention is critical to the long-term success of any organization. Today, the job market has recovered enough that according to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, an average of 2.8 million people quit their jobs every month. What that means for you, the business owner, is that there is a 57% chance that the position will remain open for three months or more if you fail to fill the job opening within the first month. As a result, you could possibly lose over a months worth of potential earnings, productivity and even employee morale.

Retention should always be a top-line item for CEOs, but it should especially be top of mind when planning for a new quarter. Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet to success. Further, getting to where you want to be requires a bit more art than science. That said you can still take several strategic steps that will help build a foundation which can lead to the results you desire. In my case, they led to an employee retention rate of 97 percent over the past four years, which in turn, contributed to 5x year over year growth over the past six years. Without further ado, here are three hacks for ensuring employee retention within your organization.

  1. Tell a Story That Attracts the Talent You Seek

    Experienced, high-level talent is hard to come by. To attract rock stars – no matter your industry – requires telling a strong story about your organization that makes the market’s most skilled free agents want to join the team. What your organization represents, the goals they are working to reach and how your executive board plan plans to get there – it is vital all of this is publicly available. Your company story latently communicates your strategy and whether it is sustainable. Top talent recognizes this and flock to those who deliver.

  2. Commit Yourself to Transparency. No, Seriously – Do It.

    Partners have the same goals. Partners build together. Partners share in success. Executive leaders should strive to ensure every employee knows they are not just workers punching a clock, but instead partners every step of the way. Part of making this a reality ensuring all of your “partners” clearly understand the role they play in achieving company goals. In many organizations – my own included – employees often fall into three categories – entry-level, mid-management and executive management. By making it clear what is expected of each, you can then communicate how this will in turn benefit them. For the entry-level employee, meeting goals means advancing their skillset. For mid-level managers, it means laying a path to executive management. For executive leaders, it means solidifying their reputations as though leaders, industry-wide.

  3. Kill “That’s How We’ve Always Done Things” Once and For All

    It might sound simple, but treating people like people will take you farther than any other retention tip you can imagine. Easing traditional restrictions on employee freedom (where applicable of course) allows for happiness which in turn delivers a culture of innovation, growth and productivity – all of which benefits both the organization and those it serves. Some places to start include promoting on a meritocratic basis, truly committing to delivery of a work/life balance and taking the time to cultivate employee interests.

You might be thinking you already have these steps covered. If that’s the case and your retention rates are still not where you want them to be, I implore you to take just one more look, for without the right talent on your side, profit and growth simply cannot become reality.

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By Dan Pickett, CEO, nfrastructure.

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Daniel T. Pickett III
Daniel T. Pickett III, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of nfrastructure. nfrastructure helps large enterprises design, build and operate mission-critical technology infrastructure. Combining proven methods and tools, world-class engineering talent, on-site technical service in every major North American market and tightly integrated low cost remote support, nfrastructure collaborates with customers to deliver sustainable disruptive value.