Holding on to good people

Holding on. It’s a simple expression that can mean a number of things. There’s the idea of “hanging on for dear life,” the idea of waiting until something else happens, the idea of clinging to an idea or a person or a situation beyond when you ought to be letting go.

But this context is about holding on to your employees. What’s the value of doing that? Well, maybe a lot more than we’ve have realized. Some contend that being able to do that effectively can impact your bottom line far beyond saving the significant amounts it costs to hire new people. In a recent article in the Growth Dynamics Corporation newsletter they present the idea that occupational injuries, which are statistically much lower than they used to be, might be due to the lower turnover rates that happen naturally in a down economy–and possibly not a direct result of all the extra money companies are investing in training, safety programs, etc.

In direct opposition to this idea, some companies churn a percentage of employees annually–possibly in an effort to gain greater consensus and a more homogeneous workforce. They always run the risk, though, that in getting rid of dissenters they could be killing the creativity that comes from difference. But the statistics quoted in this article offer a solid, quantifiable way to show that it pays to hold on to your employees.

Some of the biggest challenges of running a company well are related to dealing with people. Now is a good time, before the economy improves further–when some of your best people might choose to go elsewhere–to take stock of what you’re offering that will make them glad to stay. And remember: money is not the highest motivator for most people. Recognition and new challenges come way ahead of money.

Hmmm. What do you think of a blog as an interesting way to offer a little of both?

Oh, and PS, here’s a great quote from Teddy Roosevelt on a new blog for small business CEOs. Congratulations, Steve!

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