January 3, 2024 workforce podcast show notes
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Jamie begins with a quote from Fortune magazine regarding why employees leave during the first 6-12 months. Some of these reasons can be restated to include:
- Feeling out of sync
- Not understanding how they impact the company
- Realizing their job-related activities are different from what they were originally told
In Part 1 of this discussion, specifically focused on employees who were in their first 6 months, the group stressed the importance of helping the new hire to clearly understand the above 3 points. How well your team performed relative to this important activity will set up the next 6 months and beyond.
Molley discusses how at the 6-month mark, the employee is beginning to develop relationships with his/her co-workers. They should be settling into both the role and the culture. Jason asks if it’s fair for the responsibility to now transition from the recruiting team to the management team? The answer is yes.
This would make sense because the recruiting team now needs to refocus on generating the next batch of new hires. They’ve generally done their job of finding the right candidate, getting them hired and assisting with the on-boarding process.
Molley recognizes that there may be some joint-responsibility, but for the most part it’s no longer a recruiting issue. There should be a helpful hand-off.
If leaders were to see a trend develop in which people decide to leave in the 6-8 month period, then of course, maybe recruiting should be involved in a deeper dive into the core issue driving the trend. However, generally speaking, it’s now in management’s hands.
Molley recounts a series of simple, but important questions she presents to C-Suite leaders regarding their turnover rate, cost of hiring and the cost of leaving that position unfilled. Many do not have a firm grasp on those metrics.
Jason comments the above illustrates exactly why a company should have at least one individual tasked with monitoring, measuring and reporting on these metrics. It’s vital to the company’s ability to grow in a competitive market.
The Workforce Therapy Files team is a group of professionals who work with companies grappling with the challenges of workforce development. They know how overwhelmed talent-teams are. Nonetheless, someone in the company needs to have retention as a part of their individual responsibilities.
Managing the Transition
Molley recommends re-engaging with employees who are at that 6-month timeframe to see if they would be interested in mentoring others in the 0-6 month range. It could foster engagement for both parties. There’s a lot of value in this effort.
Jamie discusses how the types of conversations you’re having with that employee who is in the 6-month to 3-year tenure needs to evolve. It’s a good time to get the pulse of the individual relative to their aspirations for advancement, job-satisfaction and general engagement. Make sure employees continue to feel that level of interest you initially showed. They are still important to the overall mission.
Unfortunately, at the 3-year mark, there tends to be a dramatic decrease in the engagement level of an employee, based on what Jamie’s observed during her career working to help various companies. Job rotations and internal job fairs are ways to foster interest and improved engagement levels.
Molley makes a good point. If you do internal job satisfaction-style surveys, but don’t take action based on the results, nothing will change. In fact, it may worsen. Your employees are human beings and they need to be acknowledged for the contribution they make to the overall organization’s success. Knowing that they are being heard is a great way to begin improving employee engagement. “I hear you” is a powerful statement for management and supervisors to make.
How Does Your Employee Perceive What They Do?
Jamie recounts an example that goes directly to an individual’s contribution to the mission:
“A man was approached and asked what he was doing. His response was that he was laying bricks. A second man was asked the same question. He responded he was building a wall. A third man was asked and his response was ‘I’m building a cathedral.’”
This illustrates the importance of ensuring the individuals understand how important they are. It often begins with how they see their role. Effective communication and coaching by management can help to influence that perception.
Jason reminds us that this is why it’s so important that everyone understands the mission and vision of their respective companies. It helps to define how each person’s role is related to the long-term success of the company and the customers who purchase the products and services provided by those companies.
Milestones at the 6-Month to 3-Year Stage
Employees who are in this stage of their tenure generally experience the following:
- They’re comfortable with the role
- They’re getting competent in their role
- They’re getting clarity in their position
However, there are some other actions, intended or not, that generally take place:
- Support for the individual begins to decline
- Expectations begin to increase
- Issues start to arise
If you are doing engagement surveys with your workforce, hopefully you’ll be able to identify the red flags and take action before the employee fully disengages and/or exits the organization.
Jamie discusses how at 0-6 months, leadership needs to be directive. At the early part of the 6-month to 3-year window, there will be fewer instructions and coaching. This is the point at which recognition and feedback are important. It gives you an opportunity to gauge how the employee views his/her progress. Remember, these are “the evolvers.”
Managers should never be too busy to engage in the recognition and feedback at this stage. It’s a critical part of their role/responsibility. The company has invested a lot in the individual’s achieving this stage in their career path. Don’t short circuit the return on investment by ignoring this phase.
At this phase, a manager will be able to get a feel for the individual’s trajectory and aspirations. At the same time, the person’s true talents should be emerging, which could lead to opportunities in other roles. Engaging with him/her about future options would be a great idea.
Molley explains how this is an excellent window during which employee referrals can be made. Unfortunately, as the individual grows more comfortable, referrals tend to decrease. However, while many companies have referral incentives, Molley shares a pro-tip. How about instituting an employee referral program that rewards both the individual making the referral, as well as the new hire? You can really get creative here to go beyond the status quo.
There are many ways to get an employee to engage. Some of the options may be for internal improvement initiatives, but don’t forget about community-wide initiatives. Again, get creative and foster that sense of pride and belonging.
Recognition is also important. Jason recommends publicizing work anniversaries, promotions and achievements. Jason shares his company’s fondness for fun trophies. Recognition is recognition. It motivates and fosters a sense community, even though it’s focused on the individual’s activity.
That’s where we’ll leave the conversation for today. Before we close the file, we invite you to reach out to us with questions, suggestions or other comments. We’d love to hear from you.
Need Help Supporting Your Company’s Recruiting and Staffing Goals?
We’re here to help. You can contact us via our individual websites, depending on your specific needs or questions:
- Jamie Swaim, SPHR – www.ParcelKnows.com
- Molley Ricketts – www.IncipioWorks.com
- Jason Heflin – www.CrowdSouth.com
We hope you found this file insightful and helpful. Thank you for listening!
By Jason Heflin
Jason Heflin is one of CrowdSouth’s owning Partners and brings years of marketing experience from his past lives as a corporate marketing manager, writer, and freelancer. He also plays the ukulele for fun, which is cool.