HR Management & Compliance

HTHJ Managers? They’re Sending Your Best People Packing

Do you have managers who say to their employees, “You should be Happy To Have a Job”? That mindset isn’t going to do it, says Consultant Ron Katz. With that attitude, your best people are out looking.

Retention is going to be a focus for next year, says Katz, who is with Penguin Human Resource Consulting, LLC. He offered his tips at BLR’s Strategic HR Leadership Summit.

Top Management Involvement

How should you go about getting management involvement with retention efforts? You do need a high level manager to champion these efforts, says Katz. Don’t try to go in full bore across the entire organization on day one. Find a champion and pilot the program in the department of the champion.

If you have managers who say, “I don’t have to praise my employees; they get a paycheck—they’re just doing their jobs,” don’t pilot your program in that department, Katz quips.

Senior managers tend to be competitive. When the program starts to pay off in the pilot department, that attracts the interest of the other leaders; they’ll want it, too.

What should you do if you don’t have a champion? asks Katz. Go to the manager with the biggest problem. Where’s the pain? That manager will be amenable to giving something a try.


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Back Up with Dollars

Katz relates a situation in which there was a significant absence problem. The company established a reward program that concluded with a dinner for all the people in the company with perfect attendance.  The second year, the general manager came to the dinner. He was dismayed. He said, you’re holding this big steak dinner for clericals? How much is it costing us to put this lavish dinner on? About $20,000, the HR VP replied.

The general manager was on the verge of canceling the program until, quickly, the VP informed the general manager of the amount saved—$750,000. That got the general manager’s attention all right—the general manager installed the program throughout the company.

Layoffs and Rewards

When there have been lots of layoffs, you get a cynical workforce, Katz says. Give out financial rewards, and employees say, they laid people off and now they’re giving rewards? That’s when nonmonetary rewards are particularly effective, says Katz.

Katz’s 5 T’s

For nonmonetary rewards, Katz has “The Five T’s”:

  • Time
  • Task
  • Team
  • Training
  • Talking

For the most part, these T’s don’t cost a cent, says Katz. (Training may have some cost, he acknowledges.) Make sure managers know how to do these things and that they recognize the value of doing these things. (Otherwise, they won’t do them, Katz says.)

From retention to engagement to development, the brave new world of HR is here. Are you prepared for changes that are unparalleled in scope and impact?

  • Employees all over the world, many of whom you’ve never met in person
  • Technological advances and big data
  • Talent management challenges like Millennials managing Baby Boomers you once thought would have retired years ago
  • Big data on everything from hiring strategies to retention predictions
  • Sweeping regulatory changes in the areas of health care, immigration, and privacy that have necessitated massive changes in the way you do business

And the new normal—doing more … with less


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  • Onboarding
  • Social Media and Technology
  • Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS)
  • Flexibility and Work/Life Balance
  • Outsourcing
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  • Employee Engagement and Retention
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