Better Hiring, Team Building and Employee Retention

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From The MRA Newsletter, March, 2008
Employee Retention
By John Loven - COO MRA
Why do employees quit? What can a manager do about it? Our MRA Profiles help you address most of the factors that lower employee retention. Knowing how to keep the "good ones" makes you a stronger manager and protects your bottom line, too.

It's a helpless feeling when a good, productive employee says "I'm outta here." It's your job as a manager to prevent unnecessary employee turnover. But what can you do? You can't control how much somebody else likes their job. Or can you? Let us explain in detail how MRA Profiling can improve your employee retention.

Why do employees leave their jobs?

Here is HR guru Susan Heathfield's top-ten list of reasons why people quit:

    1. The company is failing economically.

    2. Your relationship with your manager is damaged beyond repair.

    3. Your life situation has changed. You need better opportunities to support your family.

    4. Your values are at odds with the corporate culture.

    5. You've stopped having fun and enjoying your job.

    6. Your company is ethically challenged.

    7. You have behaved in ways that are considered improper at work.

    8. You've burned your bridges with your co-workers.

    9. Your stress level is so high at work that it is affecting your physical or mental health.

  10. You are unchallenged, need more responsibility, and seek opportunities.

Notice that only items One (economic failure), Six (ethical failure) and Three (major life-change like having a baby), are beyond a manager's influence. The seven other reasons all have to do with a bad fit between the corporate culture and the worker, and/or with friction between the worker and other people.

Managers aren't super-heroes, but they can do a lot to enhance employee retention. MRA profiles can support a manager's efforts by establishing a better fit between the candidate, the job and the corporate culture at hiring and promotion time. The profile reports are also a valuable road map for team-building efforts that make diversity of skills and attitudes an asset rather than a liability. Let's look at how profiles serve the manager.

The dictionary says "corporate culture" refers to a company's values, beliefs, business principles, traditions, ways of operating, and internal work environment. That's pretty broad, so here are some of the ways the definition plays out in the workplace:

     The hours you work per day, per week, including options such as flextime and telecommuting.

     The work environment, including how employees interact, the degree of competition, and whether it's a fun or hostile environment - or something in-between.

     The emphasis on customer service and customer satisfaction.

     The work space you get, including aspects such as privacy, acoustic isolation, rules regarding display of personal items and shared resources.

     The pace of changes in products, procedures, specifications, prices, etc.

     The social component of work including break rooms, gyms and play rooms, day care facilities, and the amount of time outside the office you're expected to spend with co-workers.

     The time available for, and the style of, interaction with other employees, including managers and top management.

MRA Profiles will identify individuals who are goal-driven and independent, who will enjoy competition and who want to challenge and be challenged. Is there a place for them in your corporate culture? MRA Profiles will also identify individuals who seek non-confrontational solutions to problems, are mellow, cooperative and risk-averse. How do they fit in with your job description?

Use MRA Profiles to learn who needs to be part of a team, to have constant interaction with others and loves meeting strangers. Is that who you need? Will they fit? Or use MRA Profiles to learn who needs to be an individual achiever, enjoys working alone and avoids unfamiliar social situations. Is that who you need?

With our Profiles you'll have an objective measurement of who's happy on a rolling log and needs lots of change and variety. You'll also know who craves stability, regular tasks and predictable hours. What are you offering and who fits?

Another measurement will tell you who just naturally does it by the book and always cross checks with the boss. By the same measurement, you'll know who acts decisively and independently, trusting their own judgment. Which style does your corporate culture support? And in which job description does one attitude - or the other - shine?

Through our profiling system you'll also have a measure of the individual's comprehension speed, so you can predict how efficiently they can be trained and how well they will keep up if your organization is battered by the information explosion, globalization or mergers.

All these differences have distinct value on the job. The hiring question is "In which job description will they thrive?" After hiring, the task is to make everyone aware of interpersonal differences (so they don't find out by trial and error, which is always messy!) and then to appreciate the differences as an asset to the team. Our team building methodology gives managers a road map to improving communication and eliminating unnecessary friction by awakening this awareness of the value of other people's styles and abilities.

We give you good tools with which to minimize seven out of the top ten reasons why people quit their jobs. Improved employee retention is within your grasp.

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