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“I am just here until something better comes along!!”

These are the words of a hopeless employee who sees no future with his current employer. As the Owner or CEO you will not hear this directly from the employees. Maybe indirectly through an Employee Engagement Survey or through an honest front line supervisor – your main feedback will be through your turnover statistics. There will always be other organizations who will show him a future.

When you save your employees from drowning in hopelessness by reducing your turnover the Return on Investment is dramatic. Your investment breakeven is quickly met and the reduced cost, productivity gains, expense reduction all fall directly to the bottom line. Opportunities start to mount up and you notch it up as one of your best investments.

Employees will now see a future and will stay long enough to understand the organizational mission and get emotionally connected to the goal and its’ leaders. It is this emotional connection which leads to the employees wanting to make things even better. They start really listening to what you are asking them to do. They start thinking how they could incorporate your requests into what they do every day.

I was the VP of HR for a company which constantly spoke to the employees about finding more work when they were at the customers’ site. When we had high turnover – it fell on deaf ears. After the turnover was reduced dramatically – one of the employees stated that he would “take the scenic route” back to our customers’ supervisors’ office.

He explained he almost always found another job that would cost “$X” to fix it today or “$3X” to fix next week. Sooner or later it would have to be fixed and the longer the problem went unrepaired the more it would cost. He almost always sold the fix that day. His concept became the company policy and was readily accepted by the other employees. This was a win-win, our employees and the organization both made more money. More money is the kryptonite of hopelessness.

Why did this not happen back when we had high turnover? Very simply – the employees were not emotionally attached and therefore DID NOT CARE. During the high turnover they were there until something better came along. I have seen many occasions when the new job they took really was not any better than what they had.

Which sounds more fun and profitable - hopelessness and turnover or emotional connected and motivated employees?