Which group of employees are hearing “I want you to stay”?

People Profits Principle #3

Your employees know who the good and bad employees are.

How you deal with both groups will determine who will stay.

Every organization has good and bad employees. If you do not discipline the bad employees and do not reward the good employees you will end up with a lot of bad employees. Simply, the bad will stay and the good will leave over time. The good news is the reverse is also true. If you discipline the bad employees and reward the good employees you will end up with fewer bad employees and more good employees. In the second scenario, some of the bad employees will become good employees.

When you solve your employee turnover problem you gain flexibility in dealing with your less productive employees. When you have high turnover you are forced to keep people you know are not productive because you need warm bodies. When you have an employee who is not productive or is marginal – what do you do? Most companies will allow the problem to continue and address it only when a problem surfaces. I have always advocated a procedure with agreed upon objective behavior improvements and a time table. I am not going to wait for another problem. What I have found is employees will only take action when they know you are serious.

One of the companies I worked with would “retread” previous employees. The employee turnover was so bad they would search for previous employees and rehire them because they needed warm bodies. They would rehire them over and over. Once we solved the turnover problem we had a discussion about “retreads”. I asked the branch managers how many times they would rehire someone and it worked out in the long run. The managers agreed retreads seldom worked out.

After some discussion it was revealed and agreed upon - employees who were rehired back the first time would work out at a much higher percentage. Those employees would recognize the fundamentally positive work environment. However, employees who were rehired more than once would fail 99% of the time. From that date forward we had a policy of only rehiring someone one time. This sent a message to everyone, we would give people a chance but would not be taken advantage of.

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