Creating Pride: What Great Managers Do To Improve Retention

Creating a high retention workplace has more to do with good managers than anything else. Yes, you have to pay people well. Sure, you have to provide decent benefits. But first it begins with leadership. Improve retention and make your business a good place to work by following this five-step PRIDE model.

Creating a high retention workplace has more to do with good managers than anything else. Yes, you have to pay people well. Sure, you have to provide decent benefits. But first it begins with leadership. Whether you are the CEO or the head of the department, creating a great place to work where people have pride in what they do begins with you.

Businesses can improve retention and make their organization the good place to work by following the five-step PRIDE model:

P – Provide a positive working environment
R – Recognize, reinforce, and reward individual efforts
I – Involve and engage everyone
D – Develop the potential of your workforce
E – Evaluate and hold managers accountable

Provide a Positive Working Environment
Daniel Goleman, in his book, “Primal Leadership” said, “The climate created by the CEO among their direct reports predicted the business performance of the entire organization. In 75% of the cases, climate alone sorted companies into high versus low profits and growth.”

Indeed, one-third of the executives surveyed by Robert Half International Inc. say the work environment is the most critical factor in keeping an employee satisfied in today’s business world.

A key aspect is workplace flexibility. First Tennessee National Corporation started making workplace flexibility a top priority. They reshaped the rules they had forced employees to live under, added many family-friendly benefits, and sent managers through three and one-half days of intensive management training. Result–Employees stayed twice as long—and the bank kept seven percent more of its customers.

Recognize, Reinforce, and Reward Individual Efforts
Money may attract people to the front door, but something else has to keep them from going out the back. People have a basic human need to feel appreciated, and recognition programs help meet that need.

A successful reward and recognition program does not have to be complicated to be effective. An equipment dealership in Louisville, Kentucky has almost eliminated turnover by their programs. The employees participate in a profit-sharing plan that could possibly mean close to a million dollars upon retirement. Other incentives and benefits they provide include:

  • Every year employees celebrate their work anniversary with a cake and receive $100 for each year employed made out in a check to the Snap-On Tool Company where they buy tools for the job.
  • Twice a year employees’ children receive a $50 savings bond when they bring in their “all A’s” report card.
  • They reward employees with a “Safety Bonus Program.” Each employee’s driving record is screened twice a year. Anyone who has a citation is removed from the program. Those employees remaining at the end of the year split $2000.
  • To minimize the “we-they” syndrome, every Friday employees rotate jobs for one hour. For example, the person in the Parts Department becomes a service technician. This builds a stronger team, and improves communication within the company.

Involve and Engage Everyone
Good organizations involve the ideas and suggestions of everyone. The Sony Corporation is well known for its ability to create and manufacture new and innovative products. In order to foster the exchange of ideas within departments, Sony’s Corporate Research sponsors an annual “Idea Exposition.” During the exposition, scientists and engineers display projects and ideas they are working on. Open only to Sony’s employees, the exposition lets individuals share ideas across each department. This process creates a healthy climate of innovation and creativity at all levels of the organization.

Develop the Potential of Your Workforce
For many people, learning new skills is just as important as the money they make. In a study by Linkage, Inc. more than 40 percent of the respondents said they would consider leaving their present employer for another job with the same benefits if that job provided better career development and greater challenges. The National Center on the Educational Quality of the Workforce (EQW) found on an average, a 10 percent increase in workforce education level led to an 8.6 percent gain in total productivity. On the other hand a 10 percent increase in the value of equipment only increased productivity 3.4 percent.

Evaluate and Hold Managers Accountable
Show me a department with high turnover and I will show you a manager who needs help. As part of your evaluation and analysis process, start measuring the cost of turnover, employee attitudes, and which manager or department does the best/worst with employee turnover. Find out why–then reward the good managers and fix the bad managers.

La Rosa’s Company completes a cultural audit once a year, which measures employee’s feelings about pay and benefits, care and recognition, etc. Additionally, all employees evaluate their bosses twice a year using an Internal Customer Satisfaction Index. (ICSI) The ICSI has only four questions, and asks the employees to give their managers a letter grade from A to D in four different categories.

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