Human Capital (or human beings?) Post One in the Employee Retention Series by Dwayne Castle

Human Capital (or human beings?) Post One in the Employee Retention Series by Dwayne Castle

I had the privilege of speaking to our area Human Resource Council about a month ago, on the topic of improving employee retention. During that talk I was able to share several statistics that painted a picture about the state of the workplace. It was an ugly picture that I'd be ashamed to hang up with a fridge magnet. 

Boiled down, those statistics point to the idea that workers aren't nearly as engaged on the job as they once were, there is little perceived loyalty between employers and employees, and turnover rates are high.

In addition, that high turnover translates to a loss of productivity, a decrease in morale, and poor customer experience all of which combine to hit the business' bottom line. The direct and indirect costs associated with turnover scream out that something needs done. 

Unfortunately, many employers have chalked it all up as "it's just the cost of doing business" and seem to have washed their hands of the problem. Basically the view seems to be that it is what it is and there is no hope or expectation of it getting any better, so let's just keep throwing good money after bad and hope to stay afloat.  

If you are a business owner, CEO, HR Manager or otherwise responsible for the bottom line of a business, you know the stats way better than I do and more importantly you know how those stats stack up against your own business. If you don't know them just go to your favorite search engine and type in "employee retention statistics." Maybe you'll be surprised, maybe you won't. Either way, I'm sure you'll agree that the numbers are astounding.

If you are reading this post it's likely that you are tired of the status quo and are looking for ways to change the course. So, where do you start? Congrats! That's a great first question. Asking that question puts you further ahead than so many others. It's an acknowledgement that the current model is outdated and we need to change course.

The first step in this dilemma is to quit looking only at numbers and start looking at the people those numbers represent. See the people working for you as human beings instead of human capital. A "numbers only" approach leads to employees being treated the same as the company car with the exception that the vehicle gets scheduled for routine maintenance. 

When looking only at spreadsheets, its easy to forget that every number you're viewing represents real-life people with real-life stories. Get to know your folks and their stories. At least get to know the people that report directly to you. It's amazing how much difference a little personal attention can make. 

And, by the way, don't wait until the arrival of a crisis, a personnel concern, or an annual review to spend time with them. That doesn't count. Spending a few moments with your direct reports, regularly, will save you time, frustration, and money in the long term.  

This is the first post in my Employee Retention Series. I hope that you will share it with your favorite HR person or business owner. Also be sure to subscribe so you don't miss subsequent posts. And if you are ready to see change in your workplace culture, just click that orange button below and let's talk about how I may be able to help you. 

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