Volume XXI, Number 14, (Issue 1018) April 3, 2023
Chapter Seven – Part 1 Retention Strategies: The Two-Way Street
There is literally a score of strategies an employer can pursue to boost employee retention. Among the better known and widely practiced initiatives are competitive if not above market pay, deferred compensation (golden handcuffs), tailored benefits, flexible work schedules, recognition and incentive programs, an inviting work environment, an inspiring culture, and a socially responsible mission. Other significant factors that contribute to employee engagement and thus retention can be found in the results of a 2001 Hay Group study. Those six items, which are as relevant today as they were twenty-two years ago include:
➢ Use of my skills and abilities
➢ The abilities of top management
➢ A clear sense of direction for the organization ➢ Opportunities for advancement
➢ Opportunities to learn new things
➢ Support from my immediate supervisor
If you study this list, what should stand out is the last item: support from my immediate supervisor. Some may choose to interpret that “support” as a boss who routinely has your back. Certainly, that is important. But the more significant application is the boss who consistently demonstrates their caring for and about their people. One of the absolute best ways to demonstrate such caring is by creating a genuine personal connection – translation: getting to know your people and allowing them to know the true you.
Think of it as a version of mentoring. Traditionally, mentoring has been an organic process involving a senior, more experienced individual who elects to provide guidance as well as share their wisdom and experiences with a younger individual. In more and more business settings, the mentoring relationship is less organic. Instead, it takes on a corporate sponsored design where mentors and mentees are formally paired for a defined period of time and the interpersonal dynamic is more structured than not.
More recently, corporate-sponsored reverse mentoring programs have grown in number due to a heightened recognition of the need. For the unfamiliar, in a
reverse mentoring relationship, the roles are inverted. Thus, the younger member of the pair is expected to counsel the older member (the mentee) to help them understand a different perspective. Specifically, the mentor is expected to share their experiences, both personal and professional, including any challenges they encountered along their path. That way, the older, more senior individual gains a new appreciation of life’s challenges through a different lens. The aim of this model is to create a deeper awareness of and greater appreciation for some of the issues faced by younger team members. In its purest form, the mentor (the younger individual), will represent a minority group, be the differentiator race, religion, national origin, disability, age, marital status, gender, sexual orientation, etc.
Now for the twist. The dynamic we would like to suggest is one where there is comentoring (a new term). In such a relationship, both individuals would be mentor and mentee – sharing with and learning from the other. If you think about it, is there a better means of creating the sort of interpersonal bond that drives retention?
In future installments we will explore the mentoring model and its potential impact on growing leaders and retaining people.
Soli Deo Gloria
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25
J. Keith Hughey
Web site: www.jkeithhughey.com
Transforming Potential into Unmatched Performance
Copyright 2023 by J. Keith Hughey. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted for reproduction and redistribution of this essay as provided under the copyright laws of the United States of America. The entire early library of Monday Morning Musings issues may be found at www.jkeithhughey.com. Your comments are welcome and encouraged.