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Enduring strategies for workforce talent

With the fall approaching, many organizations will be analyzing employee attitudes using some version of culture, opinion, or engagement survey. The best organizations will leverage this insight to improve employees’ working experience, which in turn affects customers’ experience.

During my career, I’ve been blessed to work with some of the leading contributors to the field of talent acquisition and retention. When I worked in New York City in the mid-1990s, I worked with a consultant named Bob Nelson. Dr. Nelson facilitated a training workshop with our management team that allowed them to tailor their own plans to reward and recognize employees.

That fall, after polling frontline staff, we found that the highest rating for the survey item “I feel that my contributions are recognized by management” improved by more than 20 percentage points. And the highest rating for a second survey item “I am proud to work for (the Company)” increased by 10 percentage points.

Dr. Nelson later co-authored, with Mario Tamayo, the book, Work Made Fun Gets Done: Easy Ways to Boost Energy, Morale, and Results. The book captures many of the lessons our managers learned along with practical ideas to bring fun to work and the workplace.

Later in my career, I worked with Beverly Kaye as part of a training team that cascaded lessons from her book (co-authored with Sharon Jordan-Evans), Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em: Getting Good People to Stay, to a company-wide audience of management employees. One aspect of this training class was to roleplay a stay interview. A stay interview, as you might expect, is a proactive approach to the more familiar exit interview. It is a meeting between the employee and their immediate supervisor that is intended to uncover the employee’s likes and dislikes and ways to improve their working experience before they become disengaged and/or consider quitting.

When I spoke with Dr. Kaye last year, she was focused on talent acquisition and retention in the wake of the Great Resignation. It seems that her work, and that of Dr. Nelson, is evergreen in that it remains relevant regardless of the workforce challenges employers face during a particular decade.

Dr. Nelson and Dr. Kaye are Berrett-Koehler Publishers authors. Between Aug. 14-25, Berrett-Koehler is having a Flash Sale on a diverse selection of books with discounts of 30% on all formats (and an additional 10% for members) and free shipping. Whether your interest is in elevating employees’ work experience, customer service, leadership, or a range of other subjects, take advantage of this opportunity to discover fresh titles, authors, and ideas!

Order Delight Your Customers: 7 Simple Ways to Raise Your Customer Service from Ordinary to Extraordinary by Steve Curtin or purchase from select retailers, including Barnes & Noble.
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