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Hiring and Keeping Staff - The Silver Bullet

Difficulty is mounting for most businesses to hire and retain key staff.

The reasons are many and often hard to manage. For example, when skilled workers retire due to age, there is no simple solution to replace them, nor to retain their skills and experiences, let alone the level of care with which they performed their work.

It is odd that hiring has traditionally been the domain of the HR department when the bulk of the pain is felt by line managers. It's not the HR department which ends up missing deadlines or budgets through a lack of good people.

Leading organisations understand or are realising that the line managers need to be doing different kinds of things in order to be able to retain or replace key team members. It's not about doing more work. Line management are already flat out putting out fires, compiling budgets and meeting production targets or service levels. It's about starting to think and work differently with who and what they have today.

What's strange is that employees want most of the same things as managers want. Most team members want to be able to do a good job. So do their managers. They want to work with a manager they can respect and follow. Managers need them to as well. They want to be "in the know" and be aware of where the CEO is leading the whole business. As does the manager. They want to be paid too, of course. So does the manager and everyone up to the CEO. Who wouldn't ?

But pay is not what usually helps keep good performers. It can help and sometimes delay a resignation but it is very rarely the main reason good employees leave. So why do so many managers always revert to pay as being the problem ? Really, the problems are more akin to employees wanting to know :

1. What is the business doing to develop me as a worker ?
2. How does the business recognize my work effort ? (After all I've been here for years and know more than my managers do)
3. What is really going on in the business ?
4. When was my last review ? Was it transparent and performance based or still based in cronyism and seniority ?

The truth is that line managers need help to understand what their team members really need. Line managers need help to create a transparent process for managing employee career aspirations and ongoing performance development. Line managers need help to retain the knowledge of their teams when someone retires and they need help to visualize who is going to retire and when. This is about consulting, training and tools. Not for the HR department but for line managers.

When managers take this on board, they can start to work with the HR department on what the business really needs, not what the HR department thinks the business needs. It may surprise you how many line managers have stepped up into a HR management role. Why not ? There is rarely anybody else who understands both the business and the internal network so well or is as well positioned to determine future workforce needs.

Difficulty is mounting for most businesses to hire and retain key staff.

The reasons are many and often hard to manage. For example, when skilled workers retire due to age, there is no simple solution to replace them, nor to retain their skills and experiences, let alone the level of care with which they performed their work.

It is odd that hiring has traditionally been the domain of the HR department when the bulk of the pain is felt by line managers. It's not the HR department which ends up missing deadlines or budgets through a lack of good people.

Leading organisations understand or are realising that the line managers need to be doing different kinds of things in order to be able to retain or replace key team members. It's not about doing more work. Line management are already flat out putting out fires, compiling budgets and meeting production targets or service levels. It's about starting to think and work differently with who and what they have today.

What's strange is that employees want most of the same things as managers want. Most team members want to be able to do a good job. So do their managers. They want to work with a manager they can respect and follow. Managers need them to as well. They want to be "in the know" and be aware of where the CEO is leading the whole business. As does the manager. They want to be paid too, of course. So does the manager and everyone up to the CEO. Who wouldn't ?

But pay is not what usually helps keep good performers. It can help and sometimes delay a resignation but it is very rarely the main reason good employees leave. So why do so many managers always revert to pay as being the problem ? Really, the problems are more akin to employees wanting to know :

1. What is the business doing to develop me as a worker ?
2. How does the business recognize my work effort ? (After all I've been here for years and know more than my managers do)
3. What is really going on in the business ?
4. When was my last review ? Was it transparent and performance based or still based in cronyism and seniority ?

The truth is that line managers need help to understand what their team members really need. Line managers need help to create a transparent process for managing employee career aspirations and ongoing performance development. Line managers need help to retain the knowledge of their teams when someone retires and they need help to visualize who is going to retire and when. This is about consulting, training and tools. Not for the HR department but for line managers.

When managers take this on board, they can start to work with the HR department on what the business really needs, not what the HR department thinks the business needs. It may surprise you how many line managers have stepped up into a HR management role. Why not ? There is rarely anybody else who understands both the business and the internal network so well or is as well positioned to determine future workforce needs.

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