Supervisory Leadership

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How do we retain people when we don't have the money to give raises?

Retaining employees in rocky times is one of those situations where you have to dig the well before you're thirsty. If folks feel valued and productive at work, they'll stay through the tough times, but you can't just turn that on and off, like spigot. No exhortation from the CEO will do the trick alone. Neither will a well-crafted news release.

People will stay if they feel like they're in a great working environment. Those environments have the following characteristics.

  • Interesting and meaningful work
  • Clear and reasonable expectations
  • Regular and usable feedback
  • Fairness (consequences match up with behavior)
  • Consistency
  • Maximum control possible over the work situation

Solid recruiting and good training help make this environment happen. So does adequate compensation. But the thing that makes the biggest difference in creating an environment where workers are productive and happy is the immediate boss that they work for.


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