Employee Retention Strategies

Sometimes you just make the best out of a bad situation: Use employee retention programs

In an economy when good help is hard to find, dismissing or firing trained workers takes an especially big bite out of the company budget.

Recruiting and re-training are costly and time-consuming. Is there a better way?

Jerry Strahan assures us there is. You think your employee retention strategies are miserable? Jerry’s crew of hot dog vendors is made up of extremely difficult personnel.” Like it or not, Jerry has survived 28 years in the business because he learned how to manage the unmanageable. Maybe some of his advice will help you think again before you submit yourself to the headache and expense of terminating an “unmanageable” worker:

“You have to set rules, you have to semi-enforce them, you have to be very forgiving when they’re not followed; otherwise you don’t have carts out, [and you don’t make any money,] says Strahan. “You can’t eliminate the madness. Sometimes you can control it.”

  • Running a company is like raising a child—It is not a by-the-book activity for everyone. Strahan’s “best practices” consist mostly of learning to make the best of bad situations. “They need work, I need vendors,” says Jerry. While company policy expects each vendor to be neat, clean, on time, polite, and conscientious, Jerry is usually willing to settle for four out of five.
  • Don’t trust the applicant who tries to sell himself The ones who tell Jerry they’re looking for a career quit showing up for work after about two weeks. Jerry always hires the ones who say, “I’m only going to be here for a short time,” because he knows they’re telling the truth. Employees who are willing to give you the bad news, rather than sugar-coat everything are like pure gold. They help you see where you can improve.

Always consult with our human resources department before terminating any employee. We’ll help you determine whether other options are available.

(Source: “Buchanan, Leigh. “The Taming of the Crew.” INC August. To read more, pick up Jerry Strahan’s Managing Ignatiusr. Louisiana State University Press. )

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