Solomon Bruce Consulting Blog

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Do You Know What Your Employees Want? Need?

     A large oil service company brought their CEO and several Vice Presidents to the Baaken region of North Dakota this week to ascertain how to attract and retain good employees.  This company has a philosophy, often forgotten in today's times, of retaining good employees for life.  What that means is if you start your career at the company, they expect you to retire from the company.  This is not common in today's world, however, there are still some companies that believe in that philosophy.
     Well, what did they find?  Now, I don't know-- that is a trade secret.  However, what I do know is that the CEO and the Vice Presidents did a good job of getting out into the field and talking to the employees on what they want/need in order to enjoy working for the company.
       Now, oil field drilling and service work is hard, dirty, lonely, tough work.  Away from home, weeks at a time, living in a "man camp" with many other individuals, normally men, away from wives, kids and other loved ones is tough on anyone!  However, the money is normally very, very good, the working hours are long and you can make good money, especially if there are no jobs at home, where ever that might be.
       Do you know what motivates and inspires your employees?  Money is normally NOT the main factor, in fact, money is usually about item 6 or 7 on the list.  Verbal praise and recognition is normally at the top of the list.  Being told that one has done a good job when in fact that is the case is paramount.  Simple contests where the prize can be as simple as a free meal at the restaurant to as fancy as a cruise for a week on the Riviera are all ideas that help motivate people to do a good job.
       We have a client that awards a full paid 5 day cruise to any employee which has 12 or more years of service with the firm.  This client, in health care industry, is a good employer and recognizes the value of hard working, long term employees.
        The next time that you are experiencing a turnover in staff-- do some real hard analysis of why your employees are leaving.  You may find that some simple changes in appreciation and recognition will go a long way to retaining key staff members.