Keeping Score: Team Building
Score your team-building coaches on recruiting, retention and costly turnover:
- How many new employees did you hire this year?
- Who recruited each one?
- Who interviewed and hired them?
- What caliber are they?
- Who was their entry-level supervisor?
- Was there an assigned mentor?
- How much did they advance in wages?
- If you lost one, why?
- If you lost any seasoned employees, why?
- What is the morale on your jobsites? Is it fun?
- Do you have a performance scorecard for each employee?
- Do you conduct and maintain exit interviews?
Ideally you have already analyzed and estimated the horrendous cost of turnover. Losing that employee's knowledge and ability, added to his or her rapport with your employees and customers, is only a minor impact. You must add the cost and frustration of recruiting, hiring and training his or her replacement.
Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to estimate the positive benefits as well as the negative repercussions from each of your ambassador's messages throughout your hiring radius. This hiring radius varies from 30 miles to 50 miles, depending on the population and economy where you are located.
I hope you realize that any employee who now, or in the past, takes home your company paycheck becomes your ambassador. He or she will tell all of his or her relatives, friends and acquaintances how great it is (or was) working for your company. They have ambassador credentials and their positive message will bring you more good employees than you need.
When you consider what a disgruntled employee - one who quits working for you or one you have fired - tells your potential recruits, you understand why "good help is hard to find!"
Improving The Team-Building ScoreIf you analyze the profit potential of positive ambassadors compared to the high cost and extra work created by those negative messages, you can readily realize the value of keeping a team-building scorecard. But your score is useless if you don't take positive steps to improve.
You should begin with who interviewed and hired each individual. How many were selected but couldn't cut it? Keep in mind, each one you lost became a very negative company ambassador in your hiring radius. You may need to initiate some training or even consider utilizing a different person to hire.
Your scorecard may also show that your entry-level supervisor is responsible for unnecessary turnover. How much human relations training do your foremen receive?
- Do they train your employees to do it your way rather than merely testing them?
- Do they color-track each day's work on the plans, in the specs and code book?
- Do they check and rate each day's performance?
- Do they always wear a smile?
- Do they encourage upward communication (empowerment)?
- Do they rigidly follow and enforce your written chain of command?
- Do they always criticize or discipline privately?
I have trained thousands of seasoned foremen throughout all 50 states and most of Canada who were totally amazed at what they should and should not be doing with their employees. And I always remind them to consider, when he goes home, what that employee will tell his friends about the way he was treated today. That alone is very effective advice!
These foremen are also very appreciative of the assistance they gain by having each new employee assigned a 90-day mentor.
Our last item on your team-building scorecard is the exit interview. Before you give that last paycheck to any employee, you should sit down and ask why he or she is leaving your company. Let the employee know that he or she was a valuable asset and you hate to lose him or her. Also assure these employees that you want them to return if circumstances permit.
Always ask what went wrong and which of your employees may have offended them. Explain that you are not on a revengeful witch hunt, but you hope to prevent losing any other good employees.
You may or may not receive helpful information, but at least that employee will appreciate your concern and become a neutral, rather than negative, company ambassador.