Recognition and Retention

HR professionals constantly look at turnover metrics and compare them to industry standards. How do we stack up against the competition? What can we do better to retain good employees?

Business owners and business leaders are constantly concerned about customer and client retention. How do we stack up? What's the competition doing? What can we do better to meet our customers and clients expectations and needs? How can we retain them?

Let's examine a situation from a consumer's viewpoint. The nail salon where I'd been going for at least 18 years was recently sold. It was a family owned business and the two principle employees who were family members left when the sale was completed. On my last visit before the sale, I made my next appointment. It would be with the new owners. When I arrived at my scheduled appointment time, 9:30 a.m., the he place was closed. I returned at 10:00, employees were there and getting ready to serve other customer.

“Could I come back?”

“No, I had an appointment at 9:30 and you weren’t here.”

“Oh, we were late today.”

So the search began for a new salon.

The next candidate lasted about six weeks. She was serving someone when I arrive on time for my second appointment causing me to wait 10 minutes. Her service at a quality that was less than I expected and the prices were higher. The search continues.

Third time's a charm, after a rocky start. The nail technician with whom I'd scheduled my appointment failed to record it. “Could I come back?” Here we go again. I agreed to see someone else since I was desperate. I'd gone to this salon years ago until my technician left and I moved on. Turns out as Laine, the new technician, engaged me in conversation, I shared that with her. She responded that she thought I looked familiar. She remembered me after all these years. She remembered the woman who did my nails, where she sat, and other seemingly obscure details. She did superb work that met, even exceeded, my expectations. Most importantly, she recognized and remembered me.

Just like Norm in Cheers, everyone wants recognition -- to be where everyone knows your name, or at least remembers your face. There's not much difference between employee recognition and client/customer recognition. We've said so many times, it costs nothing to recognize employees. A client once shared how her company's CEO made it a point (and had a system for) remembering people's names. It endeared him to the staff, and the new staff members when they acquired new companies. They always had his back.

The same goes for clients and customers. They want their needs and expectations recognized and met. Three people lost my business because they didn’t recognize the importance of my needs nor the value of my time.

Leaders in human resources, marketing, and business development all need to work together to share and align strategies and models around recognition. It leads to decreased turnover (employee and customer) and increased retention.

I've got Laine's back in my saga. Her gain is her co-worker’s loss. Her excellent work is what sold me. Her recognition will keep me coming back!

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