Friday, July 27, 2007

Microsoft.Net NSW Cluster

I did a presentation on talent retention strategies for the NSW cluster. There was some very interesting discussion and excellent suggestions were made.
I suggested to the group that there are a whole range of strategies that could be adopted to ensure that staff remain in the business. Some of the tactics could include
  • Learning and development programs
  • Mentoring possibilities
  • Good human resource practices - such as following the Investors in People framework
  • Taking care of the small things - thanking people and providing the right tea or coffee.
Companies adopt strategies that suit them best and survey to determine what would encourage people to stay. An example would be from St Georges bank where 2 new strategies have been promoted recently in the media - one was to offer grandparents some form of leave to take care of grandchildren and the other was to allow those who stayed for 5 years and took a slightly lower salary base, one year off to travel and explore.

In terms of determining a solution for your own business, one possible way forward would be to hold 'stay' interviews. Don't wait until people leave and give you an exit interview - which might in any event not reflect their true feelings.

The .net cluster meeting worked on devising the types of questions that could be asked in the 'stay' discussion. This conversation could be conducted one on one or could be done in a focus group - but not through email or through a formal survey.

Here are some of the superb suggested questions for a 'stay' interview:
  1. What do you like about our organisation?
  2. What motivates you in the workplace?
  3. What motivates you as an individual?
  4. What would you change about this company?
  5. What are your ambitions?
  6. What career plan do you have in mind for yourself?
  7. What can we do to make your life easier here?
  8. How was your last month - what was the high point and what was the low point?
  9. What would you do differently here?
  10. What could we do to allow you to perform your job better?
  11. Are you happy with my performance as a manager?
  12. How do you feel about your work?
  13. Let us discuss your goals and set them together
  14. I would like a moment of your time. I would like to get some feedback on how you feel about the business, your role and where the business is going
  15. I would like some feedback on how you feel about the environment, your peers and the professional recognition your receive as well as about our product and clients
  16. How can we challenge you professionally?
  17. I would like to have a chat to you about how it is all going. I am interested to hear if you are happy and if there is anything we can do for you.
  18. We would like to know where you see yourself going
  19. If you were in my shoes, what would you be doing with the organisation
Bear in mind that if you do have these discussions, there needs to be follow-up or some form of action. If people see no change, they will not trust having further conversations with you.

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