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Engaging Environments Retain Workers

By Sonja Carberry

Happy people stick around. Restless workers find greener pastures. Tips for retaining top talent:

Gain Insight

By making better matches, the Visiting Nurse Association of Northern New Jersey shrank its employee turnover rate from 17% to under 8%.

Nancy Martini, CEO of PI Worldwide, says the heath care provider used her firm’s predictive index (PI) to find employee strengths and preferences — and place them in jobs that fit those parameters.

Say you thrive on quiet contemplation. A hectic environment can grate on your nerves, perhaps leading to a job change. Enter Martini, who told IBD: “The PI really does help managers understand: Is this person having a good time?”

Reveal Yourself

Step one of the PI approach: The test taker picks adjectives that describe his personality from a list of modifiers.

Step two: The test taker selects adjectives he thinks co-workers would attribute to his style.

Devised in 1959 by a military officer seeking to understand why some bombardiers handled pressure better than others, the system crunches the data to determine what conditions employees thrive in and what work environments frustrate.

Knowing how you function best can be a relief to workers who are square pegs trying to fit in round jobs. “It’s self-awareness first,” Martini said.

Find Blind Spots

Take a telemarketing firm that switches from inbound customer service to outbound sales, shifting staff talent. “The PI will tell you who is going to struggle and what skills they need,” Martini said.

Guide Them

Managers appreciate the window into worker personalities. “It gives you a lot of insight on how to coach someone,” Martini said.

Create Excitement

“People always think of mentorship as solely being for the mentee,” said Beth Carvin. Her software firm, Mentor Scout, matches novice and senior workers.

Those old hands guiding up-and-comers? “They get every bit as much as the mentee, and then some,” said CEO Carvin.

Take restless top-level executives. Some look to the startup world for a challenge.

Mentorship can fill that void.

“All of a sudden you’re more focused on things,” Carvin said.

And seeing the organization from a fresh perspective.

“It kind of gives you a little kick in the backside,” she said.

Gain Perspective

It’s easy to take what you’ve learned for granted, until you look through less experienced eyes.

“It also takes you out of your daily rut,” Carvin said.

Firms that match up staffers aim to keep them longer. As the workforce ages, “employee retention is going to become a big issue.”

Shay Hughes, Chief Operating Officer of Hughes Marino, Inc.
Shay Hughes, Chief Operating Officer of Hughes Marino, Inc.

Pamper ‘Em

“Our office feels like home,” said Shay Hughes, chief operating officer of Southern-California-based commercial real estate firm Hughes Marino. A really nice home.

Its stocked gourmet kitchen seats 20. A billiard table and putting green bring workers together for downtime. An exercise facility saves staffers a trip to the gym.

Employees’ family photos run on a loop on a big-screen TV.

“It’s a happy feeling when you see it,” Hughes said.

Boost Togetherness

Hughes designed the space and its comfort to create a nurturing environment.

“I think we underestimated the impact it would have on the culture,” she said.

The amenities create a bond. One employee commented that he now works with his best friends.

“A few years ago, it wasn’t like that,” Hughes said.

Read the original article in Investor’s Business Daily.

Shay Hughes is president, COO, and owner of Hughes Marino, an award-winning commercial real estate company specializing in tenant representation and building purchases with offices across the nation. Shay writes about business leadership and company culture on her blog, Lead from Within. Contact Shay at 1-844-662-6635 or shay.hughes@hughesmarino.com to learn more.

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