Gain and Retain Employees

In Counts Business Consulting we have spent a great deal of time thinking about and researching the issue of employees. Much of that has been on how to best measure, train and improve performance. The last couple of years we have increasingly been focused on hiring and retaining employees.

We have a vacancy – Why?

The two most popular reasons are:

  • An employee quit, or
  • An employee was terminated

Either way I think we need to ask: – Why?

Let us start with the worst case and that is a good employee quit.
One of our very best decided to leave us for greener pastures. By the time we find out they are leaving we have very little opportunity to retain them. Average hourly income has increased by over 3% for the first time since 2009. Unemployment is around 4% and unemployment rates for the hardest to employ categories are at rates that harken back to post WWII.

An employee may have been with you for several years and has seen some increase in income. The average good employee sees their pay increase at about 3% a year. So, over a 5-year period they could have seen their hourly rate increase $12 to $15 an hour to $15 to $18 an hour. That sounds pretty good to most employers. They think that they are doing right by this good employee and increasing their pay as time and conditions have warranted.

But consider this. The average employee who changes jobs gets an increase in income of 15%. So, I can get my 15% over the next 5 years or I can get it now!

Let’s look to the cost of the loss of this employee to your company.

  • 30 days to replace.
  • 90-180 days to get up to average or better performance.

This could be hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost sales in 6 months. Possibly lost customers now and forever.

The number one reason good employees who are paid well leave a company is the experience of working at the company. The number one experience factor is the employees experience with their direct manager. That person has the most influence over the daily experience of the employee. Who is ultimately responsible for that experience? It is the owner.

Owners and managers must be in contact with their best employees on a frequent basis. These contacts must allow enough time for the individual to be comfortable enough to open up. These conversations can be informative as well as temperature testing. Your better employees are normally interested in the company and where it is headed. They like to know how they fit into the overall focus of the company.

Other successful ways of creating a good employee experience is to do something as a company in the community they reside in. Consider sponsoring a worthy activity as a company and involve your employees in the activity. The best employees are looking for a reason to feel better about where they work and what they do.

An employee is terminated and/or quits before probation period is over.
This is due to a failure in hiring/selection process, a failure in training, a poor working environment or all of the above.

Employee fit begins well before the resume or application review happens. Certainly, well before the interview. It must begin with the question – Who will have the best chance of success in the position I am hiring?

If you have a good to great employee ask them why a person would want to work at your business and what they think it is going to take to be successful. Also ask them what they like the best about working at your company. You should try and answer these questions as well.

Next, you will need to know what is an offering that will attract the best talent for the position you have. You can’t select the best talent if you don’t get the best talent to apply.

Once you have your talent you must train them as if you very business depends on it. Because it does! If you don’t both you and the new talent will become frustrated and the talent will walk off the job or you will terminate them. Training should always be ongoing, but for new talent it has to be at least weekly for 3 to 6 months.

The best companies are always striving to hire and develop the best talent. You can’t grow or stay competitive without it. As we say, “you rarely overpay great talent”.

Robert Counts     Chad Counts        Rich Tyler                     Emily Kirk          Johnny Logel





Robert Counts,; 512-693-6915

Chad Counts,; 512-963-4626