John Borrowman, CPC
Borrowman Baker LLC

Franklin, TN

You want to do everything you can to keep the employees who truly know their jobs, and make your practice hum. What do you do when they tell you they want to move up, and it doesn’t look like there’s any ‘up’ to offer?

The first thing to recognize is that ‘up’ doesn’t always mean a vertical move. For some it does, of course, and they may end up leaving. For many others, though, it translates to being more challenged, growing, and having new experiences. Deny them that, and they will leave.

Try thinking about helping your employees to move forward, instead of up. Taking this approach can be the ounce of prevention that helps you reduce turnover. If employees see that you are open to different career alternatives, they’re more likely to picture themselves staying with you over the long term.

Every practice leader wants to get the right person, in the right position, at the right time. Instead of chasing your tail, hoping the stars will align; why not think of your goal as creating more right positions? That’s a way to match more right times with those right people.

How could you generate more of those “right positions”?

  • Lateral movement: Stretch your employee laterally. Assign a broader range of engagements, perhaps. Get them involved in a practice management activity like campus recruiting.
  • Enriching the job: Suggest your employee become the go-to person for X engagements.
  • Trying out alternatives: Use a temporary assignment to let your employee examine other options.
  • Realigning the position: Let the employee return to those job duties which, in hindsight, really are more interesting.

Keeping good people means helping them reach their goals. That can sometimes require helping them think about moves in the practice that might not have occurred to them. Only you are the unique position of seeing the big picture.

If you talk to your employees and ask the right questions, you can discover the perfect retention tactic right under your nose.

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John Borrowman