Roy Barker, Employee Retention Strategist has spent his career working with businesses of all types to improve their employee retention.
Let me put my 45 years of business experience to work for your company.
I have been fortunate enough to have had an awesome and diverse career. I have been in the right place at the right time in order to learn a lot of valuable lessons. All I ever really wanted to be was a pick-up man in the rodeo. Yep, that’s correct. I loved watching those guys. During the rough stock events, they would sit at the end of the arena on those big beautiful horses just waiting for a wreck. Then they would swoop in and the cowboy would jump off the bucking horses onto the pickup man’s horse and they would never miss a stride.
While I was never a pickup man, I was lucky enough to chase the rodeo a little in my younger days as a bull rider. That is a great story in itself, but I want to talk a little more about business. If you would like to hear some stories of going down the road, let’s grab some coffee. I am always willing to share those stories. Anyway, lest I digress, back to business.
I started my business career at the age of 14 selling manure out of the back of my mother’s car to city dwellers for garden fertilizer. I and a lifelong friend had a lot of fun and learn many lessons about sales and marketing along the way. Then after high school, I fell into an amazing position with a major utility. Working my way through the repair and construction departments into management. Again, at this point in my life, I was surrounded by guys much older than I was that taught me some great lessons in craftsmanship, work ethic, and life.
By now I have figured out that I do need higher education. My parents were proven right again. Its amazing how much smarter your parents are the older you get. I went to night school for about 12 years and completed my undergraduate degree in finance. At this point, I spent a few years at a major brokerage house before transitioning into operations consulting in 2000.
During 2007 I got interested in employee retention. While in grad school (As I mentioned before, I was a late bloomer educationally) our class was studying a book on Nursing Home Administration. In some parts of the book, it referenced that most nursing homes had an average of 300% employee turnover every year! Yes, you read that right, 300%. That means they turned their entire staff over 3 times every year. Unbelievable!
While I do understand to some extent. The work is hard and thankless. The pay is even more thankless. It still made me wonder how much did those cost employers every year and what was their risk exposure? So I started doing a little research and found that the true cash cost can be exorbitant. The inherent risk can be even that much more.
As I mentioned earlier, prior to my consulting years I was a manager at a major utility. Employee turnover for reasons beyond retirement was virtually nonexistent. I know a couple of guys who were tragically killed on the job. There was one who went to prison for an off-the-job murder and a few more over the years for just not showing up. In my 18 years with the company, I was the only guy I know or had heard of that just left the company willingly prior to retirement.
There a lot of factors that led to the low employee turnover rates or high employee retention rates. A few were: a union environment, decent pay for those of us with only a high school education, great benefits, and a decent retirement. The reality was I didn’t know what employee turnover was until I read it in a book.
Once I read some research, I started asking some questions about the companies I was working with on other consulting engagements. Some of these companies had employee turnover rates in excess of 100% and didn’t even flinch. They didn’t know any other way. They all uttered a version of the five most deadliest words in business. “It’s Always Been This Way!” Yikes, I thought!
I was hooked. I knew right then and there this was my passion. To help companies and their leaders to close the gap on employee retention. It is a needless waste of money and a talent drain. It is reversible. There is a better way and will also improve your company culture and bottom line at the same time.
Be an employer of choice, NOT an employer of last resort.
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