Special Re-Release: Employee Development and Retention Strategies with Jess Giudici

Episode 207 | Challenges: Leadership

This re-release of one of our most popular episodes includes never released bonus content about development, retention strategies, compensation techniques and much more. Our returning guest, Jess Giudici, packs a punch with her on-point advice and skillful mastery of employee development. If you’re ready to grow and retain a team of motivated and fulfilled employees, don’t miss this special episode!

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Create development paths that aren’t leadership specific

Human Resources (HR) is a faction of every company and the roles within HR can vary. On one hand, they must be focused on protecting the business. But new-school HR is about recruitment, development, training, and retention. As an employer, it is your job to make sure that the employees you’ve recruited feel understood and fulfilled in their role. 

One means of doing that is crafting different development paths that allow team members to grow—that aren’t necessarily leadership. Not everyone wants to climb the career ladder with the end goal of being in leadership. How can you help individuals grow in their roles, take on more responsibility, or become more technically proficient? 

To hear some of the questions that Jess recommends asking to gauge what an employee desires for their career path, keep listening!

The conversation about compensation 

Jess recommends having “touch-point” conversations with employees throughout the year where you gauge their engagement level and offer support. Sometimes, they may feel content with the role that they’re playing and aren’t looking to take on increased responsibility. Jess points out that this is great if they’re consistently achieving what is expected of them.

But the guys ask—what if they want more money with no added responsibility?

Jess takes the challenging question head-on, recommending that you be ready and equipped to answer. She points out that it’s okay to implement salary caps for positions and clearly define up-front that you understand the desire for a raise, but they are at the high end of the pay scale for their position. If they would like more compensation you can start the conversation but be sure they’re aware that includes increasing responsibilities. 

Jason, Jim, and Jess continue to talk about fair market value, offers from competition, and employee engagement. Don’t miss it!

You need to implement two separate reviews

Many businesses tend to do an “annual review” to assess employee performance and converse about the “expected” raise. Jess believes these conversations need to be split up. The annual review should only be about performance. It should be tying up loose ends regarding the conversations you’ve had throughout the year. Center the review around development and engagement. Be sure the employee knows that compensation is not part of this conversation, and they will be more engaged and open. 

Compensation needs to be addressed separately, even perhaps as the employee is exceeding what is expected of them. Often, there is an expectation that an employee will get a “cost-of-living” raise, but this isn’t always the case. Your team needs to know that if they are exhibiting behaviors that detract from their productivity and performance, they may not get the expected raise. Jess points out that the team members should know that their performance has been lacking—it shouldn’t come as a surprise—and that you will work with them to further develop. Perhaps they’ll see that raise at a later date as they improve. 

The guys open up a tough conversation about some of their pet peeves about expected yearly raises. Be sure to listen!

Understanding employee turnover and developing retention strategies

In most cases, Jim and Jason aren’t surprised when an employee announces they’re leaving, but sometimes it comes as a surprise. If an employee decides to leave unexpectedly, it’s important to know why. Were they engaged? Did they receive sufficient training? Did their pay scale not match the market? All of these questions can be incorporated into an exit interview. It allows you to reflect on your processes and making changes where necessary. 

But how do you avoid employee turnover?

Jess advocates for giving your employees a voice. When someone is employed in a culture where they feel validated and understood, they are likely to feel fulfilled in their role. You can cultivate a culture that gives everyone a voice while aligning with your core values. Hold round-table discussions, ask for feedback or have employees complete surveys—then be prepared to implement changes. This helps your team feel heard and respected.

Jess, Jason, and Jim talk in detail about developing a culture of engagement in this episode. If you’re ready to create a company culture where no one wants to leave, this is the episode for you! 

Here’s The Good Stuff!

  • Uniting your team under the goal to constantly improve. 
  • Manufacturing news: Millennials’ Skeptical About Manufacturing Careers
  • Jess Giudici is back with the Metal Working Nation!
  • Fostering a love of personal and company growth through HR development. 
  • Understanding the individual: what drives your employees?
  • What if someone doesn’t want to climb the career ladder?
  • Balancing formal and informal development conversations. 
  • Separating performance and pay reviews. 
  • Understanding why people leave and why people stay. 
  • Creating and cultivating a great company culture. 
  • Bonus content: Compensation techniques with Jess Giudici. 
  • Automated quoting process with Greg Paulson of Xometry
  • Keeping file sharing ITAR compliant 

Tools & Takeaways

This Week’s Superstar Guest: Jess Giudici

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