Don’t you dare lose hope!

Don’t you dare lose hope!

It’s gotten so bad, we’ve gotten used to it. The staffing crisis that’s gripped the nation. Favorite places are shuttered. Hours adjusted. Take-out only. Delivery delayed. Events canceled.

I find it really sad when we get used to things like that. 

Think of all the ways you’ve gotten used to being in staffing hell. 

The other day a nursing home administrator commented to me that she sleeps on top of her phone so she doesn’t miss any calls. The stress! The crappy sleep! It’s a constant in her life—your life. 

I recently polled administrators about the time they lose to the staffing crisis. For so many of them it was a EUREKA! moment. They hadn’t considered the personal time invested in and lost on turned-over employees. Missed family dinners, work that you just can’t get to, making sure everything is just right for a person who doesn’t show up… lost, poof, time you’ll never get back.

Sixty percent of these poll respondents said they lose 100+ hours a month on turnover. The maximum time I offered in this multiple choice poll was 100+ hours. I should have made it more. Maybe it’s double that. Who really knows.

What I do know is the investment in staff you lose is huge. It’s huge in dollars, it’s huge in hours, and, let’s call it out, it’s huge in hope. You hope each new hire makes it. You hope they are a good fit. And every time you are let down it’s got to do something to your insides. 

I know it causes many leaders to walk away from this field.  

Love the ones you’re with.

I have conducted focus groups with thousands of team members, nationwide, and the feedback is pretty consistent. 

People want to be heard. People want to be noticed. People want to be appreciated.

And in a time where good team members are hard to find, hard to keep, and just plain exhausted if you have them, it’s more important than ever that you take really good care of the ones you’ve got while you’ve got them. 

Cause, let’s face it… if you had stellar staff retention, you wouldn’t need to recruit that much.

Be a gift giver.

Along the way, there was probably at least one person who recognized something special in you.

They believed in you.

Chances are, some of the people on your team have yet to encounter someone to push them to be better; to be their best.

Be that person. 

Take Action!

One of the best gifts we can give someone is the encouragement to recognize their own gifts. Leadership expert John C. Maxwell said, “Believe the best in others, and you will bring out their best.”

Become that person they will reflect on in years to come as being critical to their success, and do so by focusing more on strengths and less on areas for development. 

  • Identify strengths: Help a member of your team recognize their strengths; the things they enjoy doing and that come naturally.
  • Put the strengths to use: Most people have strengths that don’t get used at work or at home. What a waste! Balance the work in teams based on each individual’s strengths.
  • Strengthen the strength: Research shows that our greatest opportunity for growth actually comes from developing our strengths, not from focusing on our shortcomings. Work to expand team members’ strengths. Work around the weaknesses.

This gift is reciprocal too. When you believe in someone and you take the time to nurture their talents, you are more likely to retain them as an employee. For you, that means a team member who’s more likely to roll up their sleeves and help you out, perhaps freeing up some of that precious time of yours. This same employee could tell his/her phenomenal friends to join your organization, multiplying your stellar staff.  

What this person represents for you is hope. You get the gift of renewed hope for this field, for your team, for your organization, for humankind. And we could all use a lot more of that.



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