When great employees are hard to find and even harder to keep, putting your best foot forward throughout the new hire process becomes do or die.
You have mere seconds and a few sentences to capture the right person for your organization. That is A LOT of pressure! Then you’ve got to pray they survive all the twists and turns of the new hire process, where there are many opportunities to send a new hire packing!
I’m going to let you in on the secret to making a great first impression and nailing rock-solid recruitment and retention:
Great culture. Front and center. In everything you do.
Last year, Lisa Talent (great name, right?), Human Resources Manager, and her organization, Applewood Our House in Colorado, were stuck in a vicious turnover loop, having hired ninety employees and terminated ninety-one. With over a 100% turnover rate, they resorted to the typical crutches to get by being understaffed: agency and overtime.
Lisa knew she had to do something to break the cycle, so she joined Fully Staffed as one of our very first members.
A little about Lisa. She has this tenacity and drive to overcome any obstacle, in her personal life and her career. She is a tremendous leader and person. But, like all senior living leaders, she has little time to devote to her staffing problems. She needed guidance and support, and it had to be time-sensitive guidance and support!
The Recruitment Course in Fully Staffed inspired Lisa to look at the ads of their biggest competitors on Indeed. She noticed they offered a “flex position.” So, in order to compete, she created a PRN float position, where employees could work as needed and set their own hours. It was a winning move for drumming up more applicants.
Lisa also revamped her job ad using one-on-one help from Denise during Office Hours in Fully Staffed. After perfecting the feel of the ad to reflect “what we do best” and “hiring with heart,” her Indeed representative, who is usually full of suggestions, had none to offer! And then the applicants started pouring in. (Fully Staffed members, you can view Lisa’s full job ad in the Fully StaffedFacebook group.)
From there, Lisa used what she learned in the Retention Playbook in Fully Staffed to streamline and patch the “holes” in their on-boarding process and create a memorable first 90-days for those new employees. Pivotal in this were the focus group suggestions and example questions. During these new focus groups, Lisa received employee feedback that was instrumental for them to make some key decisions. They also got great ad verbiage directly from their team members in the process, which was priceless.
Lisa said the Inclusion monthly content in Fully Staffed has allowed them to create a “culture of welcome,” which has brought tremendous feedback, especially from their LGBTQIA+ team members.
Lisa has been able to use what she is learning in the program to develop her managers as well, pulling them into the culture change as active participants. The entire management team is now focused on building great relationships through simple actions to bolster their retention.
“People are watching me live these changes, and now they are living them! You don’t need to make big sweeping changes and it doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Little things everyday really make a difference.”
So, what’s that turnover like now? “We are actually overstaffed right now.” For 2023 so far, they have hired twenty-eight employees and turned over thirteen. That’s over a 50% drop in turnover from last year. While it still sounds like significant turnover, Lisa reports that it’s a good turnover of people who were toxic to their culture. The focus groups brought to light some bullying and negative behavior, so they let go of the offenders to make room for people who align with their values.
Lisa has become a talent magnet, too, increasing her applicant pool by, get this, 1200%!
What about agency and overtime? Currently, they have zero agency use and employees are not working extra hours. It has been liberating to their budget, but the biggest change can be seen in the staff and felt in the houses where they work. They are less stressed and the burnout is gone.
What Lisa has done is create major culture change through a program that costs under $451 for the year and takes less than ten minutes per day. She is creating tangible workforce outcomes through small increments daily, crediting the little supports that are built into Fully Staffed, like the daily calendar action item, quick videos, and personalized support from Denise in Office Hours.
Now that Lisa and her organization are fully staffed, they can focus on living their values of integrity, compassion, and adaptability, and they can get closer to delivering on their mission: Together, we create special moments for our residents and loving memories for our families.
Thank you for your dedication and commitment to creating great workforce outcomes, Lisa! It is an absolute pleasure to support you along this journey. We wish you more success than you can imagine. You deserve it.
If you are interested in joining Fully Staffed, click here!