How EOSⓇ Can Improve Employee Retention
Holding on to the best employees is a top priority for every business—and if you run one, you know how expensive it is to find, evaluate, and train a new hire.
Good retention strategies are essential but aren’t always given the attention they deserve. Sometimes a great employee quits, and the rest of the team must scramble to fill the sudden void. It’s not easy, and it hurts productivity and slows growth.
As a Certified EOS ImplementerⓇ I’ve seen first-hand examples of how EOS has improved my clients’ employee retention rates. I’d like to share some of them with you.
When the going gets tough…
Everyone loves to be part of a winning organization. Entrepreneurs usually start running EOS to make an already-successful business even more successful. During times of growth, employees might be too busy or too engaged to think about finding a different job.
But what happens when the work slows down? When the pandemic began, one of my clients found out. A big slice of their business comes from restaurant and entertainment venues owners. So, as you might expect, many of their clients stopped calling—and stopped paying when the lockdowns began.
Our mid-year quarterly meeting in 2020 began with a room of unhappy faces. One employee had already quit, and they were desperate to keep the rest of their team together through the downturn.
Their Visionary saw the energy in the room and declared: “We’re going to keep everybody, and we’re going to keep them happy.”
For each of the quarterly rocks they chose in that meeting, they asked if it would help retention. If it didn’t, they punted it to the next quarter.
They also doubled down on Delegate and Elevate™. Their Visionary said: “If we can’t grow from outside, let’s grow from inside.” Opening up employees to shape their own path through the slowdown unleashed potential they didn’t know they had. As a result, they kept their people while kick-starting growth sooner than anticipated.
Hire for values
Retaining employees is easier if they’re a great fit from the beginning.
One of the first things an EOS business does is identify its Core Values. We start with Core Values because they are foundational to everything a company does, including hiring.
A poor values fit probably means that the employee will quit. I’ve seen it happen many times as clients begin to fully embrace Core Values that someone on the team doesn’t share. This is a normal part of the process, and ultimately it’s good for everyone.
On the other hand, a great values fit enables employees to thrive by making them feel at home in the culture. A new hire who shares the company’s Core Values will automatically pull in the right direction.
To keep it going, I encourage clients to make a habit of revisiting their Core Values with their team. For example, one of my clients likes to discuss one of their Core Values at every all-hands meeting.
Their Integrator says it has paid dividends. “We have a challenging client who doesn’t share our Core Values at all,” he told me. “Keeping our team focused on the values we share keeps each other feeling good when the client relationship feels strained.”
The benefits of clarity
Visionaries love to work without limits and thrive when they have the freedom to explore new ideas. However, what they sometimes forget is that not everyone is a Visionary: many people do their best work within a clear framework.
Think of EOS as a framework of frameworks. The topmost level provides a structure for thinking about the entire business with tools like the Accountability Chart and the V/TO™. In addition, the system provides similar structures for distinct business units and even the specific seats within the organization.
Dialing in the details of those seats is a great way to retain those employees who do best with structure.
I saw this play out as a client began their EOS journey. At the start, their Visionary wanted everyone at his business to create their dream job. Each employee offered ideas, and at first, it seemed great, but before long, the team began to notice that significant work wasn’t getting done on time, making everyone unhappy.
Their Integrator pointed out that a lot of their employees were struggling. “We’ve asked them to reinvent themselves, but they just want to follow instructions,” he said. So they threw out the “dream jobs” plan and focused on carefully defining the role of each employee’s seat.
“I was worried my team would be upset about the change,” the Visionary told me. “I was shocked when they thanked me instead.”
Use EOS to build a thriving workforce