How to Juggle Hiring and Retention

Jan 04, 2022


Leadership requires juggling.  Whether you're juggling projects or priorities, there are a lot of balls to keep in the air.  I’ve written before about how an organization can survive during the great resignation – hire the right people, retain the right people and utilize people in the most efficient way.  You can’t focus on just one – it’s a balancing act.  Or to stick with an analogy – it’s a juggling act.  You can’t let any of the balls fall.    


If you're hiring right now you’ve probably figured out that you are going to need some pretty aggressive tactics in place to recruit the right people.  You may be offering new perks, scheduling flexibility, or even hiring bonuses.  All great things!    


You're also probably trying to figure out how to get by with fewer people.  How can you be more efficient?   How do you make the most of the resources you have?  That could include process changes, adjusting service levels and overtime opportunities for your employees.  Understandable – within reason. 


While focusing on your customers and your business results – don’t lose sight of those employees that are continuing to show up to work.   


I’d like to offer 4 areas of focus that can help you keep your eye on retaining the right people while at the same time hiring the right people.   



Share with your employees what you're doing to improve the staffing situation.  Keep them posted on the status of hiring.  Engage your current employees in the recruiting process – deputize them as recruiters.  Often times organizations don’t capitalize on great news by not communicating well. Scrutinize your communication and make sure you are sharing successes.  If you made an improvement – tell the team.  If you reached a hiring goal – tell the team. 



Don’t let your team find out about changes through the grapevine.  If you're making changes in order to attract new employees – ensure the message is positioned so that employees understand how this benefits them.   Be forthcoming as to whether the changes are temporary or will be sustained.  If you are going to require overtime – let the team know for how long.  Always anchor back to the “why”, empathize and understand the impact. 



Take every opportunity to appreciate your team with words and action.  Simple things like hand written notes can go a long way.  Host an ice cream social.  OK - it's kind of cold for that right now - how about a hot chocolate bar.  Send remote workers as Starbucks card.  Another way to show appreciation is to stop talking and listen.  Let your employees tell you what can stop, start or continue to do to improve their experience.   In the current staffing environment, your employees deserve to be appreciated for continuing to show up!   



If you are offering a signing bonus – consider the broader impact on your organization.  It could create resentment in the current employees – the ones that have remained loyal and worked through a difficult staffing period.  What can you do to avoid the problem?  Does it mean offering bonuses to existing staff?   How can you create equity?   See above – communicate, appreciate and be transparent - all factors to be considered.  


Juggling is hard.  I read an article about juggling that included “relax, breath and don’t get frustrated”.  The same can be said about leadership.  Another article started with the tips (1) be in the right frame of mind and (2) know your motivation.  Also great tips for leadership.  You may think that hiring is your struggle right now.  Your actual struggle is having the right number of employees doing the right things to deliver a great customer experience.  You’ve got this – relax, breath and don’t get frustrated. 


What Could Go Wrong?

You lost 5 people, so you’re hiring 5 people.  Do you really need 5, or is it 7, or is it 3?  Are you reacting to attrition without understanding the need and the potential?  Do you really know what you are struggling with right now?  At its foundation – are you working on the right work? 


In your rush to fill those open positions you’ve made promises about the work environment.  You’re competing with other companies and need to have the most compelling offer from a compensation and culture perspective.  Are you making a hiring promise that you aren’t prepared to deliver on?   


You’re focused on hiring and leaving the operation on auto-pilot while you address the staffing crisis.  If someone isn’t watching all of the balls … the attrition bleeding will continue and you’ll find yourself in a circular loop of hiring, training, attrition, repeat …    


Take Action

If 2022 includes reevaluating your operation to make sure you have a balanced focus on hiring, retention and the customer experience and would like to work with a partner with expertise and an objective perspective - please reach out and let’s talk!    


Are you ready to use the great resignation as an opportunity to right-size your operation?   Let's jump on a call to talk about how we can work together.  


Whether you are looking for a co-star for a juggling act or a balancing act – I’d love for you to schedule a complimentary strategy session where we can co-create a plan to expedite the achievement of your 2022 goals!  


About Me:  

I’m Heather Havey.  My consulting business brings the art of Disney and science of GE to clients looking to transform their operations.  I help clients fix, build and grow their businesses through a unique combination of analytical skills, contact center leadership, project implementation experience and an obsession with employee and customer engagement.  

My passion for relationship building and Six Sigma discipline is infused into every project.   With 20 years at Disney combined with 10 years at GE, I am equipped to help clients improve their employee engagement, deliver a world class customer service experience and optimize their existing resources.

Whether you are a large service-oriented business with a desire to level up your customer service operation by benchmarking the Disney Guest experience, or a small to mid-sized business in growth mode looking to define or formalize customer service and recovery processes … I offer customized, no-nonsense, real-world solutions designed to position you as the hero in the reinvention of your business.     

Check out options for how we may be able to work together at .   

And if you think you could benefit from having an expert partner with real-world, action-oriented change solutions that will absolutely work, let’s chat.  In your free strategy session, we’ll get those ideas out of the clouds and onto the road to results.  Schedule a complimentary strategy session to talk about leveling up your employee satisfaction, customer experience and financial results.


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