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Don't Forget the B-Side

Like many, I use my e-mail signature to include a sign-off quote. Currently my sign-off message is, “Don’t forget the b-side.” When I first used it, people would ask me what it means. I would explain that it refers back to old 45 vinyl records. Record companies would have an “a-side,” which was considered the hit song. This resulted in the labels spending significant amounts of money promoting the record, booking major tours, and a whole lot of publicity and fanfare around that “a-side.”

But, sometimes the b-side song was a bigger hit. One example was the song, "Colour My World" Chicago (1970), which was the b-side to: "Make Me Smile." We all know which was the (much) bigger hit.

This got me thinking about the “b-side” in human resources. As HR professionals today, we are all spending a significant amount of time, attention and money on talent acquisition or recruiting. But we must not forget our existing employees. Just as much time, attention and money should be spent on retention plans for them.

How do we do that?

  1. Conduct “stay interviews or surveys.” Find out why your employees stay, what are you doing well and what could you do better.

  2. Examine your culture. Is it a place where your employees feel comfortable and can excel? Is creativity and innovation encouraged or ignored? Is open communication encouraged?

  3. Are your employees fully engaged and present? Do they feel valued or have they quietly resigned?

The money that you save on recruiting can be spent on offering current employees enhanced benefits, recognition programs, competitive pay and most importantly, development opportunities. Ignoring the latter is the top reason why most people leave organizations. So, I’d like to suggest that instead of recruiting from the outside, you try re-recruiting your current employees. Multiple studies have shown that it is significantly more cost effective to retain who is already “in the house.”

The lesson here? Remember your “b-side.” Current employees might just be like that unexpected hit song.

Need assistance in determine what your focus areas should be to retain your talent? Contact us to discuss. We’d love to help!


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