Author Dawn McCooey has just released her new book Keeping Good Employees On Board: Employee Retention Strategies to Navigate Any Economic Storm. This book comes at a critical time for organizations. Despite the effects of the recent recession, the rapid aging of Canada’s population will increasingly challenge managers when it comes to recruitment and retention. The latter–retention–poses a particular challenge as Baby Boomers retire in growing numbers.
A resident of Victoria, British, Columbia, McCooey has a Masters of Arts in leadership from Royal Roads University (my alma mater, as well), and is Associate Faculty. With over 20 years experience in her career and business consulting practice, she was also voted best boss in Victoria by the Vancouver Island Business Examiner.
An avid sailor McCooey uses sailing as the metaphor for her book, with each chapter referring to such themes as Is Your Kit Bag Packed, Surefire Ways to Ignite Loyalty, and Five Things Your Crew Really Want from You.
This book has significant content, drawing on McCooey’s work and sailing experiences. At the end of each chapter, she provides a set of tools to assist managers, for example checklists of questions and reading resources. For example, her chapter on igniting company loyalty contains a wealth of valuable ideas on how to retain employees. The chapter on “Different strokes for Different Folks” examines inter-generational issues and is especially relevant to today’s organizational challenges.
In Chapter Six, she talks about what employees really want from their managers. Referring to survey data, the literature and her experiences as a boss, she lays it out in direct terms on the need for managers to understand the needs and aspirations of their staff. Her tool section at the end of the chapter, like the others, will be very useful to managers.
Chapter Seven was one that really caught my attention: “The Courage to Ask the Questions and to Hear the Answers.” This is an area that I believe is so vital to effective leadership, and one that often scares those in managerial positions. The tool section in this chapter is comprehensive.
Teamwork, recognition and celebrating achievements are subsequent chapters that provide excellent perspectives, advice and resources for managers. The final chapter addresses the need for an action plan by managers. However, it also serves, in addition to including questions for reflection, tools and resources, as a motivator to move forward to create a tangible framework for retaining a resource–employees–which will become ever-more valuable in the coming years.
Be sure to check out this book. You’ll enjoy it!