How many of you when you ask someone on a date are very attentive at first, you pick a nice restaurant, you maybe bring flowers, you listen, you laugh at their jokes…all that probably sounds familiar…but let me ask you this:

  • Have you ever had a date just get up and leave when you are done eating together. And then come back in with another date…and have dinner with them…across from you?
  • Then get up, announce they are flying to Mexico for a vacation and not talk to either of you for 2 weeks, but leave the waiter in charge of the rest of your conversation?
  • And then when you are upset by this – express it  – they act SHOCKED you 2 are really not that thrilled about dating them?

Sound like odd behavior? Not really.

Because that is what ‘employment courtship’ – being hired – is like for most employees.

We court them, and once they want to date us – we focus our attention on the next candidate…and they WATCH us do that…and then we leave and put all our new hires in the hands of a most likely not very capable person. A new manager. Or detached tenured person. And they either sink or swim…well actually… the smart ones jump ship and swim to better shores.

And the ones that DO stay in such unsupportive conditions typically have very few suitors to leave you for. They are NOT the cream of the crop. Doesn’t sound like a very fruitful partnership.

So how do you get your talent to want to ‘marry’ you; stay with your company? Well, much like any courtship leading to marriage, you must give them quality attention. You are methodically attentive. They feel like number one on your radar, and they know if you have to leave, that you would never have anyone not worthy take your place.

You may think it is the Benefits and perks they stay for….sure…those are enticing…they are like the house and rings of a marriage; of course they are important.

But at the end of the day, they are marrying YOU…not the ring or house. So you – your company – your process and trainers and leaders – how you and they communicate – your methods for dealing with new employees; they must be organized, attentive, and appealing to engage talent. And if they are inconsistent – well – your employees commitment will ALSO BE inconsistent.

Most employees leave their first year. If they stay past that – then the next danger zone is their 3rd year. After that – typically they stay for a good chunk of time. So it’s about a 3 year courtship to get them to commit. Most companies stop courting after the on boarding. They leave he employee at the orientation alter! So sad…

But if they are ‘the one’ they will improve your life, they will contribute to your bottom line – and they are worth you investing in capable managers and training and development programs.

If you enjoy always dating someone new and starting over; go ahead – don’t invest. But if you want a quality relationship; invest in the first 3 years. And I can show you how to do that.