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Rethinking Retention in Good Times and Bad


Rethinking Retention in Good Times and Bad: Breakthrough Ideas for Keeping Your Best Workers

By Richard P. Finnegan
2009, 240 pages, Hardcover
ISBN: 978-0-89106-238-7
SHRMStore Item #: 61.14510

Buy now at the SHRMStore

How do organizations keep the workers they want?

Until now, employee retention strategies have been based on instincts rather than research. With no firm body of knowledge to use as a guide, employee turnover has been a problem for all organizations. Rethinking Retention in Good Times and Bad offers a top-to-bottom, organization-wide retention action plan. Many organizations lose employees and profits because they don't know which processes to put into place to cut employee turnover. They speak of building retention cultures but don't know who should do what and when. This hands-on tactical guide gives those answers, providing specific strategies and tactics backed by the author's own research and on-site experience.

Rethinking Retention in Good Times and Bad is essential reading for all types of organizations--large or small, public or private, with high concentrations of low-skilled or high-skilled workers, and across multiple industries. If you are losing workers you want to keep--in good economic times and bad--this book will tell you how to put retention solutions in place across your company.

Rethinking Retention in Good Times and Bad is a SHRM/Davies-Black Publishers copublication.

This book has been approved for HRCI recertification credit. For details, see the SHRMStore's FAQ here.


Introduction: The Lesson of the 3 Ps
Chapter 1. Rethinking Retention
Chapter 2. Principles and Strategies for Steering Your Employee Retention Ship
Chapter 3. Employees Quit Jobs because They Can
Chapter 4. Employees Stay because of Things They Get Uniquely from You
Chapter 5. Supervisors Build Unique Relations that Drive Retention
Chapter 6. Hold Supervisors Accountable for Achieving Retention Goals
Chapter 7. Develop Supervisors to Build Trust with their Teams
Chapter 8. Narrow the Front Door to Close the Back Door
Chapter 9. Script Employees' First 90 Days
Chapter 10. Challenge People-Management Policies and Practices
Chapter 11. Calculate Turnover's Cost
Chapter 12. Drive Retention from the Top
Conclusion: What's Next?
Appendix A. Case Studies--Hilton Call Centers, Curley & Pynne
Appendix B. Top Sections of the BLS Web Site


Richard P. Finnegan is the CEO of C-Suite Analytics in Florida. He is also the author of The Power of Stay Interviews for Engagement and Retention (SHRM, 2012).


 Praise for the Book


"Full of practical, useful advice, this book can put you to work today to improve retention of your most valued employees. It not only shows you where to look to identify retention problems in your organization, it guides you through the steps for developing the strategies and tactics tailored to meet your company's specific needs. This is not just for HR professionals--anyone who manages people will benefit from the insights presented here."
-- John E. Sutton, Senior Vice President, Mercury Insurance Company

"Dick Finnegan is a true expert on turnover. He understands what causes it, and, more importantly, what individual effective steps a company can take based on its culture to reduce it. With focus and commitment, his unique approach has helped many companies address their turnover problems, and have improved management skills at the same time."
-- Mary Steele, Director of Executive Compensation, Delta Airlines

"Dick is insightful in his assessment of why people leave and what it takes to retain them. The seven retention strategies he has developed have true merit and are right on the money."
-- Dennis P. Gilhooley Sr., CPIM, Associate Partner-Public Sector Supply Chain, IBM Global Business Services

"The Zappos culture is based on the dedication of our employees to our core values. Finnegan's book provides straightforward tactics and best practices that can be useful for companies looking to hold on to the dedication and enthusiasm of their employees."
-- Tony Hsieh, CEO,

"Rethinking Retention in Good Times and Bad is very practical, thought-provoking and, I have to admit, occasionally aggravating--as in, 'Why didn't I think of that?!' Dick Finnegan has blended solid research with his extensive personal experience and an entertaining writing style to produce a terrific resource full of ideas we can use TODAY to start improving retention."
-- Mimi Breeden, Director of Human Resources, SunTrust Banks, Inc.

"Dick Finnegan has expanded and deepened the thought process for leaders in the quest to develop employee retention strategies. His book ventures beyond the traditional first-response approaches and with sound data, presents a true value proposition for retention. Rethinking Retention in Good Times and Bad is a thought-provoking yet practical guide that leaders in all types of organizations and in all industries can use."
-- Evelyn J. Pulliam, Vice President, Employment Compensation & Benefits, SYSCO

"This book makes a fresh and compelling case for a beefier talent retention model that is built on the very foundation of any business--process, strategy, and outcomes. It is relevant and timely in the healthcare industry, as opportunities and threats today converge to create a powerful opening for HR leaders to impact core business drivers. With all due respect to t-shirts, coffee mugs, and pizza parties as 'retention strategies,' Finnegan's work is a rare example of sound theory meeting pragmatic, easily implemented tactics."
-- Doug Dean, CCP, SPHR, Chief Human Resource Officer, Children's Health System, Birmingham, AL

"Keeping and engaging your best employees--and avoiding the debilitating costs of turnover--are imperatives in today's challenging and ever-changing economy. This book will show you how. Dick Finnegan writes like he speaks--with insight, focus, and clarity. . . ."
-- Brad Cleveland, Senior Advisor and Former President/CEO, International Customer Management Institute (ICMI)

"Retention is keeping the CEO up at night, and the insomnia is about to get worse. Dick Finnegan's new book is just the prescription."
-- RD Whitney, CEO, Tarsus Online Media and ONREC

"Worried about talent walking out the door? Finnegan offers fresh thinking for solving the turnover problem in any economy."
-- Patricia O'Connell, Managing Editor, BUSINESSWEEK

"While there's no magic bullet to keeping employees, author Richard Finnegan offers perhaps the next big things--data. In Rethinking Retention in Good Times and Bad, Finnegan offers a hands-on, tactical retention action plan backed by his own research and on-site experiences."
-- Consulting Magazine

"Rethinking Retention in Good Times and Bad is for any business library strong in human resources and business management. It surveys employees, profits, and how to put processes into place to cut employee turnover, and packs in discussions of a retention model for talent that is built on strategy and outcomes. Plenty of books tell how to instigate employee incentive plans, but few provide the bigger picture of retention as does this."
-- Midwest Book Review

" . . . outlines broad retention strategies but spends most of its pages on specific tactics for keeping employees. Finnegan adds studies of companies' actual experiences and ends with guidance on how to start an improved retention program."
-- HR Magazine's Books in Brief


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