On a + note

How do we keep them down on the farm? #18: 2013

Posted in on a + note by flickfancy on May 6, 2013

kitty #18In a recent Employee Retention and Vacancy Report the average employee turnover rate in large non-profits was over 15% and in smaller ones it was nearly 25%. For smaller libraries like the Guelph Public Library with 80 FTE and 7 facilities, serving a community of 123,000 this is a real issue. How do we attract and then keep the brightest library talent?

To attract and retain the best and the brightest we need to:

►Actively meet the unique needs of Generation X &Y employees. Among the most important expectations of these young employees are: more flexible working hours, more collaboration and team work plus access to the latest technology. Luckily these are all things libraries thrive on providing.

►Young library leaders want to develop their skills and abilities now. So programs like special assignments, mentoring, networking opportunities and performance evaluations are really important tools for them to broaden their skills, gain valuable feedback and build a career. Unlike many of us Boomers, these library workers are actually planning their career path.

►Use the libraries strategic plan to empower young talent to be part of the ongoing innovations and developments that are moving the library forward.  For example, if in 2013 one of your goals is to re-brand the library, include Gen X and Y staffers in the process… they will have a totally different view on how the library should be marketed in 2013!! This type of inclusion builds job satisfaction and satisfied staff stay and thrive.

►Succession planning is more than simply a replacement strategy for retiring employees. Good succession planning fosters career development, retains knowledge capital, builds leadership, invites team work, and provides employees with a view of the future that they can embrace and impact in a very real way.

►Lead by example. The brightest and best are committed to a library where the leadership is hard working, passionate, innovative and trustworthy. The brightest stay where they are challenged with great ideas, included in the design as well as the implementation of change, and are appreciated for what they bring to the party. They stay because we offer them something no other library can. But most of all, they stay and flourish when library leadership is inspirational, inclusive and fun.

The best and the brightest stay when they find folks like themselves!

Kitty Pope                                                                                                     #18 May 2013


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