It seems to be a hot topic on LinkedIn and other places to talk about employee retention. I am seeing article titles like:  Five Reasons People Leave Their Jobs, or The Top Ten Ways To Keep Your Team Engaged.

When I held my weekly team meeting on Friday morning with my Office Managers and Corporate Officers, my topic was; Why a Home Care Aide choses to work for an agency. I shared statistics and quoted people who research these things. No one seemed surprised by this information. Hiring and managing Home Care Aides is the work we do everyday.

After that, my question to them was, “Why do you work for Care N Assist?”

I expected to hear something along the lines of what motivates me. I have been talking about our goal to help people live at home incessantly for the last couple years. I made a huge deal of getting a client home from a Skilled Nursing Home so many times the response from those around me went from cheering to looks of “We get it… Okay?!”

But I didn’t hear that from this group. One person did say, “Of course, I care about helping people live at home, but…” they went on to talk about what really motivated them. My first reaction was to be sure I framed the question right when I asked it. I questioned myself as to whether or not I had been clear. Then the next person and the next all answered and still nobody seemed to have my answer to the question as their answer.

The majority of their answers were profoundly simple. They talked about having fun at work. They enjoyed their co-workers and felt that they were friends. A few turned my face red as they explained that they worked for Care N Assist because of me, saying I was a great boss… Just in case you are wondering, nobody was given a raise just for saying those things.

These responses surprised me; maybe they shouldn’t have surprised me, but they did. It was refreshing to hear about their friendships. The running jokes and camaraderie is authentic and I certainly enjoy participating in them on a daily basis.

I have often been concerned that I put more pressure on my staff than they would wish to endure. I hold a very high standard when it comes to serving our client’s needs. It seems a combination of clear expectations and some fun has made a winning formula. I’m sure that my wife bringing in chili for lunch a few times may have had something to do with this  positive response too.