Those are the two most horrific words, feared by every business owner – some every morning as they pull into the parking lot. The tiresome truth is, this happens day in and day out across the world, and it will never go away.  It’s all “part of the job” when it comes to the job of owning a business.

This week alone (yes, it’s only Thursday) I received four “help” messages with the following subject spirit:


1. HELP – X just gave her 2 weeks’ notice.

2. Do you have a few minutes to talk? I don’t think X is working out.

3. I have no idea what he does all day.

4. Part-time or full-time – what do I need?

The lesson here is not about “getting better at hiring.” Two of the four above situations had nothing to do with the hiring process. One employee was forced to relocate because of her husband’s job and is a fantastic candidate with leadership mentality. Two other issues were definitely related to the hiring process and lack of standards created in the hiring process for employee reviews and raises.  The last is a growth question – the business is at capacity and needs to add to the team but isn’t sure what it needs.

It’s a 50/50 crap shoot. Or is it?

Studies show 50% of marriages end in divorce. We find 50% of the team members we work with have been there for the about 4.6 years, which is the average length of time at a job according to an Economic News Release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In our opinion, what typically creates the “lasting employee’ boils down to empowering words other than “I quit.”

Connection and Communication.

There are endless studies that prove (regardless of Kolbe, introvert, extrovert, etc.) that, on some level, we are social creatures.People need people in order to be well and thrive. They need feedback, they need communication and they need to know you generally appreciate that they are there and part of the team. And that is what we find missing, unfortunately, more than 50% of the time. In our 17 years of experience, most employees don’t work because they were hired and left alone to try and figure it out. The connection and communication was either inconsistent or nonexistent.

Like we said, the cycle of hiring, firing, training and rehiring is never going away. So not only should you accept it, you should embrace it with connection and communication built into your calendar, week in and week out. This should be in the very simple form of:

  1. Monthly lunch or coffee date – Schedule time to personally connect and check in with each person individually on the team. This must start within the first 30 days.
  2. Quarterly team outing—Plan something fun as a team. Bug off early at 2 p.m. on a Friday; bowling, skydiving, Japanese steakhouse, maybe fondue. Find something that will allow everyone to bond and connect.
  3. Consistent individual reviews.  Not the dreaded, archaic version of an employee review you might know, but an empowering, growth-oriented session. (Click here to download a free copy of the “Transforming the Employee Review” webinar.)

Roughly 50% of people will make it to 4.6 yrs; 50% won’t make it six months. Some you have little or no control over, but after 17 years of working with team and entrepreneurs alike, we like to believe that efforts towards connection and communication can change these statistics.

Champions of your continued success,

Molly and Laney

employee playbook


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