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Should we fire the CEO?….

Retention is a top concern for many of the companies I work with globally. However, I’m always surprised at how few take the time to conduct regular ‘temperature checks’ or quarterly review meetings with their key talent.

As a former CEO, I know it can sometimes be challenging to carve out enough diary time to sit with your key leadership team. But we all know it’s critical, despite it being easy to push down the list and keep your fingers crossed. Many leaders see it as getting in the way of running the business. Isn’t that ironic?

I always saw it as a key retention strategy, a safe place for my team to share their thoughts and put their cards on the table ensuring there were no rabbits pulled out of the hat!

One company I was recently reading about had a novel approach by asking the question ‘Should we fire the CEO?’ to provoke honest and open feedback on how the organisation was really performing. I’m presuming they had the CEO’s blessing to ask the question!

This type of retention technique might at first glance seem a little brutal but if the underlying goal is to build trust and provoke deeper conversation it might just be an insightful way to spark an insightful exchange.

Relationship building comes naturally to some leaders more than others so the idea of formal ‘retention sessions’ may be irrelevant – you might feel retention is simply ongoing.

But for some companies, a formal process that elicits specific feedback in a safe setting can only be a positive move.

What’s been your best employee retention technique?


About BartonRock: BartonRock is the executive search partner for high-growth consumer and retail businesses

We manage the careers of executives whose know-how and commercial acumen steer the strategic direction for companies to thrive.

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