Talent At Work: Recruitment and Career Blog

Why Hockey — a.k.a. “Meaning” — Is Your Most Effective Retention Strategy


Posted on July 8th, by Henry Goldbeck in Leadership. Comments Off on Why Hockey — a.k.a. “Meaning” — Is Your Most Effective Retention Strategy

Game On!

Game On!

Gotta confess: you’re not about to hear the usual recruiting-and-retention advice from me.

If you’re in a small town and working hard to attract and keep your skilled professionals, or recruiting specialists for far-flung international locales…

…then you already know it can be hard to hire great employees.

It can be even harder to keep them.

So this time around, I’m not going to tell you how to:

  • Pay your people well
  • Build a benefits plan
  • Institute a retention bonus
  • Develop sabbatical opportunities
  • Poach from other states and provinces (ahem!)
  • Recruit internationally…

(You’ve heard all that from me before.)

Instead, here’s what I want you know:

If you want to keep your people, you need hockey.

Yes, hockey.

Here’s the deal. New research says that only 10% of Canadians are willing to relocate for a job, and only for at least a 10% raise —

— and even then, only for two years, max.

Still more research says that people who don’t have good friends at work will leave their jobs.

So if you’re hiring for relocation, or you company is located outside the usual urban centers, you’re looking at very, very short tenures. Even when there’s lots of money on the table, money won’t keep ’em.

Friends will. Community connections will. Meaning will.

To keep your people, you’ve got to have something for them to care about, get excited about, and rally around.

Like hockey.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be hockey.

But I recommend it.

It could be your local premier girls’ soccer team. Saving a historic building. Saving the whales. Saving or re instituting a community ferry. Staffing a volunteer-run train tour. A community center. A slow-pitch team. A fundraising marathon.

Or yes, your junior A hockey team. 

Hockey, soccer, youth, poverty reduction, volunteering, a school: it’s got be something and it’s got to mean something.

Because to keep your people for longer than two years, they need meaningful work (I’m assuming you’ve got that covered), and they need to care about something larger than just work.

Something in your town, your community, the world.

Something we can all rally around, cheer on, contribute to.

Belong to.

So go ahead and adopt a team. Adopt a family. Adopt a cause — and get everyone involved.

When your employees are engaged — at work, at home, in the community — they put down roots and they stay.

And we all get to have a little better world and a lot more fun, too.

Game on.

image credit: Fire on Ice by Western Sentinel on Flickr

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Henry E. Goldbeck, President and founder of Goldbeck Recruiting Inc, is a Certified Personnel Consultant (CPC) with over 24 years recruiting experience. In his 13 years at the helm of Goldbeck Recruiting, Henry has built the company's reputation as a leading headhunter and recruitment agency in sales, marketing, operations, engineering, and executive level positions across a variety of industries.

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