Rethinking Retention

A new warden at a jail discovered that he took over a facility with an annual turnover rate of more than 100%. Knowing the importance of retaining staff, the costly consequences of turnover, and the need to provide consistent oversight of the inmates in his charge, the warden was determined to reduce turnover. To his credit, within just a couple years, the warden decreased the facility turnover from more than 100% to around 13%. By industry standards, his accomplishment was nothing short of incredible, but what happened as a result of this feat of success wasn’t as wonderful.

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People Leave Bosses, Not Jobs

Most all of us have or do have “that” boss. You know who I’m talking about; The boss who is always riding you, demands perfection but expects you to give grace when they fail. The boss who thinks you should work the extra hours to demonstrate your loyalty, but they are always the one who shows up late and leaves early. The boss who will throw a temper tantrum worse than a 10-year-old when things are going their way, but expect you always to epitomize professionalism. The one who won’t accept feedback or criticism without becoming defensive, but wants you to be open to correction. Much more can be said about that boss, but the point is, we all know who I’m talking about.

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