Attracting and Retaining Employees

Attracting and Retaining Employees


On January 25th 2016 we published the first blog called Memorable Moments. It dealt with my early years and life. It stopped with the line “That was the beginning of the end.” And it was also the end of the beginning of my life.

Hewitt Equipment provided me with a tremendous opportunity. I was hired on a twelve-month contract. My mission was to find and fix what they felt was a problem with the computer system application in use to manage parts inventories. When I found the fix and got it implemented my job was completed unless we both agreed that I should stay.

This was the point at which I was given a gift of learning. A senior partner from Urwick Currie, his name was David Steele, was tasked with teaching me everything I needed to know about inventory management and business systems to manage parts inventories. He spent one day a week, all day, with me and only me. How many people are given that type of opportunity? I received this opportunity because of my university programs majoring in Mathematics and Physics, with minors in Statistics and Computer Science. In the early days of computer applications mathematics was heavily involved. For instance, there was no square root operator in the computer systems at that time. In using Machine Language, COBOL or FORTRAN programming languages, you had to develop a mathematical model to calculate a square root. Without totally boring you there was an error in the formulas used. The number “10” was put into the program instead of “1.” This meant that the Order Quantity for each part put on a stock order was too high by a factor of about 3.17.

I also was given an opportunity to go to Caterpillar in Peoria and meet with the Parts Management (Bob Kirk) and some of the founders of Dealer Data Processing (Larry Noe). We were going to build an interactive model to simulate our parts business under variable order point and order quantity conditions. Both of these men were extremely talented in their fields and took the time to deal with me even though I was only 22. I am told by coworkers at the time that I was a very impatient pushy person. That clearly is a description with which I will disagree. I mention this because of the view that the leadership and team members have about millennials and the younger workers in the Industry. I don’t think they are any different than I was at the same age.

That first six months left me with a hunger for more. I was a new hire. I was given a specific mission, a project if you will. It had clarity, a very clear objective and time line. I was given specialized training, by the consulting firm and Caterpillar experts. I was given a free hand. I had to make a presentation to the executive and make my case and get the changes I wanted to get made approved. I felt that I had a purpose and an important task.

How do we go about attracting and retaining these new employees? These younger workers? They are our future. I think we better figure out what we are going to do and how to get this plan implemented. Don’t you?

The Time is NOW.