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Keep Talent Happy: A Book Review

“Employee Retention Rules” (Brigantine Media 2017) by Harold Lloyd is a quick and impactful read designed for grocery store managers, but with tips and strategies that apply to a much broader managerial audience.

Lloyd rightly starts with the high cost of replacing an employee as a reason for working hard to attract, train and retain talent. Perhaps more provocatively, he suggests that manager bonuses be tied to turnover rates. The lower the turnover, the bigger the bonus.

I like Lloyd’s tip of always recruiting, even when there isn’t a spot to fill. Finding talent is a challenge in so many industries that we always need to be on the lookout for quality candidates.

Hiring the right candidate is simple to put into words, but hard to execute. Lloyd recommends investing time up front, including more people in the interview process and asking the right questions to all but assure a good hire — for both the organization and the employee. Keeping employees engaged and happy is another challenge altogether, and Lloyd includes lots of tips: recognition, offer a clean and safe place to work, invest in development, and listening, among others.

Much of what Lloyd recommends should be considered the basics. For example, he recommends 40 hours of orientation. The industry average, he laments, is eight hours. From scavenger hunts to buddy shadowing, there are plenty of creative ways to onboard — and empower — new hires.

Other standout ideas including giving employees something to look forward to, such as special store events that they can manage and lend their creativity to. Further, he recommends forming teams to help with supporting the employee recognition in creative ways, or even as committees to make working in the store more rewarding, such as birthday or anniversary recognition, or volunteering for a community event or fundraiser. For seasonal ideas, visit Progressive Grocer’s monthly calendar of events.

To order "Employee Retention Rules," visit

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