Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Today has been pretty busy. I hadn’t even had time to think of something to blog about let alone to blog. It has also been a productive day. I went to a meeting and got a sandwich. There was leftover food so I got another free sandwich for dinner as well as one for Tony so I don’t have to cook. I organized things so I can go to a function after work and have a free sandwich and free liquor. As you can see I measure my productivity in free food and drinks. Really though, who doesn’t?

The meeting was actually very productive. It was with our Employer Advisory Council, a group of hiring managers we talk to and pick their brains about how to best serve the employment community. The topic was retention, a biggie in our industry. For my contract I have to get 90 day retention benchmarks to count my placements as successful. You would think that 90 days isn’t a really long time as far as employment goes but with 17-24 yr old low income youth it isn’t as common that they make 90days as you would think. If they don’t make 90days then they have to instead get another job (or two) and work for a combined total of 150 days.

One of the people on our Council said their hourly employees have a 105% turnover rate within the first year. That doesn’t even make sense to me. How can it be? Maybe it means that some people accept the job and don’t even start. I don’t know. Their management has a 40% retention rate. Granted it is a high turnover industry but wow. However, those people who stay a full year are overwhelmingly promoted to management and those managers have about a 98% retention rate. That is very impressive.

One thing we need to work on is how to better prepare our clients for the other things that com with work. While we wouldn’t send someone who is in school at all different hours every day out to apply for a 9-5 position, that doesn’t mean they don’t do it on their own and some of them actually get hired. They then quit because it doesn’t work with their school schedule, duh. We have to find a way to ingrain the idea that keeping a job is important to their future success even if it s a job that isn’t as high paying as another one they may be less likely to keep. I don’t know how we will do this but it has to be done.

Maybe we can start threatening our clients in regard to them leaving their jobs before they should. The whole suspension from the program thing is fine but is nothing like going to their homes and posting signs like “Quitter Ass Loser” in front of their house and electrifying them so they can’t be easily removed. Maybe we can kidnap their pets and hold them hostage for the first 90 days of employment? There has to be something that is a better motivator than you need to keep your job to create a stable work history so you will be more likely to get hired in the future. That doesn’t work.

Any other ideas?

1. Let me tell ya’ll what it’s like/ Being male middle class and white/ It’s a bitch if you don’t believe/ Listen up to my new Cd/ Shamon

2. She set your goldfish free/ And now she's sighing/ Blew out your pilot light/ And made a wish

3. Last night it was so good/ I felt like crying/ I felt crying/ Last night though you looked so cold/ I felt like smiling/ smiling while I'm dying

4. This is the end/ Beautiful friend/ This is the end/ My only friend/ The end. The End, The Doors. Identified by Danielle

5. I want a nasty little Jewish princess/ With long phony nails and hairdo that rinses/ A horny little Jewish princess/ with a garlic aroma that could level Tacoma. Jewish Princess, Frank Zappa. Identified by Johnny Yen. and a little shout out to Mom for knowing it was probably Zappa.


Steven said...

I like the electrified "Quitter Ass Loser" sign idea...brilliant! Hang in've only got to wait it out 89 more days! :-)

Danielle said...

4. the end by the doors
I hope...

notfearingchange said...

umm..i take free booze over free food...

dmarks said...

I'm kind of fond of those poison-antidote tricks you see in the movies.

You know, where the applicants are injected with a poison that will kill them within 90 days, and they will only get the antidote if they stay in the program the full time.

No deals, Mr. Bond.

Mom said...

Positive reinforcement is the way to go. A couple of off-the-cuff ideas:

* Enter their name in a monthly drawing, one entry for each week on the job, with a "bonus" entry after each month of staying at the same job. Get the prizes donated, of course. (Yeah, if possible get Apple to donate iPods or something like that...)

* Monetary incentives are always good; like an extra $90 if they stay on the job for 90 days? (No, please don't ask me where the money comes from. Get a rich donor.) Or a gift certificate, donated by some store? Or a free transit pass?

* Give them certificates of achievement for milestones such as 90 days at the same job and any other milestones that might be meaningful. (6 months, 1 year, a promotion, good performance review, etc...)

You also could require them to meet with their job counselor in person before quitting a job, or they are suspended from the program. That would give you guys a fighting chance at convincing them to stay longer and/or problem-solving with them to overcome whatever issue is making them want to quit.

Carrot and stick. Accountability, plus support, plus reward.

Song #5 sounds like something Frank Zappa would have written...

dmarks said...

#5 does make me think of a sort of Garliczilla attacking a city. But why Tacoma?

With Love, Fat Girl said...

Plenty of job motivation in the movie, "Office Space", even if only to take down the cubicle dividers.

Johnny Yen said...

#5 is "Jewish Princess" by Frank Zappa!

I know #3, and can't place it. Hmmmmm....

Natalie said...

Steven- I made my 90 days long long ago. However the other job I had I don't know if I did. I guess i need a quitter ass loser sign too.

Danielle- It most certainly is

Not Fearing- I take free booze first too but, as far as my work goes, free food is more abundant.

dmarks- I think I may suggest that. Nice one. I would guess Tacoma because it rhymes with aroma?

Mom- We tried some of those things, it didn't really help. Plus since we could only do it with clients in particular retention based contracts other clients got upset. You get money for 90days if you work downtown if you don't, nothing for you!

WLFG- Yeah but if we advocated that behavior no one would hire our clients.

Johnny- 3 is a really good song, but not as funny as 5!!

Blondie said...

I remember back in high school when 90 days was FOREVER at a job. After that, benefits like a day off would kick in. Now I've been at my job for 5 years. How many days is that? Let's see...calculator... 1825. Wow.