Silver Spring, Md.
Recruiting the right people for the right jobs and retaining top talent is at the heart of every successful company. There is not one magical formula to ensure that it is done well; instead, it is a melding of culture, behavior, processes and systems, employee development, company values and the list goes on.
At Veolia, we have found that professionalizing the recruitment function has helped us on the front-end. This comes in many forms:
Developing processes around talent acquisition that make the candidate’s experience smooth and thorough
Spending advertising dollars efficiently and in a focused manner — identifying which newspapers and websites bring in the most and best-qualified candidates
Implementing referral bonuses, which can work when well-structured
Ensuring that your website is appealing and chock full of information, with an applicant tracking system that makes the process efficient
Tending to the basics, like ensuring that your parking area is sufficient and that the building entrance and the reception personnel are welcoming for candidates
What comes after you’ve done a great job in focused sourcing of candidates? Retaining great employees! This, too, comes in many forms:
Training managers to show respect and care for employees is key. HR research indicates that employees do not leave companies for higher wages alone — they leave or stay because of how their managers and supervisors treat them.
Teaching managers and supervisors how to give constructive feedback is essential
Identifying and developing talented employees
Maintaining a comprehensive and competitive benefits package
Defining expectations and holding employees accountable to the goals
Communicating well about the organization and the specific unit and individual performance to make everyone feel like they are part of the team
Recognizing people publicly!
Regarding retention, management teams often fail to recognize the true costs of having vacancies. One obvious cost is overtime, but the burnout of those who are taking on extra duties to cover for the vacancies is often overlooked. Further, if we are talking about transit drivers or rail engineers, then safety can also be affected by high turnover. Studies have shown time and again that transportation workers who have more than one year of service typically have fewer accidents, which is why we not only want to hire the best but then retain them.
Important retention programs at Veolia include: wellness initiatives (including flu shots, health risk assessments and a weight loss contest), safety awards and recognition of operators who have driven a million miles without an accident, barbeques where the executives cook for the frontline staff, and the Reach! program — where managers build goals that stretch their talents and help us move our business forward.
For Veolia, this all comes down to caring, and it’s caring that is at the heart of our values. We strive to communicate well and ensure that managers exemplify our values, which are delineated in each letter that “CARE” represents.
C: Commitment to customers
A: Accountability, especially for safety
R: Respect for others and the planet
E: Empowerment of employees
In the end, it’s all about people!!! Employees stay with a company if their talents are recognized, they feel valued, they are treated fairly and can contribute to the company’s success. While many of the concepts listed above seem obvious, getting the right mix is not simple; we believe that our guiding light is to keep our eyes on the values every day in everything we do.
Milwaukee is celebrating 150 years of public transportation, a long, proud history of adding to the quality of life of its citizens. During this same year, Milwaukee County, in conjunction with Milwaukee Transport Services Inc., has operated the Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) for 35 years. Not surprisingly, we still have some employees working here that not only witnessed the change in ownership from private to public, but worked through the change.