Employees That Stay and Why

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My answer; ‘I don’t know why.’

Someone asked me why our company doesn’t have employee turnover. 

My answer; ‘I don’t know why. ‘

Then, and only then, did I think about ‘why do they stay?’. 

Honestly, I have no idea. Instead of assuming, I decided to ask my employees that have been with us for 3+ years. I know, 3 years doesn’t sound like much, but we have only been in business 9 years and 38 days (but who’s counting). 

I had to think. Why do our employees stay around so long? I really don’t know. My mind goes back to why I stayed with a company in the past and why I did not.

Actually, that wasn’t much help.

Looking back at my own work history wasn’t much help. The truth is, my partner, now husband, and I started this company a little over nine years ago, and I have never been with a company that long. Grant it, I’ve always been in a sales-type job, and my appetite for entrepreneurship was stronger than the comfort of having a steady paycheck. My entrepreneurship experience is obscure at best. In other words, I have started and been unsuccessful or unremarkably successful in my past life

The businesswoman that was asking about employee longevity suggested I write a blog.

So, if my answer to the question, ‘Why do people stay?’, is “I don’t know.” then finding out might be necessary to write an accurate blog.

I saw Rashad come in, one of our drivers, who has been with us for about four years now. I called him to my office. Telling him what I was after, he seemed a bit confused. He had no idea I wrote blogs. Point in fact, I have taken marketing on for our company, and it probably is confusing. It is not uncommon for people to wonder what marketers do when they have never been in that position.

The first question is, “How did you come to us?” 

Rashad knew precisely, but I had no idea. Rashad came from one of our other employees. After the conversation started, I started remembering. He was in a community program for young men. I talked to his mentor, one of his references, about him. He sounded like someone I wanted to give a chance to, so I did. He applied for the driving position, but he had a blemish on his driving record. It wasn’t much, but we are super strict on driving records. We require no negative marks in 10 years. 

Just so you know, our drivers are more than drivers. They are customer service. They are the face of our company, and they know exactly what we do.

The second question is, “What position did you start in?”. Answer: Dismantling computers, then Sort and settle and front of the house.  

Here is what else I found out from Rashad. Greg is a man of his word. He likes the team. And Greg is a cool guy (husband and partner). 

He actually said the work is not hard. 

“What?” The work is very hard. I know that. I encouraged him to explain what he meant. It turns out, yes, the work is hard, but he doesn’t feel pressured. 

–Notice: He didn’t say anything about me and how wonderful I am.

And finally, the app we use is easy to work with.

vic_data destruction

Victor is another one I interviewed. His job is vital to our company. Victor is the one who shreds the hard drives and video records the shredding of hard drives. He has been with us since July 2018. Victor is excellent at his job. He works alone in our cage, and that’s the way he likes it.

Victor came to us through a temp service. He does not drive. Therefore, Victor takes the bus to work. At first, he did all kinds of odd jobs for us, like dismantling, scanning, and shredding hard drives. He admits that his intentions were to stay two to three weeks and then do his own thing. He is a digital artist. 

Greg gave Victor shades once (I’m guessing sunglasses. I didn’t clarify.) For some reason, that made him trust us. Then he looked around and said to himself, “Wow, this company is growing. I am going to stick around and see where it goes.”

What really kept him, he says, is ‘that we care.’ Gina, our office manager/Human Resources, called when he was out and asked if he was okay. Then Greg did the same thing. He was astonished that someone would call and ask about him. 

And he also added that we buy him new toys, like bigger and better hard drive shredders. They are actually Greg’s toys, but he shares.

nick_shredding hard drives

Nick is the very first one I interviewed. I asked the same question to all. Kyle, his cousin, referred Nick to us. His cousin, Kyle, still works for us at night. Nick knew nothing about the business but was willing to learn. He learned fast. Now he is the operations manager. Dismantling computers and testing monitors was his first job. Soon he was helping others and training others. We saw some leadership abilities, so ten months later, he became a manager.

dan_computer recycling

Dan is another one I interviewed. He has been with us since August 2017. Dan came to us via Craigslist. He sent in a resume, got called, hired the same day. We just liked him. Dan had retired from another job. He just wanted to work. His answers were quite interesting. He said that ‘Greg and I take good care of us.’ Dan said he gets along with the team, likes the hours, and loves the two-week paid vacation.

Then there is Devin. Devin has been with us since October 2017. He also came to us through Craigslist. Dismantling computers were his first job. After two weeks, he was driving the box truck. Devin probably gets the most compliments of all our drivers. There is something about his smile.

Devin told me that the company is great. Personally, I never thought about our company being great, but it is nice to hear. Additionally, he knows he can come to us with personal problems. At Urban E Recycling, he knows family comes first. And we treat him like family. He also said it’s a great environment, and if he needs anything, he can come to us. 

Devin feels like he has a relaxed job, and we trust him to do his job. 

The last interview is with Manny. Manny has been with us the longest out of everyone. He watched us grow from sharing a small space in someone else’s warehouse to three locations and taking care of coast to coast Florida.

Manny came to us through our CPA at the time. Manny did anything we asked him to do. He drove the truck (without a liftgate), dismantled computers, sorted, errands, and did whatever was needed. He said, ‘coming from the military, he appreciates someone that recognizes hard work.’ Manny is now the manager of Bradenton.

Looking over my notes, I felt pretty good about our team. I am so glad someone suggested I write a blog about this

One thing I was surprised to hear was two employees bragged on another employee. What was astonishing was the people they bragged on. I didn’t think the individuals liked one another. 

Here is how it looks on a spreadsheet.

why they stay at Urban E Recycling