A city with a retention problem?

by John on January 30, 2012

Quick, what’s the first thing that comes into your mind when I mention the following cities: Pripyat, Fukushima, Detroit and Miami?

If you say nuclear fallout both literally and figuratively the short answer is yes, but that’s not the topic of today’s post. I was hoping you’d say something along the lines of cities that have a people retention problem?
Miami has a retention problem? What about all the models on South Beach Johnny Nyk, surely that must be a draw for peeps? Well yeah, it is to some extent but cute models, overpriced drinks and recent issues with weathermen and the Russian mob does not lead to a positive image.

Credit Bill Diggs, president and CEO of the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce, who wrote about this in last Sunday’s Miami Herald for the inspiration behind this post. In his op-ed piece, Mr. Diggs shared his concerns about this problem and how our freshly minted graduates are moving out of town for more opportunities.

Diggs’ solution to the problem “Give them a way to communicate with our leadership…stop talking about how millionaires and affluent companies are spending their money and instead call for a local countywide discussion on the retention of our young people.”

Now before your cynicism takes over and you immediately shut this down, think about this for a moment, this is a pretty easy and powerful idea.

The cost to the company leadership is time during the workday. However, the long term rewards and goodwill well outweigh the hour of time spent making a difference and communicating.

Personally, I was lucky to experience something like Bill’s thoughts firsthand. Ironically, it was for my HR leadership class. The assignment was relatively simple, interview a community leader in healthcare space. One of my group members got us an hour with the very busy CEO of Jackson Memorial. Door closed, no phone calls and no questions were off the table. It was an awesome experience and one that still carries an impact.

Would conversations with CEO’s and other leaders keep graduates in Miami? Probably not in the immediate future, but it can’t hurt either. As HR leaders we should be using this as the perfect opportunity to do some quick community outreach and make a positive impact on not only possible candidates, but customers as well.

After all, even CEO’s have to deal with goals from HR.

Photo Credit:http://www.geekologie.com/2011/07/19/nuke-lamp-2.jpg

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