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I am not Lora. But I am committed just the same.

On a recent Saturday morning, my colleague, Lora, called me. It was early. I knew it was important. She told me she was stressed. So much so she'd had a hard time sleeping the night before. She didn't know what she was going to do.

Lora was scheduled to give a presentation at the annual conference of a statewide association. The topic was "Building a Culture of Retention in 2023."

The problem was that, though she was slotted for the first session of the morning, the time of that hour-long session was moved to 9:45 am. She wouldn't be done until around 10:45 -- and her daughter's commencement ceremony from Columbus State began at 11 am. She didn't know what she was going to do!

If you know Lora, you know she does not take commitment lightly. If she says she will do something, she will do it. You can count on that.

We chatted through some options. Among the less-than-helpful suggestions, I offered to drop her off at the conference and keep the car idling out front. When she was done, all she had to do was run out to the vehicle. I'd whisk her away and drop her at the ceremony site.

The option we settled on was the most reasonable. I would do the presentation on her behalf and she could go do what she needed to do, which was be the proud parent watching her child graduate from college. A milestone made all the sweeter because, due to the pandemic, there was no pomp and circumstance for her daughter's high school graduation.

Lora put together an amazing presentation that drew a big crowd. Indeed, it was standing room only. (Only half the venue is in the photo.) And it was easy for me to deliver.

The headline for the audience: Retention is about doing the things you need to do to keep the employees you have. (Because there are no others. These are the ones!) Among the things you need to do is organize the job so people can do everything that is expected of them at work and everything that is required of them at home.

Knowing what to do -- what is the RIGHT THING to do -- is easy when you have core values that your organization truly lives by. At Applegate Talent Strategies, one of ours is "We have your back."

Lora knows I've got her back. And I know she's got mine!

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