How do you make a new CO want to stick around?

Here are 10 tips on how to retain those newly hired and trained staff members

A commentor recently asked us for some tips on how to combat staff turnover. We turned the question over to you, our readers, to see what you could come up with. Here's our pick of the top 10 tips for cutting down on staff turnover. Don't see your tip here? Add it in the comments.



Justin Hausler The veteran COs need to learn to help new COs and show them the ropes instead of talking down to them like they are stupid. They are new; they aren't gonna know everything and they are going to have questions. Don't belittle them.

Steven Scott Stop putting people with no management skills and zero personality at the top of the promotion list! Some people were not meant to lead and should never be put in that position.

JC Sherman Try treating them with respect, and involve their families. Family functions tend to help people become more engaged in their coworkers, and workplace. I personally believe in family first. This has served me well with my employees, which have now become my extended family. Try this; you may be surprised with your results.

Fritz Stephey Stop putting them with the veteran officers who don't give a damn. Veteran officers can be the worst sometimes. I remember I did my orientation on 8x4, everyone was self centered, expected me to know everything and made me do everything so they could have a lazy day. 

Luke Roberts The new COs need to come in with an open mind and be willing to accept advice from older staff. Most of the new officers we get come back from academy and know everything. If they show that they are willing to learn older staff will respect that.

Curtis Isele You'd have to change the entire culture. Starts with basic training and ends with senior officers being amicable, approachable, and interested in the success of their new cohorts.... Petty nonsense always rears its head and people let their pride be threatened. This can result in backstabbing and needless drama. Make sure lead COs are passionate and want to help.

Tim Allen I am a new CO. While most of the trainers I have been put with over the last seven weeks have been great, some have not. I can say I definitely don't feel "included" or "welcome" in all situations. For instance, it's almost impossible for us to get a set of keys, cuffs and a radio. If we can't be trusted, why did you hire us? Also, some staff ignore you and won't even look at or acknowledge you when there is a group of COs talking. Even supervisors do this. Most of the supervisors on my current shift did not even come introduce themselves! If I was a supervisor and had new COs on my shift I would be sure to introduce myself. Like I said, most have been great at my facility. These are just some of the things I have noticed.

Joshua Snodgrass How about a simple "thank you," or "good job," and the occasional "how is everything going?"

Michael Coleman Encourage mentoring older COs with newer COs. A lot of new COs think they know everything, especially if they are fresh out of an academy. They forget the older COs know the job and inmates.

Paul Lozano Lead by example! Do the things you expect you subbordinates to do. Talk to your juniors as if they are important to you. Build up; don't tear down. Train; develop; retain.


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