THE MANILA TIMES
Business Times p.B1
Saturday, July 25, 2009
LEARNING & INNOVATION
By Moje Ramos-Aquino, FPM
'Stop whining, be glad you still have a job'
Then they pile on the work, remove the praise and freeze the pay.
Such actions from "jerk bosses" (we defined jerk boss last column) is a sure-fire formula to lose their productive and contributing employees as soon as economic times become brighter or as soon as a chance to jump ship presents itself. You could not extract more loyalty, commitment and productivity from your employees if you have such a high-handed attitude. They might even have left your company long before they physically resign from the job.
So how do organizational leaders retain their best talents? A Disney executive once said: "Disney paid $7+ billion for Pixar today [January 25, 2006]. We already own the rights to several Pixar characters. Basically we paid $7 billion for the 400 brilliant, creative people who work there. You see, we all [our competitors and us] have access to the same technology. We all have access to money. The only differentiator is the people. We paid $7 billion for the people and what we hope they'll be able to create for and with us in the future."
In their book, Love 'Em or Lose 'Em, authors Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans wrote, "Our approach to engaging and retaining talent is not something you turn on and off, syncing to the latest economic blip and the corresponding concern about keeping talent. It works best when it's authentic and perennial, when you clearly believe in it and demonstrate it daily in your actions with the people you want on your team."
Mesdames Kaye and Jordan-Evans asked over 17,000 people why they stayed in an organization for "a while" (yes it's a relative term). They confirmed the most common reasons employees remain at a company (and what will help retain them). The same answers came up again and again throughout every industry and at every level. The differences between functions, levels, genders and ages are minor.
According to their study, here are the top 20 responses:
• Exciting work and challenge
• Career growth, learning and development
• Working with great people
• Fair pay
• Supportive management/good boss
• Being recognized, valued and respected
• Meaningful work and making a difference
• Pride in the organization, its mission and its products
• Great work environment and culture
• Autonomy, creativity and sense of control
• Flexibility: work hours, dress and so on
• Job security and stability
• Diverse, changing work assignments
• Fun on the job
• Being part of a team
• Loyalty, commitment to the organization or coworkers
• Inspiring leadership
The authors also noted that "If pay is seen as a non-competitive, unfair or simply insufficient to sustain life, it will be a large dissatisfier. Your talented employees will become vulnerable to talent theft or will begin looking around for something better, especially in a favorable job market."
"But here's the rub. While it can be a huge dissatisfier if inadequate, it won't keep people who are unhappy in other key areas. So if your talented people are not being challenged, or grown or cared about, a big paycheck will not keep them for long."
Notice that all of the above are the call of the organization leaders—they will be there only if management, from the very top to the frontline—make them happen. Be sure that your compensation is fair and competitive—then focus on what else you can do to keep them.
You may start asking your high productive/high potential employees what will keep them stay and happy. This is a good place to begin appreciating your employees—conduct stay interviews—to prevent exit interviews.
( www.learningandinnovation.com, firstname.lastname@example.org)