Monday, April 11, 2011

Put Down The Branding Iron

Last Year, I surveyed the top performers in their respective industries. Some interesting facts revealed themselves:
* Over 60% of top performers are of Generation X
* Money played second fiddle to Flexible Schedule & Opportunity for Advancement
* 36% of Top Performers desired employment of 10 years or more
* Recognition from Senior Leaders is the most important Motivator

I presented these finding to a group at a major Social Networking Company. They denied the validity of these results. Their contention was that top talent in the Silicon Valley lived by different rules:
* Generation Y is the top talent pool
* Employees are consistently looking for new career opportunities

The statistics don't lie, but the points of the Social Networking Company are well taken. Any way you slice it, the talent battle is always on. The state of the economy is secondary to business planning. Companies always have to put industry trends aside to find the extra edge. We might want to consider a few things:
* Talent is not Generation specific
* Employees don't want to switch careers
* Cash is not King

Y does it matter?
I understand that career planning is crucial to your organization. You have to know what motivates your employees and how long they plan on sticking around. I must say that most companies idea of retention planning is uninventive at best. We are so quick to brand our companies in a certain way in order to create sex appeal among the talent pool.

Why not just treat people really well? Give them great Leadership to admire and a career track motivated by open dialogue. Why not let your employee culture create itself instead of trying to brand every person as they walk through the door.

Turnover is Never Voluntary
The term voluntary turnover seems like an oxymoron to me. No one joins a company to leave it.

People quit for one of the following reasons:
1. You are not treating them well
2. There is no room for advancement
3. There is no Leadership commitment

People want one career, at one company, for life. You give them a reason to is best to figure out why and action plan from there.

It's not all about the Benjamin's
In the foreword to his book "Good to Great", Jim Collins pondered how much money it would take to prevent the book's release....he couldn't put a number on it. The old adage, what would you do if you didn't need the money.

People can go make money anywhere. Most people are driven by their occupation, it creates a great deal of their personality. As long as you trust them, empower them, and Lead with purpose....they will stick around.

The survey seems simple and the results shouldn't be surprising.

We get so caught up in generalizing our company and stamping a catch phrase to our recruitment strategy that we forget how to treat people.

You cannot brand kindness. Trust is not just a word on the wall. When you tell people to do something but you can't explain the purpose of the give up your Leader badge!

You cannot brand your company to be like Zappos. Zappos is great because they care about people.

Don't Forget to Remember!


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