Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Please stop dangling that half-eaten carrot

Who are we to judge the value of another human being? We are totally incapable of doing this, but in business it becomes a necessity when dealing with staff retention.

"Attracting and retaining talented staff". Any service firm that takes itself seriously should and does have this as one of its primary objectives.

In this day and age, job security has become somewhat unfashionable and people do not want to work for one company for more than a few years
[this is not unique to SA, but truly a global phenomenon]. Adding to this, SA is said to be facing a widespread "skills shortage" brought about by an outflux of skilled people from our shores [I always get sad when I hear of my peers leaving and not wanting to return].

So how do you motivate someone today? I mean, really motivate them? When I was involved in due diligence work, one of the most interesting questions to ask top executives was "What keeps you awake at night?" Knowing what I know now, I'm sure the question of employee retention is top of the list.

Let's face it, the rules have changed

Its funny how, in the absence of a clear way to determine how much value someone brings to a company, their package cost is usually used as the point of reference, and staff are usually "motivated" through performance payments [its easy to "measure" and "makes sense" so very common].

Please, please can I ask everyone who has people working for them - be creative in how you evaluate, treat and motivate your staff. They are not just "employees", they are people [I'm one too, so are you]

There are many other ways to do this:
- equity ownership [must be done very carefully, I'll admit];
- flexible hours;
- work-from-home opportunities [not necessarily 100% of the time];
- time to follow your passion [ala Google and 3M];
- recognition...

and the list can go on.

We must not take for granted how important this matter is. In fact, with our country facing the oft-quoted, big scary "skills shortage", its a must do in ensuring that our country will prosper and grow... where everyone wins, and not just the select few.

I know this is not easy in practice, but isn't the challenge part of the fun?

See ya later, motivator!

1 comment:

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