It’s your party so you can smile if you want to, or maybe not
So the party is over and all the guests have gone home. You’re lying in bed staring at the ceiling, thinking, was that a success or was it social suicide? Did we just sink like the Titanic?
You put an enormous amount of effort into the preparation for the party and frankly a huge amount of expense. Your most prized guests, Mr and Mrs Action Jackson and the Incredible’s family, supposed to be the life of the party, were the first to leave. They left early for another “cracking do” somewhere else, and you were left with Mr and Mrs Paintdrying. Yep, stuck there at the dinner table watching Paintdrying. Come to think of it, ol’ Paintdrying RSVP’ed about 45 seconds after getting the invite, obviously knew a good thing when they saw it. And they just wouldn’t go home. Sure, they ate all the food and drank your best wine, but they didn’t contribute a thing to the conversation or the party all night.
Is that your office. Are you losing the Action Jackson’s and the Incredible’s and keeping the Paintdryer’s who are just happy to have a job to go to.
In his book, Louder than Words, Bob Kelleher tells us that hidden below the surface there are significant costs associated with both attrition and retention. Yes retention.
“Employee turnover Hurts
At the most basic level, employee turnover is expensive. Industry sources tell us that the cost of turnover is somewhere between the annual salary to three times the annual salary of the person who’s being replaced. The cost of running ads and/ or commissioning a recruiter is just the beginning; the more difficult and more expensive outlay includes the loss of productivity, while the empty position is unfilled. Also, what about the intellectual property that the person who leaves voluntarily takes with him or her, and the waste of the financial investment a company has made in that person? Not to mention the very real likelihood of the disengaged employee leaving the business to join your competitor – meaning you’ve just donated an advantage to your competition.
Many companies boast that they have a lot of long-termers, and view long tenure as a sign of engagement. But especially in a down economy, it is important to make sure those people haven’t plateaued – otherwise you might be looking at an exodus when other opportunities present themselves to your staff.”
And then on Retention
“Worse, you may be providing job security for a group of complacent, satisfied, and perhaps underperforming employees. Job tenure should be an outcome and not a goal of your engagement initiatives.”
(Kelleher, B 2010, Louder than Words: Ten Practical Employee Engagement Steps that Drive Results, BLKB Publishing, Oregon)
That last point is such a key one.
So if you feel you just can’t justify the investment in employee engagement strategies, then think again.
You should invest to keep the best and pay some more to improve the rest.
Then in the end, if they’re so so, well it’s best you let them go.
Otherwise, it’ll be your party and of course you can cry, and you’ll want to.
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