Holding Off Growth

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A client once said to me, “I am not able to take on more work because I can’t find experienced people.” He didn’t want to hire junior people and train them. The fear is that they would leave for higher pay opportunities after they learn everything. This is like saying “I don’t want to gain weight, so I won’t eat!” I can guarantee that life is more enjoyable if you eat what you like, in moderation, and take action to burn off the excess calories. Exercise is good for general health anyways.

My client was missing many highly profitable opportunities. How would he know the new hires would leave after the training is done? Is there any guarantee that his experienced staff won’t leave?

There are many ways to keep good people.  People love to work where there is:

  • Satisfying work—people value work that keeps him interested and excited about his contribution. There is a sense of achievement and pride. Any work would get routine after a while, so the employer needs to know the strengths of his employees and keeps a vested interested in assigning work that the employee finds fulfilling. This leads to the next point.
  • Growth potential—growth doesn’t equate to promotions only. It includes lateral opportunities and variation of job scope to complement current role. For example, coaching more junior team members. Some people prefer to stay at the same level and become a subject matter expert.
  • A trusting work environment—a culture of open communication and knowledge sharing reflects trust and respect. When employees are free to speak their mind without the fear of reprimand, it fosters innovation and collaboration. This includes having a supportive boss. The harmonious work environment also boosts morale.
  • Work-life balance—this has become an important factor in assessing employers. Households with two working parents are common. Men have taken on a bigger parenting role in families these days. Over-worked employees are burned out individuals who are unhappy, stressed and likely looking for an exit.
  • Reasonable pay—money is important but it is not necessarily the only decision factor for an employee to leave a job.

Instead of holding off growth, find the best people with great potential. Invest in them and work on keeping them. A bet on losing them right off the back is counter-intuitive.

© Connie Siu 2013. All rights reserved.

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