When a key employee decides it’s time to pursue different interests and ambitions, it generates ripples in an organization. If that person takes a lot of organizational knowledge out the door, those ripples can morph into a tsunami.
Authors Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha and Chris Yeh outline one possible model for this new kind of relationship in their book, The Alliance: Managing talent in the networked age. They propose an alliance between employer and employee, whereby the employee provides value to the organization for period of time in return for compensation and opportunities for growth and development. Much like a marriage where both parties stay as long as the relationship is mutually beneficial, such an alliance acknowledges the fact that:
“Permission [to leave] is not yours to give or to withhold, and believing you have that power is simply a self-deception that leads to a dishonest relationship with your employees. Employees don’t need your permission to switch companies, and if you try to assert that right, they’ll simply make their move behind your back.”
When this kind of relationship exists, key employees don’t sneak out the back door. Instead, they let you know about their plans well in advance, giving you the opportunity to document organizational knowledge, train their replacements and wrap up critical tasks. These employees are also a lot more likely to remain accessible in future when unexpected issues crop up and their insight would be helpful.
Boomerangs by Canned Muffins, Flickr
The most important reason for cultivating a different kind of relationship with valued employees is to keep the conversation going and the door open. Boomerang hires are a growing phenomenon and, in tight talent markets, often prove to be faster, more productive hires. According to Dr John Sullivan, HR thought-leader from the Silicon Valley, there are many reasons to hire corporate alumni, including the following:
Fast hire. Boomerangs offer an opportunity to acquire a top person quickly (the search and the assessment take little time).
Known skills. Because they are former employees with years of performance appraisals, you know in advance what skills and competencies you are obtaining.
Up to speed quickly. Because they know the organization and its culture, they are likely to get up to speed faster than traditional new hires who have to learn an entirely new set of politics, culture, and processes.
Low failure rate. They have a lower chance of failing because they have already adapted to the culture and you already know their performance capabilities and their ability to produce results (especially if they quit your firm recently).
Browngrassers. You might find that after seeing the “color of the grass” on the other side that they are desirable because they will not likely leave again. The added benefit alluded to earlier is that they can help in the retention effort because they can tell stories to others about life on the outside.
Competitive intelligence. They can provide competitive intelligence, new ideas, and a fresh perspective from their previous firms.
A chain reaction. They often bring back other alumni with them when they come, especially after the message spreads that you are welcoming back those who left.
Building community. Alumni programs help build a sense of a long-term community among employees because even when you leave, employees know they can maintain a relationship with the firm.
PR value. A high return rate might improve image and secure good PR in the industry and community.
No matter how disappointed you may be at the loss of a top performer, your best option for minimizing the ripples of change when a key employee leaves is to leave the door ajar, keep the lines of communication open, and never (ever) say never.
The holiday season is meant to be a time of celebration. A time for families and friends to gather and observe their own unique traditions. In spite of this (and sometimes because of it!), for many, the holiday season is also a time of great stress. Increased personal and family demands associated with the season can leave your employees run ragged.
Velas Candles by Guillermo Viciano, Flickr
Aside from providing the ubiquitous holiday party, employers can help employees get through the holiday season unscathed and unruffled with a variety of simple, thoughtful acts. Here are a few examples to get
Last week we published Managing Employee Expectations - Part 1 from guest author, David Drennan. Today's post complete's the picture.
Managing Negative Expectations
No-one likes to communicate bad news, but sometimes it has to be done. Unlike managing expectations about positive news, it’s a situation that needs quite different treatment if you're going to manage expectations effectively.
Generally, when people have been expecting some negative event in their lives, anything better than what was expected will bring feelings of relief. I well remember in my early thirties having a consistent pain in my stomach that convinced
Photo:MacedonianBoy, Wikimedia Commons
It’s the middle of the afternoon; an hour or two since lunch and there are still a few hours of work left in the day. You can barely keep your eyes open and find yourself continuously looking at the clock. Really, all you want to do is put your head down on your desk and take a nap.
The solution of choice for the mid-afternoon doldrums is often caffeine, or some sort of “sugar fix.” What’s your usual? Coffee? A muffin? A donut from the break room? All
The words we choose determine how we are perceived and influence how we (and others) interpret day to day experiences. We’ve previously written about the importance of the words we choose in the work place and provided some communication tools designed to help in using words effectively. Today let’s take a closer look at a skill that can be used to help cultivate a positive response to challenges in the workplace.
Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain
Reframing - Why You Need to Learn How
Reframing is not as simple as choosing to always “look on the
A few years ago on the ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ TV show, a somewhat frumpy lady marched on stage to conduct an audition in front of a large theatre audience and three sceptical judges. The judges rolled their eyes when, although already 47, she said she wanted to become a ‘professional singer’, but she had never had the right opportunity. She thought she could become like Elaine Paige, the well-known singing star. More painful looks and rolling of eyes from both the judges and the audience. But Susan Boyle went ahead, and started to sing &lsquo
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) recently released a report called Our Minds at Work: Developing the behavioral science of HR. The report explores the many ways in which behavioral science can contribute to a better understanding of workplace dynamics and individual performance. While acknowledging that behavioral science is neither a panacea nor a “silver bullet” for management, the report suggests that it does provide value in the form of increased understanding of human behavior at work and strategies for influencing that behavior.
Since management and leadership can only be enhanced by a greater
Have you heard? Sitting is the new smoking; multiple studies have been released citing negative effects that result from sitting for extended periods of time. The list includes frightening topics like heart disease, chronic pain, obesity, diabetes and even depression.
For employers of desk workers, this silent and potentially deadly impact is only beginning to hit the radar. So, before our future selves end up reviewing longitudinal studies of the health damage done by office work, there are a few preventative things we can do today. After all, there is no down side to adding a little movement to the
You can’t fix a broken situation by hiring better talent. There, I said it—and it feels almost blasphemous. But we’ve all seen great hires step into a dysfunctional environment and gradually become part of the existing (dis)order. As much as we hope to change organizations by hiring great people, the fact remains that existing conditions just carry too much weight.
Photo credit: Bksimonb, Wikimedia Commons
This is not a new phenomenon. One of the greatest “strengths” of the Han Chinese of Medieval China was their ability to absorb and assimilate
The recent HR Technology Conference held in Las Vegas was, once again, the premier place to dive into the past, present and future of human resources technology.
From the vendor side, I heard and saw a good deal about the possibilities of predictive analytics. Indeed, analytics and the lack of its uptake (via Brian Sommer), predictive analytics (via Bill Kutik), and Big Data (via Frank Kalman) were major themes of the show and important and exciting examples of innovation in our industry. Yet my conversations with customers and prospects tended to focus