If you read the recent “No Schedules, No Meetings, No Joke” article in Business Week you shouldn’t be surprised by the effectiveness of this approach at Best Buy as it’s the best way to attract and retain employees of our days. Today’s workers don’t live to work they work to live. They crave an atmosphere and environment that meets their practical and personal needs. Open calendars, flex time, work at home schedules, even no schedules are all part of the formula for appealing to modern day workers.
But how do you convert this contrarian viewpoint to improved productivity? Modern day employees want independence. That’s apparent in the way some companies balance the façade of some paradigm measures like attendance against the real measure of productivity.
In my opinion independence really translates to empowerment. Engaged employees think of their job as their businesses and this self-employed entrepreneurial attitude guides their professional approach. Trust employees to get the job done and they will not only deliver they will most likely exceed expectations.
Best way to retain employees
The key for all companies is to turn the bulk of their workers into highly engaged employees. If that’s on your agenda then follow this simple formula: Use your intranet or recognition portal to tell the stories of your top people. Focus not on their successes (what they have done) but also elaborate on how they did it. Chances are they used a key tool or technique that you are also tying to introduce or reinforce.
This will create role models in the organization, promote best practices and generate ambassadors for change while igniting a cultural transformation that supports and reaffirms that employee judgments are respected and valued. With a new level of “independence” more employees will begin to think of the customer as the boss. The results will surprise you just like they surprised Best Buy.
Fortune Small Business Magazine’s January cover story: The Next Big Thing, is a celebration of American ingenuity and entrepreneurship. More than a collection of new and ground-breaking innovations, the article speaks to the American workers’ capacity to thrive outside of the traditional corporate environment.
There is no doubt that small business is big business in America. According to the U.S. Census over half of the 102 million people who work do so at firms that has 500 or less employees. Think about this for a second; there are over 616,000 firms in the U.S. that have less than 19 employees.
Why is important for small business to work on employee retainment
Small businesses are the heartbeat of economic growth. Small businesses mean innovation and growth. And while small businesses benefit the economy we all share, they do pose a new set of challenges for Human Capital executives in bigger firms. Back in a 1994 article published in the Harvard Business Review (“How Entrepreneurs Craft Strategies That Work”), author Amar V. Bhide claimed that 71% of all business innovations are from the direct result of an idea replicated or modified from previous employment. In other words when people walk out the door so does your latest competitive initiative.
Any business must watch its intellectual property carefully, but bigger business can be especially susceptible. That’s why larger companies must pay particulate attention to retain employees by developing and sustaining cultures that promote mutuality and shared commitment. Recognition programs can help organizations close the emotional disconnects that can fester and drive employees to seek satisfaction elsewhere.
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