35 Chapters
Medium 9781609948849

22 Values Define and Align

Kaye, Beverly; Jordan-Evans, Sharon Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Ponder this: What matters most to them?

Values define what we consider to be important. They are the standards for measuring our bottom-line needs. And more than anything, they are the engine for our actions.

Values are the emotional salary of work, and some folks are drawing no wages at all.

—Howard Figler

How do your employees’ values align with their work? With the organization? With you? How can you find out? And how can you help them realign if necessary?

Whether you work in Detroit, Dublin, or Dubai, you take your values with you every day. You don’t get to leave them at home. They help you perform and excel. And it’s best when they match up with the work you’ve agreed to do.

Conflicts over values increase the risk of losing employees far more than conflicts over pay. People want to spend time doing something they truly value. When their work and values align, your talent is most likely to stay engaged and on your team. So how will you learn about what your talented people value most? Ask.

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2 Buck It Stops Here

Kaye, Beverly; Jordan-Evans, Sharon Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Ponder this: Who’s really in charge of engaging
and retaining your best people?

This sign was on President Truman’s White House office desk, and Truman popularized the now-familiar phrase. Every culture has its way of saying do not pass the buck. In Chinese it goes like this, , and it translates to “No shirking of responsibility.”

When we ask supervisors and managers how to keep good people, many immediately respond, “With money.” Research suggests that a majority of managers truly believe it’s largely about the money. These managers place the responsibility for keeping key people squarely in the hands of senior management. They blame organizational policies or pay scales for the loss of talent. Or they point the finger at the competition or the location. It’s always someone else’s fault.

Well, the truth is, you matter most. If you are a manager at any level, a front-line supervisor, or a project leader, you actually have more power than anyone else to keep your best employees. Why? Because the factors that drive employee satisfaction, engagement, and commitment are largely within your control. And the factors that satisfy and engage employees are the ones that keep them on your team. Those factors haven’t changed much over the past 25 years. Many researchers who have studied retention agree on what engages or satisfies people and therefore influences them to stay: meaningful and challenging work, a chance to learn and grow, fair and competitive compensation, great coworkers, recognition, respect, and a good boss. Don’t you want those things?

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3 Careers Support Growth

Kaye, Beverly; Jordan-Evans, Sharon Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Ponder this: Are you helping build their future,
or are you in the way?

Our research and that of many others around the globe consistently find that having career opportunities is one of the primary reasons people stay and produce.

In Asia, you must provide career opportunities to grow or your talent will walk away. People will leave corporations they do not feel aligned with. Compensation is not always the driving force. Development opportunities are.

Member of Asia-Pacific Talent and Diversity Council, Conference Board

Yet, far too many managers steer clear of career conversations. They worry about opening a Pandora’s box. If these leaders fail to have ongoing chats with their talented people, they stand a far greater chance of losing them—either physically or psychologically.

Which of the following barriers keep you from opening up this topic?

• No one, let alone me, knows what the future holds.

• It is just not the right time.

• I’m not prepared.

• I wouldn’t know what to say.

• We’ve just reorganized. It will be a while before anyone knows anything about career possibilities.

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24 X-ers and others Handle with Care

Kaye, Beverly; Jordan-Evans, Sharon Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Ponder this: How are they different?


This chapter contains generalizations that reflect research into the attitudes and behaviors of the age groups now in the workforce. We recommend that you manage each of your employees according to their individual characteristics, while taking these generalizations into account. We want to give you potentially useful information about patterns that fall within generational lines. Our intent is not to label people but to offer guidelines for your thinking so you can keep your best people.

Does your organization invest in researching your customers’ demographics? Consumer research specialists and marketing experts use that knowledge to better serve or sell their product or service. Wouldn’t it make sense to use that same kind of proactive approach for understanding your own people?

The primary value of generational analysis is to make the actions of others a little more understandable. By understanding other generations’ perspectives, we are better able to position our ideas and request in ways that are likely to have positive results and avoid at least some of the frustrations of today’s workplace.

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8 Hire Fit is It

Kaye, Beverly; Jordan-Evans, Sharon Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Ponder this: What’s your hiring “hit rate?” How many turn out to be stars who stay and produce at their peak?

You’ve heard the adage “start with the end in mind,” right? The perfect ending is that the people you work so hard to recruit turn out to be exactly right for the jobs you hire them to do! They love being on your team and working for you. And they stay for a while.

The love ’em approach to engaging and retaining talent starts with the hiring process. Why? Because getting the right people in the door in the first place increases the odds of keeping them. As the manager, you have the clearest sense of the “right fit” for your department. Seems logical, doesn’t it? Yet some managers see selection as a less important part of their jobs. They spend little time identifying the critical success factors for a position, preparing and conducting excellent interviews based on those factors, and, finally, evaluating and comparing the candidates before making a hiring decision. They may even delegate much of the hiring process to human resources instead of being involved themselves.

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