I’ve said it before on this blog. And I’m going to say it again. Your organization’s most valuable asset is not product and it’s not property. No, your most valuable assets are employees that make those things possible. So why on Earth would you not do everything possible to make them loyal? This idea is not new. But we’re still talking about it because too many organizations continue to treat their employees as if they’re expendable. Do you know how much it costs to replace senior-level employees? Some studies report as much as $30,000! For entry level and mid-level positions, the cost is not as high but it’s close. Don’t get me wrong – bad employees need to go. I’m not suggesting otherwise.
Today, I want to talk about your stars, your A-Listers, your best and greatest people. You must make it a priority to make these employees loyal to you and to your organization. Otherwise, you’re in deep trouble. How can you accurately identify GREAT employees? Here are 3 traits that they have in common:
They do more than is asked or expected. You’ve heard the term “above & beyond,” right? I’m not a big proponent of using that term loosely. In my opinion, a person really has to earn that badge. Take a look at your employees. Who is doing more? Who is staying late or coming in early because they have the drive and commitment to getting things done? Who takes their responsibilities seriously? Who asks for more work? Who suggests new ideas and doesn’t wait for official directives to improve the ways that business is conducted?
They ask for professional development opportunities. Your best people will have a passion to get better at what they currently do or will look for training in areas in which they want to become proficient. If you have the resources, provide them with those opportunities. There is an argument that if an organization provides too much training or too many professional development openings, that the employees will just take the training and go work for someone else. They might. But if you don’t provide them with training or encouragement, they’re going to leave your organization anyway. Then you have to replace them. Re-read the first paragraph of this post to remind yourself how much that can cost.
They’re just plain smart. When Lee Iacocca was asked if he could identify the biggest reason for his enormous success, he said, “That’s easy. I was always the dumbest person in the room.” Abraham Lincoln is arguably the most revered President in history. But he wasn’t the brightest bulb in the bunch. And he knew it. So he surrounded himself with people that were smarter than he was. Read “Team of Rivals” by historian Doris Goodwin for a more detailed account of Lincoln’s mastermind group. You want employees that are intelligent, well-read, and who can apply their knowledge in order to make the organization better.
Until next time…..
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