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Attraction and Retention

In a financial or LEAN driven culture, total pay (a cost) is highly monitored, restricted and manipulated percent of sales (income) because, as a cost, it reduces profit.  Using the “News Flash‼!” above for companies with high performing cultures, in a poor performing culture, what percentage wage and benefit increase could be justified for doubling output, sales or profits with little or no increase in employment?   I can see CFO’s, or most of these top leader’s, heads explode suggesting wages could or should be doubled!  Most are against increasing the minimum wage!

Finance, LEAN and/or poor leadership driven HR plans will not solve the lack of talent because they are not people oriented and wages are only part of a whole package people are looking for.  Unfortunately, the recent CFO report implies those responsible for creating these talent repulsing cultures and policies, which is what they are and what they do, will probably be the ones trying to correct them.  Without a revelation finance and the poorly led organization cannot do this, caught in their own self-perpetuating web of circular logic.  Unfortunately, they will never be convinced despite mounds of data a high performance engagement approach works far better!  Poor Leadership, Finance or LEAN led HR, people policies and programs create and perpetuate negative cultures that repel talent resulting in negative talent retention, attraction, applications and development, no matter how much is cut or trimmed!

Another phenomenon existing within today’s employment cultures is the ever increasing lack of person to person communication. Despite all our technology and tools there is less and less actual communication with employees and candidates. To quote, Martin Pistorius, author of “Ghost Boy”, at a Ted x conference, “communication is what makes us human, enabling us to connect with those around us on the deepest levels, telling our own stories…”  From the very first contact on a career portal site, to laborious application processes taking ½ to 2 hours with canned computer responses, total non-communication, disconnected never ending recruitment and hiring processes lasting months, poor or no new employee orientations, lack of training programs or canned online programs, unending email or text communications to non-interactive webinars or meetings….the list goes on.  We have lost person to person communications and moved it to such a distant part of the applicant, candidate and employee experience it has isolated leadership from its people, the only thing allowing them to be, become or even appear to be a better employer, let alone a great one. From the people’s view (the talent), nothing else matters as much as communication!  Yet non-communication is so pervasive it even has a name, “the Black Hole”; that place where communication dies or died. Major research supports this view.

Stopping the talent, brain and intellectual property drain while increasing the talent attraction formula will not happen with idle lip service or misdirected financially driven HR programs, supposedly implemented to attract and retain needed talent.  Wages and benefits are a part, but only a part, of what people look for in an employment home and, especially for Millennials, employment that is meaningful and full of purpose.  It will require delivering long term quantifiable products and results people inside (your talent) and outside the organization (the talent pool) see, recognize and appreciate, not a ledger; or, “as seen through the lens of humanity”, stated by Laszlo Bock, Senior Vice President, People Operations at Google, at a recent “future of employment forum” in Seattle….or, Bob Chapman’s Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People like Family and John Hyman’s “putting the human back in human resources” , “The Employer Bill of Rights …” and “The Golden Rule of employment relations”.

This must happen in order to overcome what the current programs and policies have created – a negative reputation, dislike, distrust, disrespect, anger, feeling uninvolved, powerless, unappreciated and unrecognized, especially for and by HR! 

Next: If You Can Attract and Hire Them Can You Keep Them?

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