Read an Excerpt
Turn On Talent ... and Turn Off Turnover
There is a crisis in America today. The one we?re talking about has noth-
ing to do with telemarketing, as annoying as that is, or even the troubling
economy. Rather, we're referring to the diminishing ability of organizations
in every sector of our society to attract, retain, and motivate talented
employees, that is, to survive.
It is employee retention especially that has emerged as the workplace
issue of the decade. In 2006, the Society for Human Resource Management
(SHRM), in its Workplace Forecast, predicted that the number one
employment trend most likely to have a major impact on the workplace is
a greater emphasis on retention strategies.
And in a 2007 study by the global employee retention research firm
TalentKeepers, 88 percent of employers reported turnover had stayed the
same or increased...and 45 percent forecasted a further increase in
turnover (only 3 percent predicted a decrease).
You see, our longheld assumption of an everexpanding talent pool
has been shattered by such factors as the retirement of aging Baby
Boomers, lower birthrates, tighter immigration rules, and an increase in
the skills demanded for today's jobs.
The first three factors explain this quantitatively. But it is the last one,
the qualitative factor, that is the sticking point. More than a shortage of
bodies, this is a crisis of abilities--the talent in "talent pool."
In addition, employee loyalty is down. According to a 2005 survey
conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management, 79 percent of
employees are job searching, either actively or passively. In fact, the most
frequently asked question put to SHRM is, "How can we keep talent from
jumping to our competitors?"
Fortunately, every crisis contains not only danger but also opportunity.
In this tool, you will learn the secret to transforming this dangerous crisis
into an opportunity for you and your organization to flourish.
TRANSFORMING DANGER INTO OPPORTUNITY
Employers are groping for ways to attack the problem. The 2005 SHRM
survey found that the techniques used are salary adjustments, job promo-
tions, bonuses, more attractive benefits and retirement packages, and stock options--
all of which are expensive and (as found in the 2007
TalentKeepers' study) not very effective. The reason, as you will see, is that
they are misdirected.
Rather than leaping to implement techniques, it is important to begin
with an understanding of what really energizes and instills loyalty in
employees. Otherwise, you won?t know whether any technique is effective
and you won?t be very effective in implementing it.
UNDERSTANDING HUMAN MOTIVATION--THEORY
The best known motivation theory is probably Maslow?s Hierarchy of
Needs, shown in Figure 1.1.
Maslow categorized human needs into five sets:
1. The most fundamental is survival. This is our need for food,
water, and shelter, and in the modern era includes medical services, electricity,
transportation, and phones, all of which are jeopardized by natural disasters.
Visualize the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
2. Next is safety/security for which we look to the military, police, fire-
rescue, and insurance. All of these were called into play on and since 9/11.
3. What then emerges is social/belonging--our need for family,
friends, coworkers, and associations.
4. Then comes self-esteem--confidence, respect, appreciation, and recognition.
5. And the ultimate is self-actualization--fulfillment and happiness, which
most of us meet through career, marriage, and/or parenthood.
Maslow did more than just categorize. He posited that these needs do
not have equal force all the time. When our fundamental needs of survival,
safety, and security are threatened, say, by hurricanes or terrorism, that?s all
we care about. As South Florida residents, we have firsthand knowledge of
this. For the first several days after Hurricane Wilma in 2005, local televi-
sion stations had no network programming, not even national news. All
they reported was where to get water and ice, and where and when power was being restored.
However, for most Americans most of the time, these needs are met.
They become merely basic expectations (what psychologist Frederick
Herzberg called ?hygiene? factors) that we pay little attention to. What we
care about and are motivated by are the three highestlevel needs.
Maslow?s hierarchy provides a springboard for our own 3-Factor Theory (Figure 1.2),
which consolidates two other theories (Herzberg's 2-Factor Theory
and the Kano Model of Customer Satisfaction) from an employer's perspective.
As notated in Figure 1.1, employers satisfy Maslow?s fundamental sur-
vival, safety, and security needs primarily through a paycheck and benefits
plan: Earnings and Benefits. This is how employees buy groceries, put a roof
over their heads, and insure against life?s contingencies.
In the workplace, the highest-level need of self-actualization and much of our self-
esteem are met through the work itself: Job Quality.
Employers can address the center rung of social and belonging needs, as well as self-
esteem, with Workplace Support, for example, supervision, teamwork, and recognition.
As Figure 1.2 shows, each of these three sets of factors is different in
nature and effect. (You can get a free, online audiovisual tutorial on the
Kano Model of Customer Satisfaction, upon which Figure 1.2 is based, by
visiting the site of C2C Solutions. It?s brief and easy to understand.)
As Herzberg maintained, the absence of Earnings and Benefits is
demotivating. These are what Kano calls basic needs. If a job?s pay and ben-
efits are inadequate to pay our bills, we won?t even start work. If we feel
unfairly compensated, we will gripe and complain. But we're not really
motivated by overpay or lavish benefits. That's not to say we won?t enjoy
them, but they are not truly energizing.
In contrast, the very presence of Job Quality is motivating?Kano?s
excitement needs. The greater our sense of achievement and the more
involved we are in our work, the more energized and excited we become.
This really turns us on!
We maintain that the Workplace Support factors are both demotivators and motivators?
Kano's performance needs. A lousy supervisor, cowork-
er friction, and lack of appreciation drains our energy. But the better our
supervisor is, the more cohesive our team, and the more appreciated we
feel, the more energized we become.
Put another way, we will go to work for a paycheck and a benefits plan.
But we won't really do work (or, at least, our best work) unless something
else is present. It is the quality of the work itself and of our relationships
with others at work that draws us to the best organizations and keeps us
there, energized and performing at peak effectiveness.
Well, all that is just theory. Here now is...