Volume 17, August 2002: Keeping Good People

Keyzine: An E-zine for Leaders about the People Side of Business

Publisher: © Key Associates, LLC, 2002 ISSN # 1545-8873

“Nothing happens until something moves.” — Albert Einstein

“What do you have without pride of workmanship? Just a job, to get some money. There’s not much joy in that.” — W. Edwards Deming

“Have a mind that’s open to everything but attached to nothing.” — Wayne Dyer

“Life without meaningful work quickly collapses into the other aspects of life.” — Goodwill Industries


  • What’s Hot in Leadership
  • Maintaining Yourself as a Leader
  • Frequently Asked Questions from Leaders
  • Educational Opportunities
  • Useful Websites & Newsletters
  • Articles/Publications

What’s Hot in Leadership

  • Re-recruit the people you’ve hired.
  • Ask early, ask often – how are we doing (as an employer)?
  • Pay people as well as you possibly can, then give them meaningful work to do.
  • Become the employer-of-choice, by creating a culture of commitment to continuous improvement.

Maintaining Yourself as a Leader

Rather than ‘fill positions,’ continuously recruit talent from within and without. Diverse, creative people that stimulate your thinking and challenge the status quo. Go to events and work the crowds. Pair a potential recruit with a current employee, as a cultural mentor. Ask for employee referrals – which result in the highest first-year retention rate. Create a website with listings. And stay in conversation with employees, to learn about sources of dissatisfaction when it’s possible to remedy them. Surround yourself with capability and commitment, and work will be the pleasure it’s meant to be.

Frequently Asked Questions

“Why continually recruit?”
Turnover, not growth, is usually the reason behind most recruitment pressures. Turnover is very costly – the average company loses $100K for every managerial employees who leaves. Some poor hiring decisions can cost as much as five times an employee’s salary, in lost productivity, poor morale, search fees, time to rehire, training time and alienation of co-workers and customers. Best also to re-recruit continually from your internal labor market.
“Lay-offs are a traumatic experience for everyone. What are the alternatives?”
In my experience, organizations who turned to their employees for answers when faced with this decision, came out ahead. Besides cost-cutting ideas, here are some of their alternatives:
  • Reducing workweek hours
  • Temporary leaves
  • Job sharing
  • Retraining
  • Internal Transfers
  • Transferring staff to other companies
  • Early retirement with preferential conditions
  • Reducing executive compensation
  • Voluntary turnover
  • Employee buy-outs of the company
  • Partnering with government agencies and professional societies to find jobs for displaced employees
  • Not renewing temporary contractors or consultants
  • Providing seed funds for new business ideas
“What about poor performers?”
Provide feedback and ask why. Create an action plan that gives them a way to improve and take action if things aren’t working. Give them help in finding a fit, even if it’s outside your organization. What’s in a FIT? Values, work ethic, strengths, interests, and personality.


Can you name the factors that rank higher than pay, in employee satisfaction surveys?

  • The opportunity to produce quality work.
  • A sense of accomplishment, performing well.
  • The chance to accomplish something worthwhile.
  • Recognition from peers, senior management.
  • The opportunity to learn new things, develop new skills.
  • The amount of freedom.
  • Career advancement.
  • “Feeling my work is important.”

Join us in learning how to Create an Environment for Success by Architecting Culture.

Useful Websites & Newsletters

Do you know what attracts people to your organization? And why they leave? Study your unique qualities as an employer. Visit Employee Attraction & Retention Analysis.

Visit the Society for Human Resource Management: Meetings, seminars, publications.

Before you recruit, read Before You Recruit.



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