I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes a successful organization when I came across this article on LinkedIn. In the post, Vartika Kashyap describes a few key reasons why good employees leave organizations and I can’t disagree with any of them. Between unnecessary rules, not recognizing contributions, promoting the wrong people, and neglecting their personal growth, organizations and companies that practice these bad habits (including organizations I’ve worked for), put themselves at a real disadvantage when it comes to hiring and retaining talented associates.
However, I’ve also worked for some really great employers. Employers who fix all the above faux pas of their lesser counterparts are definitely ones to keep your eyes on. These organizations know the value of human capital, and they won’t disregard the contributions or talents of their star employees. All in all, I think Vartika hits the nail on the head with why an employer would drive away quality employees, but this article would be pretty short if I didn’t add a fifth element.
Encompassing all the above factors, the fifth reason why good employees leave organizations is that the organtizations themselves are not innovative. How can innovation contribute to employee retention and goodwill? By promoting and fostering the other four factors!
Innovation that Inspires
Think about it: an innovative company will create rules and guidelines which don’t hamper creativity and productivity but foster it. Innovation means recognizing the amazing contributions of fellow associates and promoting them to realize their full potential. Innovation also means creating engaging and stimulating activities, processes, and systems which enhance the personal growth of employees. When a company or organization fosters a culture of innovation, it strives to do its best by its employees, and in turn promotes a co-creation of value between the two; a symbiotic relationship forms with mutual benefits between individuals and the larger governing organizations that encompass them.
Constant, Gentle Pressure
As for how to stimulate this symbiotic relationship and create a culture of innovation, I’ll take a page from one of my idols whom I’ve written about a few times before. Danny Meyer, restaurateur and entrepreneur extraordinaire, invented the idea of a “constant, gentle pressure” for implementing change within an organization. Through employees and managers who strive for continuous improvement, never forcefully but always consistently, an organization can strive to be its best and never rest on its laurels. This type of culture is one that’s inspiring to employees, not off-putting, and one that will attract and retain the best talent, not drive it away.
At the end of the day, associates deserve an innovative culture because it’s the fountain from which the other attractive qualities of a compelling organization flow. When you add in that constant, gentle pressure, you get a fountain that overflows with the stuff of great organizations.