I confess to always being slightly baffled by the way, the moment we find ourselves inside a workplace environment, half of the basic principles we know and understand about how to conduct human relationships appear to fly out of the window.
One of my greatest frustrations as I have progressed through my career has been the experiences I have had – thankfully few and far between – of working alongside people who haven’t cared. People who just haven’t been bothered about the end result, who don’t care about where we end up.
The reason this is frustrating is twofold. Firstly, when people don’t care, we are less likely to achieve our goals. And secondly, when people don’t care, we are more likely to lose our good people. More likely to lose those people who really do care, who really want to make a difference, but gradually, over time, become worn down by the apathetic approach of their colleagues around them.
I spoke last week at the Executive Leaders’ Network conference, on the topics of culture, engagement, and how they can help to drive business objectives. I thought I would share across a series of blog posts some of the topics I explored, and how they translate back from theory into practise.
What can I say? I’m a big fan of committed relationships 🙂
Reflecting back though on the last eleven years – two at Benefex so far, nine at Candyking – it got me to thinking, what exactly is it that drives employee loyalty? What is it that persuades an employee not to jump ship every 18 months and instead commit to a long term relationship with their employer?
It’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? What makes an engaging place to work? How do we design the utopian workplace which maximises employee engagement, and therefore business output?
I was speaking on the phone to a family member yesterday evening. They have recently handed in their notice as they have decided to take early retirement from their role as a senior director within a large, global organisation.
We got onto the subject of exit interviews. They’d asked their HR team whether they were going to have one. Apparently exit interviews were carried out ‘at the discretion of line managers’, without intervention from HR. In any case, the individual in question was apparently unlikely to have one. After all, they were retiring. The reason they were leaving employment was obvious. Where would the value be in spending time undertaking an exit interview?
Now, more than ever, we live in a world where our employees demand to be heard. Read any article you like on the relative virtues and perils of the Millennials now flooding the workforce (and if you want to read one, this one, by Benefex’s very own Gethin Nadin, is a great one to pick), and the theme that comes through loud and clear is that here is a generation who has a voice, and wants it to be heard.