The New Manager's Tool Kit

21 Things You Need to Know to Hit the Ground Running

The New Manager's Tool Kit

Authors: Don Grimme, Sheryl Grimme
Pub Date: November 2008
Print Edition: $16.95
Print ISBN: 9780814413067
Page Count: 256
Format: Paper or Softback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814413074

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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.


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.


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...

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