I recently met with some of my girl-friends over dinner and after the never ending kids’-talk we settled down to really catching up with each other. I realised that two of them happened to be working for a company for over 15 years. This intrigued me to no end. I mean in today’s day when companies are struggling with retention and employees are ready to switch jobs at the slightest excuse, here were two professionals who were still with companies they started out with. Unheard of! I quizzed them for their reason to stick around and it turned out to be quite simple really, but something that most organisations miss. Here’s what I found out.
Reason number one was that the company was doing a great job in its space. It’s surely not been that way, I asked and they agreed. The company like all others does have its ups and downs. What does the company do then? They go back to see how they can improve. Instead of attacking the competition, they look inwards. This is a rare quality. Most companies get drawn into a competition battle of bringing down their competition. A growth led mind-set, instead makes one look inwards and understand how one can do better. This is a great value to have and work with and one that provides a very healthy and growth led environment to its employees.
Reason number two was that the company gave them ample of space to learn and grow in their roles. They were doing new work, they had the liberty to study and explore good work done by others, international players and also provided training to them to grow as a professional. This may sound like too good to be true but it was amazing to see that it was indeed true. My friends said that in their roles they regularly interacted with professionals in their space from different countries and studied their work. This helped them bring in new concepts and keep the learning on.
Sounds very simple, doesn’t it? Then why do most companies miss out on these two very important qualities. Sure, both my friends admitted that like all work places there were some everyday things that one has to deal with. It’s natural, I think, that where there are a large number of people working together there will be dynamics one has to manage. However, they all pale when you look at the larger picture. Besides all companies will have some work issues or other, but in this case the pros far out-weigh the cons.
There’s a lesson to be learnt for all companies – big and small – to start focusing on what really matters to their employees. Once you have a great team you know what they say! Ain’t no mountain high enough…!