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Get Your Right People to Stay


Oct 2016

In the first article, I talked about how to know who are the right people for your organization. It’s an important question to answer before we start talking about how to make them stay.Once you have answered this, you can then move on to figuring out the second question: How do we get our right people to stay? A 2-Way Street When it comes to recruiting people, we need to think and operate from a long-term perspective. In the long run, recruitment is a two-way street. We can’t and shouldn’t feel like we have a higher bargaining power than our potential employees. In the long run, both our organization and employees will know each other better than when they first got recruited.If we’re recruiting someone mainly because of his or her expertise while the person is not culturally fit with the organization, it’s a lose-lose deal. Over time, (s)he will no longer feel comfortable with the culture, which will lead to a lower productivity. That is an intangible cost already. At the same time, we will be spending more time dealing with his/her decrease in engagement and productivity. That time spent is actually a loss productivity on our side as well.If the person eventually left the organization?

Recruiting and training a new person will definitely be an additional financial and non-financial burden. If the person stays, then those loss of productivity will only keep mounting. Now, imagine this is happening not only to one person, but to a lot of them in our organization. Not a pretty picture I know, yet it happens in so many work places.

What To Do? Once you’ve identified who are your right people, then prioritize them when you’re recruiting. Explore and ensure the candidate’s alignment with the values and behaviors of your culture. Yes, skills and knowledge or portfolios are important but you need to ensure that the person will also fit the culture. Otherwise, not only his/her productivity will eventually go down, (s)he will also generate a negative influence to other employees’ productivity. In short, it’s a time bomb.Recruiting the right people is crucial, but getting them to stay ‘ and stay productive ‘ needs more than just good recruitment. Once you’ve hired a culturally-fit person, maintain his/her engagement by maintaining your desired culture.

To ensure the sustainability of your culture, it’s very important to align your organizational processes to support the desired culture.By organizational processes ‘ besides recruitment ‘ I mean at least 3 things:

1. Appraisal system. Apart from the ‘regular’ performance appraisals which talk about different kinds of targets, start measuring how aligned are your employees’ behaviors ‘ and your own behaviors ‘ to the desired culture.

2. Training and development. Align your training and development programs to encourage the development of those behaviors in your desired culture.

3. Rewards and recognition. Reward and recognize those who’re improving and becoming role models in implementing those behaviors in your desired culture.

Align and integrate your desired culture to your organizational processes. From recruitment, appraisals, training & development, and your rewards & recognition system. It communicates the importance of your culture, and it builds your uniqueness as an organization more than your other strategies.I mentioned Peter Drucker’s quote before, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast” . I believe it has an additional meaning than the importance of culture over strategy. It also means that if you don’t build and maintain your ‘ positive ‘ culture, it will really eat up your strategies’for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.¬†This post is a guest post by Ali Zaenal Abidin, CEO of Insight Out

Insight Out is an impact-driven company that facilitates the transformational journey of individuals and organizations in discovering and living their passion, purpose, and desired organization culture. We are passionate, excited, and obsessed with potentials that people have in making a positive impact.