Have you ever watched a landslide? Or seen a sea wall fail? Have you ever seen one of those bridge collapse videos? Why am I being so apocalyptic?
Well I’m currently watching the same thing. But it’s not a physical building or structure, it’s a business. Fortunately I’m watching from the outside but my portal to the inside is very much a direct view.
And it’s totally preventable.
I’m watching a business collapse slowly but surely as the key employees leave. One by one people jump ship for greener pastures and new employees come aboard, when they can find them. Then those new employees quickly jump ship as well.
And this doesn’t have to be.
When you look at positively successful companies like Costco, Starbucks, Apple and the like there is a very common thread. It’s also true of smaller companies that I can name, except the relevance would be lost as this blog is read all over the US.
That thread is that management finds the best people it possibly can, sets the stage for their success and then works with them to empower them to be successful.
They then are successful. And the business is successful. The customers are happy and the team members are happy. It’s a darned good situation.
The opposite of that is to squash good ideas, discourage innovation, micro manage, create rules that are somewhat arbitrary and completely nonsensical to the team and then change those rules without notice.
Sadly, the company I’m working with blames the rate of pay as the reason people are jumping ship. They claim that there are competitive jobs in surrounding areas that are much higher paying.
But when you consider travel costs in both time and actual expense along with the time away from home and family, I don’t think this is the case. Actually I have spent time with people who have jumped ship and the reasoning they’ve given for doing so is the same.
Working there sucks.
And while competitive wages are certainly a draw, choosing to work for any business is a combination of components. Yes, including wages. But not just.
Sadly, some of the best employees are the ones who are averse to change or believe in the cause but some of those have already left and I’m aware of others who are doing their best to get their acts together so they, too, can jump ship. Funny thing - another business I’m working with just got a resume from one of the best team mates of the sinking ship.
It’s a difficult situation to be in and it’s made more so that they won’t entertain ideas for change. So why hire a consultant to see how to improve market share when you’re not going to listen and have high staff turnover and don’t serve your customers well?
Perhaps today is a great day to evaluate how the conditions are for your team. Is it encouraging and empowering and a great situation to create fantastic results, or is it all you can do to tolerate another day so you can go home and get on the Internet and find a new job? If you’re seeing your team leaving en masse for any reason, perhaps it’s time to take stock and see what the true cause of them leaving is.
Because, frankly, it might be you.