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It Always Costs

You can make almost any case you want if you use statistical information to help illustrate your point. And I read one that really got my attention is a recent article from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. 

When it comes to asking the question “Should organizations be concerned about employee loyalty?”  – it was cited that according to some estimates, replacing managerial and professional employees can cost approximately 150% of their annual salary.  When it comes to those who work ‘in the trenches’ – those front line, lower end workers, it costs about 50% of their salaries, and for high-level IT professionals, the figure might be as high as 200%!

It is true that the younger workforce is less inclined to ‘pay their dues.’  And it is also true that technology has made it easier for people to work at all times and in all places, making work less of a 9-5 commitment and the boss less of an ‘over your shoulder’ manager. But the workforce today may not be all that different than it has been in the past. Loyalty and engagement are what everyone is talking about but it’s a ‘chicken and egg’ kind of problem. Is it harder to be loyal to an organization today or are employees lacking the ability to show loyalty?

It’s not easy to be loyal to firms that are not loyal to their employees. Working lean and mean is often exactly that  — lean and MEAN. Cutting back on benefits, training, support, raises, and promotions hurt the employees in order to maximizing shareholder value sends a message, and employees are getting it loud and clear. If the organization isn’t going to invest in me, then I’m going to be stingy about how much I invest in my organization. Doing ‘more with less’ used to be a temporary directive to get us over a difficult hurdle – not a working lifestyle.

While employees recognize that employers may not offer them a lifetime of employment, organizations recognize that employees are more willing to depart and work someplace else. We want commitment from one another which can mean different things to different folks.

I think that people are faithful to people, and employees stay because they are loyal to a boss, their co-workers, the mission, or their customers.

Yes – other things need to be present. Without a safe/nice place to go to each day, challenging assignments, and a fair wage, no one can pay attention to the manager, the colleague or the customer.

If you are looking at your bottom line, look at what it costs to engage and keep your employees. Then look at what it costs when you don’t bother.

Invest in your people now and you might be able to avoid investing in attracting people you don’t know later.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 9th, 2012 at 10:48 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.