If You Want to Be the Employer of Choice . . .

Posted on by in Leadership

Regardless of what field you’re in, attracting and retaining top talent is essential to your success.  If you have the right people on the bus (and in the right seats, as per Jim Collins), then the probability of your company succeeding is greatly enhanced.  Nothing new there.  However, what is new (for most employers) is, "How do I actually attract and retain top talent?" In other words, most of the managers, leaders and business owners I’ve met  with are focused on a wide range of critical issues from meeting goals to solving problems, from building new facilities to increasing sales, and from creating marketing plans to analyzing financial statements.  Occasionally they’ll even think about how they can make what they offer clients more remarkable.  But rarely, do they ever think about how they can make their relationship with employees more remarkable. If anything, most managers tend to be focused on, "How can I get more out of my employees than I’m currently getting?" And we wonder why morale and retention issues are a problem!

Fortunately, there are a few companies that think differently (and Fortune–pun intended–lists them every year).  If you didn’t read the article, this years top company to work for was/is Google. Google trumps in perks.  Here are just a few.  On campus, they have 11 free gourmet restaurants (and I mean gourmet. The author of the article had roasted black bass with parsley pesto and bread crumbs). Need your car washed? No problem.  Need laundry done? Again no problem.  Need a message? They’ve got you covered.  Would you like a free annual ski trip? Done.  Need to see a doctor? They’ve got that covered as well with five free doctors available onsite.  Need to work out? You’ve got to see their gym, swimming pool, climbing wall, volleyball courts, etc.  Need to get your oil changed? Covered. Need to get your haircut? Done. Want to by a hybrid car.  They’ll give you $5,000.

But the most important question the author of the article asked is the question you and I need to ask.  "Is Google a great place to work because its stock is at $483, or is its stock at $483 because it’s a great place to work?"  The answer . . . both.  However, if we’re honest, most of us as leaders and managers think the former is more true than the later.  Why do I say that.  Because of our actions.  When was the last time in a strategic planning meeting that anyone in management asked, "How can we WOW our employees this year?" ‘What can we do to make this a best place to work?"  "How can we ‘love on’ on our employees?" It just doesn’t happen it that many companies or organizations. 

Now, clearly, most of our companies or organizations aren’t in the Google stratosphere, but with your size company or organization, what could you do that would WOW your employees?  What could you do to make working with your company or organization so compelling that your employees wouldn’t want to leave?  In essence, what could you do to make your company remarkable–from an employee’s perspective?

Use the Make it Remarkable Process One Sheet to help you walk through the ideation phase (http://www.brucedjohnson.com/freeresources.htm).  You can also wrestle with steps two and three of the Make it Remarkable Customer Service process ("How can we eliminate all unWoW?"  And then, "How can we exceed their expectations?") to get you started on the path toward increasing your ability to attract and retain top talent.

Average companies ask, "How can we be competitive?" Great companies ask, "What will it take for us to be able to attract and retain the best?" And the proof is in the pudding.  At Google, morale is high (as one employees said on camera, "Don’t tell my family this, but I have more fun here than at home.").  And business is good (operating margins are at 35% and it has over $10 billion in cash). Both of which sound pretty good for an eight year old company, eh?

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