Long gone are the days when as an employer you could have an attitude of ‘people should be grateful to have a chance to work here’. It is not all about what they can do for you – that is now only one half of the story. It is now also about WIIFM.
Most companies recruitment processes are all about finding the right person. And that, of course, is crucial and is a whole fine art in itself. Many companies do not have a planned approach to recruitment and tend to do it ‘on the hoof’ which leads to all sort of issues and is definitely a subject for another day.
But here’s the thing. Even though managers and leaders know that the workforce is a movable feast nowadays, even though the average lifespan of an employee has moved from 7-10 years to 2-4 year in the past 20 years, most companies still don’t really get how that affects them, and how they should be building the WIIFM factor into their recruitment and their ongoing management of staff.
One of the things that is key to stretching that much shortened employee lifespan – is getting recruitment right in the first place. And they key to THAT is a matching of values. The skills and experience someone has might get them a job but unless the values are aligned then it will not keep them there long term.
The ‘What’s In It For Me’ factor can’t be just about the money. Money is not the thing that will keep most employees in the long term. There has to be something else that keeps them coming back.
So – why DO your employees come to work here? If you don’t know the answer to that question it is quite likely your values are not aligned and maybe you are not even recruiting on your businesses core values in the first place. Perhaps – you don’t even have those defined in a way that all the employees know what they are.
Take for example Zappos. Most companies say the culture is important. Zappos lives it. They hire on culture fit, but they accept that with human beings you can never get it 100 right – so in week 3 of their 4 week onboarding programme, new employees get given an offer – if they don’t think Zappos is the right place to them they can take this offer (which can be several thousand dollars) and they can leave, no hard feelings on either side.
I have always advocated in recruitment, fail quickly. Zappos lives and breathes this culture. And what if they don’t leave? Well, then there is a commitment on both sides to make it work.
Zappos also gives its staff the power to make customer decisions. For example, a woman who had recently lost her husband rang up Zappos to see if she could return the shoes he had never worn. The employee gave her an immediate refund and told her not to worry about sending the shoes back – that she had more important things to sort out at this time. This level of empowerment might be why Zappos has on average half the staff turnover rates of the online retail industry as a whole.
So – here’s a quick exercise. List what you believe the top 5 values of your employees to be – and then go ask them. Now list your top 5 values. If there are any differences, or if this took you longer than 10 minutes, then drop me an email. We can get on a 20 minute call and help you define this.