Sunday, March 21, 2010

What GREAT companies, managers and HR departments know --- and do

As great companies and great managers know, human capital is likely their organization’s primary source of competitive advantage. Moreover, it is generally understood that in order to maximize that competitive advantage, employees have to be fully “CALLED” --- another one of my favorite acronyms invented during a bout of insomnia:

- Cost-optimized … invest more in employees when business-justified
- Aligned … employee goals/priorities/behaviors with company goals/priorities/culture
- Leveraged … with respect to competencies, skills, ideas and creativity
- Listened to … for the next great idea or product, knowledge of key customer issues, etc.
- Engaged … committed and motivated employees stay longer and perform better
- Deployment-optimized … right people with the right skills in the right jobs at right time

While a tad more controversial than the above, many great companies and great managers also know that more time, attention and resources should be devoted to the top 20 percent of your employees, i.e., your top performers. This is because you can usually increase company revenue by millions of dollars by improving retention rates on that top 20 percent. Intuitively, this means utilizing the right -- often personalized -- mix of total rewards, recognition and retention vehicles for those exceptional performers.

That gets back to the first “L” in the “CALLED” acronym, because you can only get that right mix by listening. A related point is that key employees who are retention risks should generally get the most immediate attention.

Important note ---- HR organizations that are able to develop and then validate a practical model for predicting or identifying Key Employee Retention Risks (or “KERR”) demonstrate to their internal clients that they can dial-up more ‘science’ in their ‘art and science’ professional HR repertoire.

Feel free to contact me if you wish to know more about one such model that I developed --

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