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Recruitment & Retention Strategies

You read the best business book.  You underlined some things.  Hopefully you effectively put in place the most valuable of those that were underlined.  And then you move on to the next best business book.

Then years later, you pick up that book and reread some of your underlined passages and BAM – there’s the golden nugget you didn’t need as much then, but you could sure use now.

Rediscovered Golden Nugget of the Month:  Create heroes in every role.  Make every role, performed at excellence, a respected profession.”  Marcus Buckingham & Curt Coffman in their fabulous management book written in 1999 “First, Break All the Rules.”  Consider rereading pages 184-192.

There you will find the answer of how to handle the employee that is STUNNING in their position and deserves appreciation, deserves accolades, deserves company respect – who deserves in essence a promotion.  To show our appreciation and loyalty to employees who knock our socks off we promote them.   Employees are promoted to new positions with new responsibilities because of how well they do in their current position.  Seems to make sense.  This is where we falter.

I’m guilty of it.  I’ve promoted someone out of a position they loved and were wonderfully successful into a position that simply didn’t fit their talents and where they floundered.  They went from rockstar to rock bottom in a matter of weeks.  Luckily they were happy to go back to their previous position – but what would I have done if they were not happy to let go of their new found clout?  Painful lesson learned, what makes a stunning technician, does not make a stunning manager of the technicians.

If someone is a rockstar at what they do – often because they like what they do because it fits their innate talents, if they have success in their position, they are happy.  Yes they want to be recognized.  Yes they want to be appreciated.  And yes, based on societal norms they want to be promoted.  So what to do?

“If a company wants some employees in every role to approach worldclass performance, it must find ways to encourage them to stay focused on developing their expertise.  Defining graded levels of achievement for every role, is an extremely effective way of doing just that.”  Buckingham and Coffman then give examples of graded levels of achievement  in law firms (junior associate, associate, senior associate, junior partner, partner, senior partner), professional sports (rookie, second string, starter to all-star), music (junior third chair to concert master 1st chair), medicine (intern to chief doctor – and think about it – a urologist doesn’t get promoted to a brain surgeon.)

Perhaps my favorite line from this chapter is this, “Great managers envision…a company where the best secretaries carry a vice president title, where the best housekeepers earn twice as much as their supervisors, and where anyone performing at excellence is recognized publicly.”

*Of course, there are rockstar employees that should absolutely be promoted and can absolutely handle and excel at the next set of responsibilities.  I cncourage promoting from within whenever possible to those who have demonstrated excellence AND when the new responsibilities fit the talents of the employee where they are likely to find continued joy and success in their new position.

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2.7 min readLast Updated: April 6th, 2021Published On: July 6th, 2010Categories: Employee Performance Improvement, Recruitment and Retention StrategiesTags:

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