Thursday, October 15, 2009

Romance Your Employees

I’m often struck by parallels between love and work. Interviewing mirrors dating; accepting a job is like moving in; and resigning or being asked fired is so reminiscent of breaking up!

Recently, Roberta Chinsky Matuson and others warn many employees plan to leave as soon as the market rebounds.

A lover with an inflated sense of security sometimes becomes complacent or lazy, only to be left when least expected. Maybe HR professionals and managers should not get too comfortable, either. Maybe we need to continually wow our employees as we might woo a romantic partner.

Sometimes managers are impatient when employees aren’t perfect on Day Three. They expect a high level of performance with little investment. That is just not reality; it is not how relationships work. Neither our partners nor our employees can read our minds; we cannot assume they share our expectations or goals, much less anything else.

If you quickly and without discussion leave lovers for small differences and imperfections, you will go through a whole lot of partners. Ditto employees. Even the best, most perfect and self-directed employee needs direction, attention, and tools to produce rock star work

Reality will hit soon enough, so let's not let the economy seduce us into thinking employees are easily replaceable. The market is not an excuse to take employees for granted. Short-sighted shortcuts are likely to lead to being dumped as soon as the grass is greener on the other side of the employment fence.

Go woo, romance, and remind them why they fell in love with you.

photo by jacknet, flickr


Ben Eubanks said...

The best sentence was the last one. Remind them why they came in the first place, rekindle that love, and keep it up as needed. Great post!

Krista Ogburn Francis said...

Thanks, Ben!