While chatting with a friend who works at one of the top tech companies in the US, I discovered that he has not received a raise in the last 6 years despite several promotions and relocations. As the discussion unfolded, I realized that the mass exodus of talent from midsize companies to the better-known brands isn’t due to the prospect of jumping salary brackets but rather the work culture that is associated with the brand name.
Top tech companies are fortunate enough to be able to draw from an endless pool of resources, all clambering over each other to be the next chosen one. Mid-size organizations continue to lose their brightest talent to the allure of working for the big names. It is time for midsize companies to step in to the ring and don fighting gloves to retain their talent. While midsize companies can’t offer the prestige associated with the bigger names, with each swing they must remember the bottom line – people work for people not names. The key to staying competitive then lies in ensuring that that resources remain engaged.
Mid-size organizations, that have previously considered work culture to be a privilege, need to invest in change. This change must come at the top management in the form of servant leadership. Rather than dictating each step, management is there to encourage and guide strategic thinking. Top management must today invest in a culture that empowers its employees and allows them to function autonomously. Independent thinking carves the path for employees taking ownership of their projects. When each successful execution is incentivized, resources will more readily align career paths with targets that contribute to the overall growth of the company. “Monkey see, monkey do” is not only applicable in the toddler classroom but is equally applicable to adults. Recognizing the hard work of an employee at a staff meeting goes a long way towards others seeking similar approval. Neither a pat on the back nor verbal praise will offset the bottom line, however small a company.
Cultivating a work environment that encourages a healthy lifestyle shows its employees that management is not just concerned with profitability but is also focused on the wellbeing of its employees. Providing subsidized access to fitness, arranging incentives for attendance, organizing team building activities that foster healthy competition, all contribute to a more holistic approach to employee satisfaction. In 2016 more than half the US workforce only consumed up to 54% of their permitted paid time off. When the message from the top management is encouraging employees to utilize their allocated paid vacation and have a healthy work life balance, staff will no longer feel threatened or worried that they will lose out if they are not available 24-7.
A healthy employee is a happy employee. A healthy body leads to a healthy mind. A healthy mind will thrive under servant leaders that provide their employees opportunities for self-discovery and allow resources to set common growth goals and objectives with those of the organization.