Employees: Shave ’em to Save ’em

купить соли закладками One of the biggest fears in business today is the loss of one’s key employees. What would happen if one or more of yours just picked up and walked? What would you do?

I’ve just finished a review of numerous studies about how to increase employee retention. The data are scintillating, fairly consistent and clear. But amongst all of these data, lists and charts about what employees really want, there is a gaping hole; how does one apply the knowledge? How does one really keep top talent?

The answer is – to shave.

No. That’s not an acronym. I’m talking about shaving – shaving with a razor: Occam’s Razor. To retain your best employees, use Occam’s Razor.

William of Ockham (more commonly, Occam) was a 14th century logician. One of his key theories is known today as Occam’s Razor. When comparing theories, he said, one should first shave away as many assumptions from each theory as possible. Then, having contemplated the facts, the more simple of the theories is generally the better one.

Studies about employee retention talk about Gen X and Gen Y, Gen Z, Millennial, Slackers, Baby Boomers and so forth. They slice and dice information every which way so you can know more about the traits and needs of each category.

http://teana-by.com/life/chto-takoe-tu-si-bi.html But no person is a Gen Y. No one in your organization is a Millennial. Those are generalizations – classifications of groups of people, not a singular person. One can’t reasonably bring a 38 year-old employee into the office and expect any of these generalizations to apply.

So how in the world can you utilize the results of these studies to retain your best and brightest?

I don’t think you can.

The only thing these studies do is lead us to better assumptions: exactly what Occam urged us to shave away. But what is left when all of the assumptions are gone?

The truth. The truth comes in the form of a person. An employee. A unique individual.

Occam had it right. Clear away all of the assumptions. Then when you have truth staring at you from across your desk, how can you learn more about it?

Ask it.

That’s the simple answer. Just ask.

The best way to overcome the fear of losing your best talent is to spend time with those employees. When you gain a trusting relationship, the doors of knowledge are opened and fear drops away like shaving cream.

Because fear is assuaged by knowledge, you should shave away assumptions. Learn the truth. Spend time. In the race to retain top talent, win more frequently by scraping away the data, assumptions and studies, and get right down to skin. The skin of the person you fear losing.

Occam’s razor has no parts to wear out, no blades to go dull, no battery to die. To keep your best and brightest, all you need is a nice, clean shave.

 

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2 Responses to Employees: Shave ’em to Save ’em

  1. Jeffrey, love it. Relationships will continue to be the key ingredient in robust employee relationships for many generations to come. I am right with ya!

  2. Tommy Fulton says:

    Great blog. This is the exact reason I have a problem with 99% of the theories regarding diversity training, or diversity goals. The assumption that a “class” of people defines an individual person is ludicrous. One has to know me to know who I am, not which race, creed, color, age and any other grouping. I have studied family-owned businesses, and while some generalizations can be useful in the very beginning, decisions made without “shaving” away those assumptions are absolutely worthless.

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