Conan O’Brien and NBC

What can a you learn from the NBC and Conan O’Brien debacle?  In a tough economy many people are finding themselves out of work, the unemployment rate is still hovering in the neighborhood of 10%. This can be good thing for your company. Why? because as people are let go often there is a plethora of talented people that you can scoop up.

You are probably saying that most of the good people are going to be kept, the good producers in a company often are so hard to come buy, a company would be stupid to let them go correct?  Well, yes. The thing is in a down economy the sales stars are also looking at changes. Great employees want to be treated great. If they are not they will be looking to move and that is where you can steal a great employee from your competitor or another industry.

How do you stop it from happening to you and how do you make your company one that they want to move too? Marshall Goldsmith, author of What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, has some tips for keeping you employees and making them happy.

  • Show Respect: This may seem rote, but genuinely treating employees with kindness, respect, and dignity will elicit the continued loyalty of employees to both the leader and the organization. It is possible to lead people through fear and intimidation; however, the odds of retaining and developing people using this style are slim.
  • Focus on a Thriving Environment: Creating an environment in which high-impact performers want to stay and will put their all into an organization takes more than a gimmick or enrollment in the fad-of-the-month leadership development program. It takes an environment where people are learning, getting training, and developing their skills — where through inquiry and dialogue, the leader creates an environment that allows each individual to thrive.
  • Offer On-Going Training: High on the list for leaders who want to retain high-impact performers is training and on-going education, both of which ensure that people can 1) do their jobs properly, and 2) can improve on existing systems. Cross training — giving people the opportunity to experience and train in different aspects of the company — is a great way to cross-fertilize between departments and across regions. This is a great competitive advantage when organizations are required to cut back on manpower. Cross-trained employees are equipped to handle different functions in the organization far more easily than those confined in silos.
  • Provide Coaching: By working one-on-one with employees in a coaching relationship, leaders can discover and tap the talents of individuals and direct their development, as well as align their behaviors and skills, thus becoming active as agents of change, enhancing the success of the organization.
  • Give Feedback: More than an annual review, leaders may give employees assistance in specific areas, such as developing networks, handling work/life balance, and attaining job and skills training. Providing feedback is more than an annual or semi-annual performance measure. It is a continual process which comes in the form of mentoring relationships, support groups, and action groups.
  • Money and Decision-Making: I haven’t yet mentioned compensation, which is an obvious employee retainer, but it’s not enough. In addition to compensation, people need to be involved in decision-making. The leader who asks people for their input on how the corporation can increase effectiveness is the leader who achieves buy-in from his or her employees. Not only does this help retain key talent, it also is a great way to generate ideas for organizational improvements
  • Do you think that NBC followed these rules with Conan? He is one of the most talented writers and comedian around, and they let him go, and lost a lot of money in the process.

    Respect..no…. Thriving environment..no…Feedback…no..not until every

    media outlet had the story about Jay Leno coming back. Don’t be like NBC, follow these rules and you will keep your employees and get the cream of the talented crop that is out there today to add to your bench..

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