Encourage behaviour that raises personal power

Wednesday, 19 Dec 2018

cpjobs.com has partnered with code-R to bring you examples of challenges faced at work and practical advice to empower yourself and others.

Soul survivor: A brain drain from my company saw our best leave for better opportunities. The team now is only around 60% of its size 3 years ago, and the average experience of joiners has plummeted. It’s just getting harder to suitably fill vacancies at the company, and some roles haven’t been refilled.

The problem is that nothing has changed at the company to attract better applicants. The starting salaries remain stagnant, the working schedule is fixed to 5.5 days, and the benefits package has remained unchanged. Remaining staff are actually worse off every year as any raises that are eked out usually don’t even match the rate of inflation.

So as our industry has become crowded with competition and better offerings to new joiners, my company loses out on valuable talent. The applications we do receive tend to be either from candidates applying to us only as a backup option, or candidates not competitive enough elsewhere. We’ve ended up hiring a lot of inexperienced fresh graduates simply because the applicant pool has been so dry. But few hires stay all that long.

The consequences are catastrophic. With such high turnover, a lot of time and resources are wasted onboarding new staff. The quality of work has diminished, client dissatisfaction has risen, and multiple departments have started slowly imploding as the more experienced or talented staff escape, with no competent replacements. Despite this, the directors are reluctant to offer more.

I’m now one of the longest serving staff members and I’ve only been here 2 years! My supervisor quit so I want to ask for her position. But, I also want the company to address its hiring problems, because I won’t commit to a management role at a company that’s increasingly turning into a joke. What’s the best way to convince the directors to invest more in their staff?

Code-R: Engage in behaviour that raises your personal power, both as a self-actualised career professional, and as an employee with solutions for your company. Your company directors have abandoned a growth mindset, stubbornly sticking to old ideas of the past that no longer work. What used to be a company culture that could attract great talent has now shrivelled into a stingy, short-sighted stubbornness to adapt to developments in your industry.

But, you’re in an ideal situation to be part of a change. Are you competent? I hope you are! Because your company doesn’t really seem to have much choice in filling the role you want to be promoted to. You could go the route of maximising your personal gain, but that doesn’t solve the underlying problems. To do that, you need to make the company consider wider personnel investments, which could mean lowering your personal demands to balance your advocacy for improvements across the board for all staff.

When discussing your preferred management package, consider proposing the changes that you know would help attract and retain the calibre of staff who can rebuild the company. Come prepared to present a compelling case that offering current and prospective staff better packages will be a net financial gain to the company in the long term over doing nothing.

Now is also an opportune time to seize a greater leadership function at the company and lead in the creation of a more forward thinking company culture. If you can persuade the directors to make some concessions in their approach, be prepared to deliver through working with a new (hopefully more competent!) generation of leadership and workers. You just need to open their eyes, minds, and their pocketbooks.


Encourage behaviour personal power valuable talent high turnover new staff