What determines the “stickiness” of hires?

This is an interesting take here:

Why some quit, and some stay: a surprising take

For some time, some companies have been using enterprise social network analysis to identify the reason for employee attrition. The foundational social-network science on this is established (MIT’s Honest Signals and Social Physics, for instance). We know that if we want, we can often anticipate and possibly prevent people’s resignations by looking at their network signature. (Examples of the research here and here.)

That’s what the simplified chart below illustrates. The hypothetical at-risk employee is the blue, larger icon in the left quadrant. (Taken from the original post)

When I read through the entire write up, it sounded overtly complex but the conclusions are fairly straightforward:

So while the creation of internal networks is important for long-term retention, it can become a hurdle for others, especially but not exclusively new people, and that will make them attrite. But if companies invest in enabling people’s “network-based impact” and improve knowledge access (including learning and knowledge management), the collaboration tools (e.g. virtual whiteboards, asynchronous conversations), and the ability to network effectively (including serendipitous encounters, affinity groups, communities of practice), they might be able to retain more of their best employees. Individual managers are responsible to make some of this happen, and they may need specific sensitization and training. But CEOs need to invest in augmenting the digital infrastructure that caters to the broader system and making the related change management happen.

I believe they are drawn from the cultural contexts and smack of the classical management speak. These pronouncements come with a “semblance of research” and conclusions, and expect the existing power hierarchies to be disturbed. An individual can be valued in any organisation by dint of their merit, ideas and execution if given a freedom space. It also happens through establishing trust in the individual employees and backing it up with remuneration that exceeds the “market value”. If the goal is profit maximisation in the balance sheet, it should be spread liberally, too. I’d allocate a significant percentage in R&D, create an idea bank, empower individuals to access it and implement it and improve/maximise the workarounds to achieve better outcomes without disturbing the functional processes. There are numerous methodologies and use of technology to improve them (without breaking the bank).

“Feedback” (or any kind of constructive criticism) is a useless feature of individual assessment. If any employee is turning up everyday, performing the allocated work and leaving on time, is an “ideal employee”. Adding the conceptual frameworks of “smiles given per day” or being “nice to other fellows/peers” is a useless metric that fails to achieve its objective. Respect individuals for what they are and give them space without interference/micromanagement. You’d have long term hires for sure.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.