December 3, 2007

Jack Covert Selects: Ask 8cr! - One Foot Out the Door

By: Aaron Schleicher @ 8:06 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Ask 8cr! is a section of our blog used as a forum to address the kinds of issues and challenges people are having in the workplace. We take these issues and apply a business book we feel offers a viable solution. Others then chime in via the comments section. The person with the selected challenge gets a free copy of the book, but everyone who reads these posts, wins. What's your challenge at work? Send it to me at jon(a)800ceoread(dot)com.
Today's challenge deals with keeping employees engaged and fulfilled with their jobs and employers. Here's what one of our readers is dealing with:
"My challenge is finding people to hire who have passion for their work. Starbucks does it and they pay a fraction of what we pay, yet they get tons of people. We have to look high and low and the % of successful hires is so low!" - Harold
Since downsizing and outsourcing has become such a normal part of business, employees have become both consciously and unconsciously adept at viewing their employers with a sense of half-hearted dedication. It protects the employee's morale should they ever get laid off, but unfortunately, the employer gets less of what they sought to hire in the process. Less dedication means the employee might hold back in any given situation, when under other conditions, they might give much more effort.

Judith Bardwick has written a book about this issue called One Foot Out the Door. In the book, Bardwick provides a good amount of hard data, showing the correlation between a company's numbers and lack of employee commitment. However, the book is much more than research, and also provides strong advice on how to overcome this situation, offering practical strategies on increasing retention, improving performance, and getting employees excited and fulfilled in their roles. Part HR guide, part leadership text, One Foot Out the Door identifies the importance of regarding employees as major stakeholders.
From hiring for best fit to developing your relationship with your current employees, Bardwick clearly defines ways to find out and provide what your employees want and need. When handled properly (providing the right things), this will keep all employees engaged and dedicated. With both feet inside the door, both company and employee are fulfilled. Previously featured in a Jack Covert Selects, this is a great book, and perfect for Harold's challenge.

About Aaron Schleicher

Aaron Schleicher has been the author services specialist at 800-CEO-READ since 2004. You can usually find him hidden under a baseball cap, feet kicked up on his desk, talking with authors, publishers, and businesses. Outside the office you can find him crafting candles, listening to records, and making music with friends and family.