SUMMARY: When a company loses a great employee, it causes the other employees to have a reason for pause, thinking, “Why would that person leave the organization, and why would the organization let them get away? To deny a reasonable increase to a top performer in the organization can be a very costly mistake. To try and hire a replacement for a great employee will inevitably cost the organization significantly more money.
Years after the tragic death of John Lennon, the Beatles released a Lennon recorded song called “Free as a Bird.” What was so remarkable about this song is that each band member recorded his piece separately from the others, yet the song proves their cohesiveness. The song proves that they played so well together and were a team of musicians making great music.
What has this to do with marketing? Plenty. If you have a high-performing team that is hitting all the right notes at the right time, your company can’t afford to let them go. Yet, so many marketing executives see product and brand managers as easily replaceable.
People leave bad managers, not companies, which means as a manager, you have the power to prevent many of these losses to your team. When good employees leave, productivity sinks, morale suffers and colleagues struggle with increased workloads. Add in recruitment and training costs, and onboarding new hires can make for a difficult and expensive transition.
Here’s a great example. A group product manager had been with her company only three years when she was promoted. She was excellent at mentoring and getting most from her product managers, and her people loved working with her. When an opening came for a Group Director Manager, she applied and was turned down. Why? She was told she didn’t have enough time in her current role. Eventually, she took a job at another company at a higher level, and to this day, the people she managed still call her to ask for advice.
Great employees are not replaceable. It isn’t the technology or the product that make a company great, it’s the people. And companies who see their good employees as “replaceable” are wrong and their shareholders will suffer as market share erodes.
Business leaders who adopt the attitude that anyone is replaceable, thinking they can simply hire someone with a greater skillset or someone with a more prestigious pedigree, are fooling themselves. When a company has a truly great employee, that employee carries a value that simply cannot be replaced. They carry deep institutional knowledge of the organization. They have extensive product, systems, and process knowledge. They hold client relationships that have been built over many years. They carry tremendous experience on what has worked and what hasn’t worked for the company in the past. And great employees have camaraderie and influence with their coworkers, which when lost, has an impact on the corporate culture.
There will always be people who crave titles and more money. They’re the people you can lose but the employee who loves what they do and is an asset to your brand and its shareholders should be retained at all costs.
The other issue that plagues brands is when a senior manager fears for his/her job because one of their people is a rising star and potentially smarter than they are. The truth is that you should always try and hire someone smarter than you, but fear can drive potentially talented people away.
Marketing is not an internal contest. Your best marketers need to be nurtured and challenged, so they feel engaged. Don’t ever let a good marketer walk away without doing everything in your power to keep them.
10 Tips for Great Employee Retention
- Make Day 60 as Important as Day One (Onboarding)
- Optimize Your Benefits.
- Give Your Employees Flexibility With Their Schedules.
- Recognize Your Employees‘ Hard Work.
- Make Professional Development a Top Priority.
- Show Them How Much They Actually Make.
- Upgrade Your Equipment.