Stephen Covey’s seminal book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is, even after more than 25 years, one of the most important personal development and business books anyone can read today.
With over 25 million copies sold, this book has had undeniable impact in our culture, as the practices of even somewhat followed, transform people and the organizations they are in. If you haven’t read it, read it now. If you have read it, read it again.
When I am overwhelmed with the to do list, employee and client requests, the desire to do and be more, the seemingly endless demands on my time, I stop, breathe and whisper “Start with the end in mind.” (Ok, maybe I don’t whisper.) When teams I’m involved in can’t decide what to do, I say out loud, with force, “Let’s start with the end in mind.” And when my kids are worrying or thinking about things in an unproductive order, I say, email or Snapchat “Let’s worry about things in the right order:Let’s start with that end in mind.”
Clearly, Mr. Covey has had a huge impact on me.
Let’s Hire With The End In Mind
When we hire people we KNOW they’re going to leave us. Either because they want to, or because we want them to. It is not a mystery that employees – at all levels – will end their time with our organizations and move on to other jobs, other locales, retirement, new careers. The only thing we don’t know is when that end will come.
In today’s workplace, too often I hear “no one’s loyal,” “everyone job hops,” “you can’t count on millennials,”…blah blah blah. It’s exhausting. Comment boards are full of people who are hiring with trepidation, wondering how long it will be before they need to hire again. What a waste of time and energy.
Instead of worrying about when someone good will leave, worry about them valuing their experience with your organization once they’ve left. And valuing that experience for good reasons, not for the battle scars they carry from a toxic work environment.
What business today needs – requires – is an every-growing, hopefully-at-a-slower-rate-than-most, alumni cohort proud to have your company on their resumes. These are the people who will recommend your company as a great weigh station in a career. Who will continue to buy your products; who will recommend your services; who will become valuable partners; who may boomerang back to you as contractors or employees when they have even more valuable skills.
A positive alumni group will power your business in immeasurable ways that will have a positive impact on a company bottom line.
Change Your Mindset: Change Your Outcome
So, instead of wondering “when they’re going to leave,” focus on how you can make the experience as valuable to you employees as possible. Not just in compensation, but in work environment, team collaboration, high performance standards, the ability to contribute and make a difference in the work at hand, and the opportunity to learn and stay relevant in the extremely dynamic economy. When you hire with an expectation that employees will stay loyal to your organization regardless of their tenure for their entire careers, you become a more valuable place to work, and…. your top performers stay longer.
And that’s an end in mind we can all agree with.
*My upcoming book The Boomerang Principle: Inspiring Lifetime Loyalty from your Employees (available now for preorder) is a blueprint creating positive, high performing lifetime relationships with employees regardless of their tenure