Hiring Wisdom: Feedback on “Ways to Guarantee Your Best People Quit”

Illustration by istockphoto.comIllustration by istockphoto.com

We received the following comments from a reader in response to my monthly Hiring Hint entitled Top 10 Ways to Guarantee Your Best People Will Quit.

…Management can, and will, ignore this list, and all of the additional items people have added in response. The punchline to the old joke is true at every level – you don’t have to outrun the bear, you just have to outrun the other guy.

In this instance, I don’t have to do a better job at retaining employees than my competition, I just can’t be any worse at it. Since my competition all does it really, really poorly, then really, really poorly will be good enough for me as well.

What I find most frustrating about this is that at the employee level, there is absolutely no incentive for me to do work that will truly make a difference, and more importantly, I learned fairly early on that trying to do so will actually earn you enmity and a reputation of having a “bad attitude.”

Instead, when you’re surrounded by C players, you are actually encouraged to do B- work – just enough to let people know you’re better than the majority of folks around you, but not so much that you are pushing those folks to perform at a higher level.”

This was originally published on Mel Kleiman’s Humetrics blog.