Hiring Wisdom: Top 10 Ways to Guarantee Your Best People Will Quit

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Here are 10 ways to guarantee that your best people will quit:

10. Treat everyone equally. This may sound good, but your employees are not equal. Some are worth more because they produce more results. The key is not to treat them equally, it is to treat them all fairly.

9. Tolerate mediocrity. A-players don’t have to or want to play with a bunch of C-players.

8. Have dumb rules. I did not say have no rules, I said don’t have dumb rules. Great employees want to have guidelines and direction, but they don’t want to have rules that get in the way of doing their jobs or that conflict with the values the company says are important.

7. Don’t recognize outstanding performance and contributions. Remember Psychology 101 — Behavior you want repeated needs to be rewarded immediately.

6. Don’t have any fun at work. Where’s the written rule that says work has to be serious? If you find it, rip it to shreds and stomp on it because the notion that work cannot be fun is actually counterproductive. The workplace should be fun. Find ways to make work and/or the work environment more relaxed and fun and you will have happy employees who look forward to coming to work each day.

5. Don’t keep your people informed. You’ve got to communicate not only the good, but also the bad and the ugly. If you don’t tell them, the rumor mill will.

4. Micromanage. Tell them what you want done and how you want it done. Don’t tell them why it needs to be done and why their job is important. Don’t ask for their input on how it could be done better.

3. Don’t develop an employee retention strategy. Employee retention deserves your attention every day. Make a list of the people you don’t want to lose and, next to each name, write down what you are doing or will do to ensure that person stays engaged and on board.

2. Don’t do employee retention interviews. Wait until a great employee is walking out the door instead and conduct an exit interview to see what you could have done differently so they would not have gone out looking for another job.

1. Make your onboarding program an exercise in tedium. Employees are most impressionable during the first 60 days on the job. Every bit of information gathered during this time will either reinforce your new hire’s “buying decision” (to take the job) or lead to “Hire’s Remorse.”

The biggest cause of “Hire’s Remorse” is the dreaded Employee Orientation/Training Program. Most are poorly organized, inefficient, and boring. How can you expect excellence from your new hires if your orientation program is a sloppy amalgamation of tedious paperwork, boring policies and procedures, and hours of regulations and red tape?

To reinforce their buying decision, get key management involved on the first day and make sure your orientation delivers and reinforces these three messages repeatedly:

Article Continues Below

A. You were carefully chosen and we’re glad you’re here;

B. You’re now part of a great organization;

C. This is why your job is so important.

This was originally published in the April 2013 Humetrics Hiring Hints newsletter.

  • tai aguirre

    Thank you Mel for bringing up #7 among the other points. I am amazed that still in today’s day and age certain employers contend having a job and getting a paycheck is motivation enough. They also deal find themselves dealing with employees who jump ship. Here’s an article that supports your great points. http://www.taico.com/blog/bid/62908/Why-employees-bail-out-What-you-need-to-know-now

  • http://twitter.com/LeadingSolution Heather Kinzie

    Excellent Post Mel – love love love #1. I’ve been asked to “audit” numerous orientation and onboarding programs, practices, etc. and I have found that “tedium” is an understatement! Let’s change the world and eliminate this top 10 list!

    • Robbone7

      Something has gone awry in HR departments across the country! Is it the training they all received at our institutions of higher learning or what? They basically FAIL at their mission and that is why outside recruitment companies are raking in the bucks!

      • disqus_rIgnLMG4ZW

        No they just dont know how to properly execute what they have learned

  • http://twitter.com/CalMendelsohn Cal Mendelsohn

    Really excellent article–well done

  • Joe Kools

    Number 10 is a common pitfall – remember; being fair isn’t the same as treating everyone equally.

  • Amir Homayoun Rafizadeh

    Number 3 has never happened in both my private and public company previous experience. When management usually gets to it, its pretty late. My advice. If you cant find it, create your own company and environment.

  • http://www.facebook.com/barbara.reis.524 Barbara Reis

    #10 a pitfall indeed. Most managers who are very bias and weak in their management style benefit some employees because they are closer to them or reflect their caracter better. I would say that treat employees differently is bases for discrimination, bully, among others. If you are going to treat your employees different make sure of what you’re doing or else you may end up in court.

  • nicopretorius

    Great article, #4 is a big one for me, because normally the person that micromanage doesn’t have the knowledge or skill to do the job in the first place!

    • Janie

      i agree100% with you there

  • Alsadius

    Or you can do what my company does – figure out who your best employees are, then expect them to do all the work without any additional reward. I work at a call centre, so they literally take the work away from bad employees and hand it to good ones, but we all get minimum wage. I am so, so glad that I seem to be able to get a better job elsewhere.

    • Margie Szymanskyj

      If you didn’t say that you worked at a call center, I’d think we worked at the same place.

    • Mark

      I work on the DELL project – same strategy. For the project sake squeeze all energy out of performing employees, add more hours of work and pay the same to all. MOST STUPID: they say as recognition of your performance we give you a bigger assignment to do. LOL

      • http://www.facebook.com/kftrujilloson2 Josh Trujillo

        Gotta love stream.

      • Screwtheliberals

        Yeah, but they are working on giving you a raise. Well, of course those that don’t perform will get one too. Gotta love the everybody’s equal socialistic mindset! LOL

    • Robbone7

      You are an A player on a team with C & D players! Yep, play with a better team!

    • JollyRoger

      You said it correctly! This ‘behaviour’ exists across all business areas. The reward for being a top performer is that you get ‘dumped’ on.

      • Alsadius

        I wouldn’t mind the dumping if it came with some benefits. Being promoted in most jobs is a great way of adding to your workload, but it usually comes with better pay and perks. In most fields, if you do twice the work of your co-workers, you’re usually at least getting OT. In mine, some people literally get five times as many calls as others, despite sitting right next to each other and working the same shift at the same job, and there’s basically zero upward mobility(there’s “higher” positions, but they actually pay less unless you manage to get to managing whole projects). The only benefit is increased commission, but our commission cheques are perhaps 20% of our pay for a good seller in a good month.

        • Linda

          Very valid point. So be careful what you accept as a base salary.

      • Interesting

        Yes, and it’s going to stay that way until everyone learns to rebel against it. Don’t like it, say something to them and give them a chance. Most likely won’t listen so quit and try another one out, then another, etc. Eventually you will find a place that appreciates your hard work and it will be rewarding. When everyone is flocking to that one in a thousand great companies, then they will want to be like them and finally change.

        Just b!ing about it on some comment section isn’t going to do anything.

    • http://twitter.com/rfedoruk Robert Fedoruk

      The day when all those calls are monetized is not too far off. Then the smart call centers will be paying by efficiency rather than hours worked. May this day come soon for you, friend!

      • Alsadius

        May the day when I leave come sooner.

    • AC Linn

      I couldn’t agree more. Being called upon to do the work of others – who do not do the work they are employed (and paid) to do, and receive no recognition, promotion (or a higher salary) for doing so – is the absolute pits! In your next position, I trust you will be given a “job description” by which your employers will abide!

      • Veena

        Totally agree!! Sometimes it is projected that the non-performers do all the work and manage everything!!! Looks like its the same everywhere!! Very demoralising and demotivating!!..:(

        • Kunigal

          Yes always the ones with work ethics get crushed

    • Hector

      I got something you might just like my email hector7272@yahoo.com feel free to send me an email so I can send you some information that I think you might like.

    • Jeff Grant

      From my experience the amount of work piling on to the high performance employees steadily increases while the management adjusts their expectations until the person just cant keep up. At that point they either quit or get fired for not doing the job hard, fast, or good enough, while the slackers somehow get the credit for everything previously done.

      • Jeer

        Oh, so true!

      • Patty


        • Patrice Bertulfo

          This is really happening.

        • Margaret Ellison

          VERY TRUE!!!!

    • Mememeee

      or keep the better employees as perm-temps who do twice the work for less pay and no benefits.. next to workers who do less and get paid more with benefits..

  • Bhuvan

    It is indeed a great article. Just now I quit a job and surprisingly they practice all of them so religiously! Wish our directors had taken some time to read this article!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=523054606 Sabrina Denise Whiteman

    There could be a #11. Yell and scream at the top of your lungs at everyone no matter the reason or who they are, board member, lawyer, vendor, payroll company, staff. And make sure to slam your fists on the desk every now and then for emphasis. #12 Gossip about your subordinates to other subordinates, they really love that. #13 Take away sick days and reduce the lunch hour to 30 minutes because you don’t think people work hard enough and take time off just to piss you off.

    • Mel Kleiman

      Sabrina: Thanks for the additons to my list.

    • Akira

      i already have 30 minute lunches… then 2 15 minute breaks i work in a call center and there are days when i dont want to go into work because im so tired from that full time job and the full time job of being a single mom. if i had an hour lunch every day id take a nap in my car…

      • AC Linn

        Whatever you do…save whatever you can, acquire a PC and reliable Internet connection…and become a call-centre operator from home!

    • Sosa

      This is hilarious , LOLLLL

    • David L. Caster

      #14: Expect technical personnel to support and grow systems or software that must run on or be implemented and tested on modern equipment but only supply them out of date platforms with which to do it. When technical staff give you a plan for how to modernize with careful and well articulated justifications, stonewall (see also #17). This destruction tactic is best enabled by selecting the least technically capable IT or engineering manager(s) available. (see #15 below.)

      #15: Select managers based on their ability to do something completely different from managing people, resources, and projects. This is particularly effective if you choose those with a distinct distaste for or a complete ignorance of managing. A poor grasp of interpersonal dynamics on their part is a bonus. In a pinch, select (considering for instance also the criteria in #16 below) a particularly bright, capable, and productive engineer or other technologist and promote them into a purely management position. This will eliminate a useful technologist and create an ineffective manager—win-win.

      #16: Should the unthinkable happen and you have to lay people off, do so randomly. You will be much more effective at destroying morale if those selected for outplacement are working on important subsystems that few if any others know about or are qualified to work on in currently supported or under development product.

      #17: Pinch every penny, no matter how important the investment might be to the ongoing success of those requesting the resources that penny might buy. This is most effective when those doing the pinching have no idea whatsoever how that penny should be spent to meet the needs any particular project, product, or customer.

      • JohnS

        #15 aka the Peter Principle!

      • http://www.facebook.com/lisastripe.demarest Lisa Stripe Demarest

        The truly sad thing is, this approach is rampant not only in IT, but throughout corporate infrastructure. In many MANY companies :-/

        • Ann_Onymous

          Which is why management in those corporations 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.

          The exception to this rule, as Jan Smith Kleyla noted below, is those employees who are focused on moving up, rather than performing. Strong performers will train them, they will do a mediocre job, but will promote themselves and network successfully so that they begin to move up the chain. In their own way, they’re just outrunning the competition at their level as well. If you’re adept at politics, this will serve you well in a corporate environment. If you’re not, you need to, sadly, realize that performance is in fact a minor factor in how management assesses your worth, and then decide for yourself what keeping your head down versus trying to realize some self-fulfillment is worth to you.
          The alternative, of course, is to try and find a better situation somewhere else but, again, your company’s competition is almost guaranteed to be doing the same thing as your current company.

          • David L. Caster

            #18: Make everything an internal contest. Constant internecine rivalry diverts attention from the product and by extension the market, placing it on an internal competitor, usually a colleague or another group or its leadership. The implicit goal of every high-level managerial move is to enhance the conflict so that only the strongest and most vicious survive to advance—winning is all that matters—in a company dominated by sociopaths.

            The real problem is that the workplace is 80% interpersonal dynamics and 20% (and often less) about the actual work and skills at hand to do it. Your scenario Ann_Onymous is most likely played out where marginal contribution is seen as adequate by comparison to a weak standard. One wonders how this kind of system reaches its equilibrium. Why, given human nature, isn’t it a race to the bottom in terms of the rewarded performance even if everybody is playing the same game?

            The sustainability flaw in any of these numbered points we have been discussing here will always be whether or not they actually result in the collapse of the business. How is it, given our experience with these pathologies, so may of these essentially socially dysfunctional enterprises manage to survive, some remaining quite successful and profitable for decades?

            The psychology of the dysfunctional family is probably the best analogy in those workplaces where the implied scenarios from the numbered items, both those in the original article and the deeply cynical ones some of us have added and are no doubt based on actual experience.

      • jwz

        Even better, 16a, when you have to layoff employees, be sure to close down your most efficient branch office because they weren’t following dumb rules (see #8). Even though their lack of wasting time and money following said dumb rules made it the most profitable in the company. By all means, keep the managers who don’t bring in a penny to the business, because their only purpose in the company is to write dumb rules and make sure everyone is following them, thus making sure even more people aren’t making money for the business.

        • David L. Caster

          A corollary to 16a is 16b: Raid less favored but profitable divisions to protect or prop up more favored but unprofitable ones. This can take the form of or be driven by: nepotism; poaching personnel, products, or revenue; selectively applied internal accounting practices; any combination of the foregoing.

  • http://twitter.com/michaelbstern Michael Stern

    We live in the age of instant communication. Not to make an effort of communicating to the troops the goals of the company and the individual’s professional plan is a mistake. If they can’t articulate it; they can’t make it happen.

  • http://twitter.com/Patti__Ellis Patti Ellis

    I have a small tweak to #4 – do not tell them how to do it. Unless it is critical that an assignment be completed a certain way, give your employees the freedom to utilize their creativity and personal strengths to get the end result desired.

    • Mason

      Also you should ABSOLUTELY tell employees why something needs to be done if you want them to take ownership of things. The easiest way to get people invested in their work is show them what the long-term goal is.

      • AC Linn

        An observation if I may … if one needs to TELL an employee – who was presumably hired (and is qualified) to provide certain services in return for a salary – WHY he or she NEEDS to perform the task(s) he or she was(specifically) hired to perform, surely indicates a failure (on both sides) to communicate at the outset, or a breakdown in communication somewhere else down the line?

        And, incidentally, the absolutely best (most positive and constructive) way to motivate employees to do a “great job” is to make them “shareholders” in the company for which they work. PS: a “tea-lady” (shareholder) who had worked for years at one company I know of was given a cool R1,000,000 at the end of the day, when the company changed hands.

    • Brian Carr

      Patti, #4 seems to be worded a little differently than the others. I stumbled on this when first reading it. Is he saying that we *should* tell them what we want done and how to do it? Or is he being facetious and saying *not* to do it that way. After several readings, I think it is the latter.

  • lorianne755

    Your article states the obvious, yet sadly, such common sense practices are too often overlooked.

  • http://thethrivingsmallbusiness.com/articles/ Patricia Lotich

    Great list and all so true! My favorites were dumb rules and not having fun at work! Thanks for sharing!

  • Bhooshan patkar

    Nice & usefull.

  • Overly-enthusiastic Dan

    Great article! For #1 I’d even say you have just the first few *days* to set the rhythm and the pace for the next *years*.

    If it’s 4 days to wait until you can even log in to your laptop / get email up and running etc, and the only justification is “oh well it always take this long” then this is not ok. It has an affect and needs first to be measured, to then be improved.

    In my teams we’ve worked hard to reduce that time to *just 2 hours*, from Monday 9am walking in to new job, to “by lunchtime I was up and running!” this included developers and their workspaces, no excuses, it matters!

  • Jessica Ferrie

    Great article! Employers should especially heed the importance of communication with #5- Keep your employees informed. If you don’t, the rumor mill will. There is nothing that will cause people to lose trust in leadership faster than hearing information via gossip, as opposed from a credible source.

    • been there, heard that.

      The credible source is usually on the floor, not in the office. The people who make a company good are ALWAYS the ones who get the shaft, the ass kissers are always moving up, destroying what could have been a great place to work. The most honest employees are the ones getting it done, and they never have to wipe their noses.

  • dk27

    #9 is the biggest problem I see in our company (and industry, for that matter). We’re in such a niche that new recruits are hard to find, and expensive. So when we find them, we tolerate all kinds of complete and utter nonsense because we feel pressure to keep them. I say a mediocre employee will eventually disappoint customers, withering their value anyway, so cut bait sooner rather than later. Thanks for this article. I forwarded to mgmt.!

    • Alain

      I would love to forward this to management or even our HR dept. However, this would result in upper management retaliation and being branded as “not a team player” where I work. Might be another point here to add to the list!

      • Robbone7

        Print it out and slide it under a door anonymously! Remember to wear gloves in case they fingerprint it! lol

      • AC Linn

        When the management or HR department of your company ought to be reading this article (and the comments made) themselves!

        PS: constantly amazed at the roundabout (often exorbitantly costly) routes that companies take in effort to “make more sales?” Simply because they haven’t realized that EVERYONE is a customer (or potential) customer? And that as customers themselves, they merely need to work out HOW they like (or expect) to be treated as customers – and put their findings (and conclusions) into practice. Because, whether they are aware of it or not, they are either behaving towards (all-important) customers the way they would like to be treated, or possibly more pertinently, the way they would NOT like to be treated* (*and therein lies the rub…).

    • disqus_rIgnLMG4ZW

      No they have laws to abide by . But honesty and respect both ways. Clear communication is the best approach. Production has to be met but employees recognition goes a long way. Targets must be set and then highly research the compertitor. Goals has to bet set but accomplishable. This leads to fewer hirees. Saves time and money. Resources are something to keep an eye on also.

  • http://twitter.com/1hollywest Holly West

    What I love about this article is that it applies to any company over the size of one. I think #5 is so important, and in this age of technology there’s no excuse not keep your people informed.

  • Lol

    Very interesting and thanks for posting this article.

  • http://www.facebook.com/blessedagyam Agyam Kwame Poku Nyansafour

    Great article I wish all managers, CEO’s and other leaders read this

  • Diane Salvatore

    Great article, a lot of simple truths but sometimes so easily missed by organization’s.

  • Juan Jacinto

    10 & 9 are extremely important. This article hits very valid points.

  • Joseph Tsang

    For point 9, I think it is the one I realize from the present job. We give chances and tolerance to those new hires if they could not perform well in the hope the person could be a better working partner in the future as his/her experience and learning grows. While there is no guarantee, others in the team could only help to share the workloads for those tasks the new hire could not work independently. Furthermore the team may stop hiring any better people since the headcount is already filled. After 1 season, 2 seasons, everyone is still working the same stressful fashion yet ironically getting used to that helpless new team formation. The situation will last long enough as people will no longer be questioning those stayed already for a while and became senior. So back to the beginning, to those mindsets favoured in tolerating the mediocrity: Who is going to be lenient to the rest of the team?

  • John P.

    I just had to share this on LinkeIn, I have actually been part of a company that does all 10
    and wonders why they have such a high attrition rate.

    • Robbone7

      It seems in this economy that employees are disposable. At least that’s how I feel a lot of companies behave. So you go through employees like Kleenex and now you have a bunch of lame-o’s and nobody knows what’s going on! Grrreat!

      • AC Linn

        Yes. Many company owners appear to believe that all-important customers are dispensable, too. And are also apparently unaware that their employees are the best (or worst) walking, talking (loyal or disloyal, supportive or unsupportive) “customers” they have!

  • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.paskoff Stephen Paskoff

    simple, clear principles. worth thinking about. thank you.

  • Isaac

    11. Do standardized employee evaluations!

    Seriously though, sit down with and let employees each determine criteria for evaluation. If you hired well then they will point out where they want to improve and how you can help them do it.

    • colleen

      At my place of work we have had to evaluate each other. I work in a haor salon thatrewards people for overcharging (I call that stealing) with pats on the back from high sales. Here I am doing a good job and putting effort Iin when other people have bad customer service and steal from them.

  • Manoj

    Valid and worthy. Have forwarded this to my friend’s startup company 🙂 Hope he will make use of it

  • http://www.facebook.com/bonnie.wagnerwestbrook Bonnie Wagner-Westbrook

    I’d like to add a picture of my last boss to this piece. Mel nailed it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/bonnie.wagnerwestbrook Bonnie Wagner-Westbrook

    Actually, I have another to add to this list too. Get peers to spy on and report on each other, as well as recruit peers to manage each other (instead of actually doing the job yourself). Make sure not to qualify or check accuracy of info shared before laying into the target.

    • Robbone7

      Oh yeah, the knee-jerk reaction syndrome. Act on anything anyone says that is BAD without finding out the rest of the story.

  • http://www.pottymouthmama.blogspot.com/ Lexi Kentmann

    Such a great piece.

  • mikec711

    All good points. I have seen many work-places where those who do 2x the work get 1.01x the reward … and those who do .5x the work get .99x the reward. Then when something truly crucial comes up … it goes to ones already doing 2x the work as they know it will be done and done well. It is OK to lean on your best … but reward them when you do.

    • Dilesh

      These points are close to my heart too.
      To top it, when a promotion opportunity becomes available hire externally rather than from the talent that has been leant on thus blocking other retention/progression opportunities!! I think it’s called succession planning!

      • Robbone7

        Hmmm. When a company opens a position up to external candidates first, that tells me they are trying to change the culture. That also means that the culture changer needs to have some clout to be able to effect change, so they place them in a mid or upper level position.

  • d

    #9-have you ever been in a college dorm-ridiculous rules that say you have to live with a stranger and have to wake up for a 10pm dorm meeting or else get fined; then tell you it is preparing you for ‘real’ life.

    what about classes that give group assignments-you have to work with D-players and still try to make the grade. If people are not taught correctly how to make it in the work world-they probable will not follow your 10 ways.

    #6-have you ever worked in a hospital? would like to have fun and be relaxed-it would help the patients get well faster-but no such thing. Wonder why the attrition rate is so low?

    • Juliet Mercucio

      The article’s list of “to dos” was written with the pretense of “10 Ways to Guarantee Your Best People Will Quit” In other words, 10 things not to do 🙂

  • Coffeebean

    Great article! I completely disagree with #4 though. Who wants to be micromanaged? Someone who has time to micromanage doesn’t have enough to do themselves in my opinion. If creativity is not going to hinder the job itself then you should always ask for input, ideas and feedback. It is diversity and creativity that have taken most successful companies to where they are today.

  • Marian

    Good reminders, perhaps first time insight for some.

  • Gsqrd

    Coffeebean, You have to read it in reverse! These are things you don’t want to do. You don’t want to settle for mediocrity. You don’t want to treat everyone equally. And you don’t want to micromanage. I had to read #4 twice myself ebfore it clicked that these are a list of DON’Ts.

  • Mike_Tobias

    Great points and I love your tongue in cheek style!

  • Jana

    I think Mel created this list by spying on me at my last position. Great summary!!

  • S1216

    Here’s another one: promise your potential new hire a certain netto wage and calculate the bruto wage to your own benefit so your new employee gets less than you promised.
    Gone in 3-2…

  • Mason

    This article has some good ideas but is very poorly written. Some of the descriptions of each bullet point are things you shouldn’t do and some are things you SHOULD do which gets very confusing.

    See, for example, #4. Am I supposed to tell an employee how I want something done but not why? Or is it the other way around? #5 is written straightforward but then #2 seems to be backwards.

    • Jake

      I wholeheartedly agree. As I started to go through the points I initially thought that the problem of comprehension was perhaps with me, until I read your comment. I’ve never seen an author make do’s and don’t more ambiguous.

    • Jeff

      The article is saying that if you do all or any of these things, your best people will quit. So read each one as “If I, ____” my best people will quit.

    • shoe305

      I agree because on another point is the importance of communication. I believe that it is necessary to explain why there are rules. Especially in the health care industry.

      • JohnS

        The author also believes it’s important to explain the rationale behind the rules – – and recommends doing so. He is merely emphasizing that NOT explaining the rules is a good way to drive away your top employees! See Khalsa’s comment above – – the advice is framed as ‘what NOT to do!’ (actually, an interesting way to differentiate your A-thinkers from the C’s 🙂

        • Ann_Onymous

          Actually, the problem is that it is NOT consistently framed as what not to do. Some of the items are “positive” (i.e., do this) and some are “negative” (don’t do this). Given the intent of the article, which WAS to present a list of “what not to do,” I would not use the interpretation of this article as a good differentiation for intelligence or competency.

          The article would have been much better written if every item had been presented as a “positive”. Some examples:

          • nickinoz

            shoe305: to which part of the healthcare industry do you refer? if it’s hospital / bedside healthcare, protocols are in place that draw on the fact that healthcare workers should have in-depth background regarding infection control, medication contraindications and other such related issues. healthcare workers of any real worth already understand why they need to mask and gown in certain situations, and why they need to wash their hands repeatedly and which meds need special care when being given.

            so, about which part of the healthcare industry do you speak?

    • Khalsa_Singh

      The article is written in an interesting way………its telling you what to do in order to fullfil the headline.
      Points 4&2 illustrate this best but there is some inconsistency I agree.
      Wish I could go back to my last company, show my old exec and managers this article and the shove their faces in it.

      • http://twitter.com/dmsprice DMP

        The creative in me likes the way it’s written. Makes you think more.

    • Ruth Erb

      So I am not the only one who got confused. On the other hand, it did make me think harder to sort it out.

      • Roger Zhou-ZhiQiang

        Haha, me too here! It makes me study OCPD/OCD. It’s hard.

    • Fabbab

      Yes! I was confused too. Writing the way the author does here is perhaps the 11th way to guarantee people will leave your sinking ship.

    • judyP

      I was thinking the same thing, and wondering if they even proofed it! LOL
      Great concepts though, just goes to show that great ideas can get lost in the shuffle if there is a lot of shuffle!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/inwachukwu Immanuel Nwachukwu

      I’m not sure if the sarcastic/reverse psychology approach is working well for this article.
      I got fairly confusing midway through, even though I knew what the approach was.
      In fact I think the writer, Kleiman, got confused himself on #4 and #2!

    • Lynnette Stewart

      Great observation. I noticed this as well.

    • Jessie

      Totally agree. Had to read a few times- and thought I was still being dumb. 😉

  • Tkberry

    Great article! Now how do you share with your employer that they should take advice from this article, without creating tension and appearing unappreciative to be employed (especially in this economy)?

  • Picasso

    Failing to ‘keep promises’ is another one. A day in lieu for working extraordinary hours is withdrawn or a miniscule bonus/pay increase rescinded on.

  • Kristi Droppers

    Good points but hard to follow because it lacks parallel construction. Sometimes the points are all what not to do and sometimes the content is giving direction on what to do. Would be so much better if it was consistent

    • Robbone7

      True, but we get the gist of the article.

  • Prisco C Cuomo

    This is a great article , as a mid level manager I try to manage as I would like to be managed and it has gotten me extremely good result, even though the number one recognation is a raise there are additional ways we can use and motivate and foster a happy work enviroment.

  • Sabd Office Manager

    There are a few issues with this list, specifically #10, 9, and 4. #10. While you wouldn’t necessarily treat a supervisor like an admin assistant and vice versa, it it important to recognize that everyone plays an important part in your organization or else they wouldn’t be there. Because let’s face it, some senior staff can’t even attach a document to an email or figure out a conference call without an admin. No more totem pole thinking (seriously- it’s outdated). #9. While this is more of a hiring and management issue, the A players need to have their egos take a seat. You are not always going to have a team full of A’s, you have to be able to work with individuals at all levels. Not only does this give the A’s a chance to show leadership skills etc., it keeps them able to interact with people outside of the organization whom the hiring managers have no control over. #4. I completely agree with no micromanaging, however the part about don’t ask for their ideas or how it can be made better is -in the same tone as this list: stupid. You hire people fr their abilities and creativity; many of them probably have a diverse set of skills that you don’t. Once my higher ups have seen what I can do, they ask all the time and often do get a better way, more efficient, creative, etc.

    • For A Better World

      Although I think you misunderstood #4, I completely agree with the rest of your thoughts. Well said!

  • LearningEveryDay

    Hi Alsadius. I have managed a few calls centers and integrated several others into our business as well via acquisitions. I love the “work” but could not stand woking for clueless executive leadership. I am curious who you work for now. I just left General Electric.

  • LearningEveryDay

    It is sad but true Margie isn’t it? If you reward your top performers by promoting them, you will benefit as they most likely will always be grateful and remain available to bring any new team members along. Moral is high, everyone is happy…its a win win.

    • Robbone7

      Ever hear of the Peter Principle? Its real. I’ve seen it over and over again.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jan.kleyla Jan Smith Kleyla

    I’m retired now, but I think the thing I hated the most was training someone in the job they were hired to do only to watch them move on in the company while you remain in the same position. If one is good enough to train new employees, shouldn’t that person also be considered for job advancement when the opportunity arises?

    • Robbone7

      Not necessarily, Jan. If you are good at orienting new employees at their entry level positions that does not equate to meeting the requirements to advance to the next level. You have to let your desire to move forward be known and find out what the requirements are to get there. Getting to the next level may have required additional education or certification. Since you are now retired, the decision-makers may have assumed you were happy to train new employees until your upcoming retirement. Sounds like you were good at it, too! That’s a valuable role to have in any company. Hopefully they compensated you accordingly.

  • Julie-Ann

    See little difference if the title read – Learning Wisdom: Top 10 ways to guarantee your best learners are demotivated. Well said Mel

  • Dagny2

    Finding ways to share this with bosses at government funded programs is a necessity. Except of course sometimes most of the “mediocrity” ends up in these programs- people who comfortable just to get paid. These are the top institutions with “dumb rules.”

  • Edward Coe

    #11 Focus on addressing employees weaknesses. Instead of trying to make employees into all-rounders, why not focus on peoples strengths: to turn a great attribute into a truly stellar one. People thrive at what they enjoy.

  • For A Better World

    Thank you for the article. However, the theory of human value underlying point 9 results I think from a simplistic understanding of human behaviour & motivation, & leads to behavioural pathologies. Similar criticism for point 10. We are strongly motivated by purpose & discouraged by rigid hierarchies that flow from schema like this. Innovation can come from anywhere, so we should allow for & encourage this to happen in the way we structure our organizations. Utilitarian valuations of people lead to bad results. See also http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc.

  • Kay

    When #3 was brought up to my bosses their response was the employee turnover rate of 1 per month over the past year (out of 15 employees total at its highest, 7 at its lowest: 12 resignations in 12 months) was a natural industry standard, normal, to be expected, and that absolutely nothing that the organization was doing was causing these people to seek out a new job.

    Needless to say, I’ll be quitting as well at month’s end. It’s amazing when companies very much just don’t get it.

  • tellingthetruth

    To all of you who could not negate each of the statements and come up with “the best ways to Guarantee Your Best People Will Quit” you are not the best people I’m afraid

  • Paci102

    As an HR person none of this bullet points comes to me as a surprise. HR people actually know these things. The problem is how to make MANAGEMENT recognize why the list is important.
    The article is ok, but quite frankly it can be expanded into a more informative piece.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ray.murphy.372 Ray Murphy

    In my business. each employee has responsibility and AUTHORITY in their area and a good working knowledge of the job of the person on each side of them.. each of my customer service people has responsibility for their own list of regular customers .. and most important .. ALL employees have the authority to over ride any decision made by the computer .. most of my employees are happy most of the time … one told me yesterday. I could not chase her out of here with a stick.

  • nekregas

    “With great performance comes great tolerance” – Bill Cowher, Former Pittsburgh Steeler Head Coach

  • Hazem Salah

    11. let’s all do it your way

  • Virmantas

    Nice. But in reality, who cares – the company owners or hired CEOs? There is a big
    difference between them, and especially their interests.

  • Rene Bernales

    Been bitten once, twice shy…

    • Robbone7

      I feel ya, Rene. Took 8 years for me to get over the last bite

  • Petro Mychalkiw

    To PACI102 – I assume you are a HR ‘professional’ but you exemplify the attitude of HR professionals that prevents change not encourages it – your comment indicate the silo attitude of “HR knows best..if only Management knew what we know…””. Get out there and make a difference to the workplace – I thought that you were part of ‘Management’!! Any decent HR professional would recognise all of these points as valid and onces which should be frequently repeated and reflected upon.

    • Robbone7

      I agree, Petro! YOU are supposed to take this article and expand it into a more informative piece that fits YOUR organization. Then share it with your team. No one can give you an exact recipe just stimulate ideas. As the outside recruitment companies laugh all the way to the bank!!

    • disqus_rIgnLMG4ZW

      See this is the conflict . Without change on both sides the ifrastructure suffers. These are good things for management to be concerned with. But management and employees can coincide and act as a team.

  • Toss pot

    I agree with the 10 (and acknowledge that these are a top ten and not a complete and definitive list), but here are some extras

    11. Expect people to consistently work beyond their target hours, but rigidly enforce an inflexible 40 hour week scrutinising slight late starts or early finishes, as if the company is somehow being cheated

    12. Insist people never work from home, giving a sense that the company would rather they were less productive in the office, than more productive out of the office (i.e. a trust issue)

    13. Offer incentives which are insufficient. It’s nice to get rewards and recognition, but people take great offence at receiving incentives which are no way proportional to their efforts. It’s most likely to offend than motivate.

    14. Expect high levels of innovation and creativity but dictate every aspect of the environment in which you expect this to happen

    15. Consider that the economic situation will make every employee desperate to keep their job and that nobody is hiring so there is no chance they would be poached by a competitor

    16. Come up with a list of ill-considered company ‘values’ which you expect all employees to firmly go along with or leave.

    17. Talk about down-sizing and redundancies, preaching transparency but then harbouring hidden agendas which paint a very different picture

    18. Allowing IT departments to enforce stupid policies which directly impact peoples’ ability to do their job well or even sufficiently

    19. Get people to agree to have their privacy violated under the pretence of IT security.

    20. Give personal responsibility without power, share credit for their achievements with others (as it’s a team effort) but make them solely responsible for failure

    21. Use the concept of ‘Team’ for purposes such as emotional blackmail, but then hold people individually accountable

  • disqus_rIgnLMG4ZW

    A lot of employees dont understand business side of the corporstion. But with proper communication business and employees can have an good relationship. But you can have fun and get the work done. Modt of put money back into your emplyees and than the employees will invest in you. Bonuses can be achieved as as a whole and not just one person that is known as team work.Infastructure can be redesigned to accomplish all goals. Respect and honesty go a long ways. If non of these can be reached it is time to hire a new employee or manager.

    • Robbone7

      If employees don’t understand the business side of the corporation, that is on the leadership team to help them understand. For a mission to be successful, everybody has to clearly see the whole picture and buy into the mission. I may add that transparency goes a long way toward engaging employees into the success of a business.

    • http://www.facebook.com/sophie.ct.35 Sophie CT

      Lately I see too much emphasis on the employee understanding the business side–to the detriment of whatever set of skills it was that they were hired to perform. The best indicator of a company losing its way is having brilliant engineers waste their time filling out endless status reports, estimates, and other PowerPoint fodder. Project Managers should support production and not the other way around.

      • disqus_rIgnLMG4ZW

        You can say what you want if the problem presists than your production will suffer. Bad for business than your project managers, execs,managers, hr,research will no longer be because management says do it or out. Then quess what sweety the doors close because management did not go the extra mile and look and listen to the people below them thinks and says. Work as a team not an upper management individual.

  • JollyRoger

    This ’10 Best’ count down is right on. The corporation that I recently retired from was in the forefront of not doing these things (i.e. doing the right things); today it is a poster ‘child’ for doing these things. It’s all about (HR) costs, forgetting that it is skilled, motivated people that drive the success of any business.

  • golfer75

    My current employer does about half these things, if not more.

  • Robbone7

    Rad, it is never too late to change your management style! That is why experience is so valuable because you learn from your successes as well as your miss steps. Constantly evolving as a leader is my motto! Try giving them a goal, the tools and a deadline and see what happens!

  • disqus_rIgnLMG4ZW

    Yeah but this is the one side of a business where management drops the ball and it hurts everyone involved because it has a domino effect throughout the entire business and it os sad to see

  • Bill

    EXCELLENT! Hope all employers pay attention and take these nuggets of wisdom seriously…

  • Peter Kennedy

    Recently went to a seminar through the Spitzer Center for Business. It was very intuitive with regard to these and other issues of the emplyee/employer relationship and how to correct them. They actually worked with staff and management to look at how to keep employees as happy as they can. Regardless, one of the things that they point out is that (statistically speaking) most empolyees don’t leave over money alone unless it’s during a major life transition(marriage, birth of a child, divorce, etc…). Most leave because of a management structure that is based on an agressive/defensive employer/employee relationship. They point out that we often have as a goal to simply do better THAN others rather than doing what is best FOR others, we look for bad news instead of looking for good news, we see skill sets before we see actual people. If we can turn that around, the relationship that we create with employees keeps them in our boat rather than a culture of fear, rumor, and other forms of drama.

  • Dave B

    The concepts are fine, but the implementation is next to impossible. How is a manager supposed to figure out who is an “outstanding performer”? In my work experience, the people who are consistently rewarded are often the communicators of other people’s results. Without those productive assistants in the background, the communicator would have nothing to communicate.

    A traditional watch needed gears, springs and bearings all operating properly in the background to make the hands move appropriately. Unfortunately, many companies and managers place a disproportionate emphasis on the hands, and ignore the workings behind the face.

    Of course, the other problem is that far more than half the people think they are in the top half of workforce in terms of productivity. When the recognition and rewards coming from management don’t match the worker’s perception of their contribution, you have created a discontinuity between reality and expectation. That worker then becomes motivated to look for a place where their contributions will be recognized.
    The management will typically not recognize this problem, since the string of promotions that positioned them in management are perceived as an appropriate reward for being a “top performer”, and they therefore see themselves as able to identify other top performers.

  • Fully Employed

    What about the extremely talented, seasoned professionals who just want a quiet place to work, and to be treated like an equal, so they can shine naturally, and contribute?
    Anyone who watches American Idol can bark out orders, act important, read these articles, and talk about what they know, who is worth more, and who is full of baloney. But are there any real project managers or team leads left who want to take time to effectively delegate tasks to people willing to shut up and do them, and do them well? When an entire generation of 20-somethings are trying to be a rock stars in small ponds, we end up with a large-scale, collective problem known by the old saying: “too many chiefs and not enough indians”. This is how cities and nations guarantee their REAL best people will leave. That is my two cents, and I don’t dare sign my real name to this, for fear someone will be absolutely amazed by an intelligent comment, and try to make me a chief, thus taking away work I am good at doing, and enforcing the Peter Principle. Remember, at the end of the week, everyone just wants a paycheck. This is just what we do for a living.

  • Jean Butler

    Very interesting article. Unfortunately due to the economy and the competition so fierce managers treat employees as if they are disposable. They have so many resumes, that if one employee doesn’t fit exactly as they would like, they will dismiss quite quickly.

    On another note, I worked at a not-for-profit for 13 years. I worked for an Executive Director that was let go after the same amount of time. The hiring of the new executive director had a snowball effect on the previous employees that were under the former Executive Director’s tutelage. I, unfortunately, worked for the new executive director for a few months. He was on of the most unprofessional individuals I have ever worked for. He spent most of his time flirting with a woman from another office (he is married, she is not). Watching that day in and day out was nauseating and his employees lost respect for him. Although it was difficult getting another job, I am glad to be out of that type of environment.
    Maybe #11 should be don’t flirt with the hired help in front of your employees.

  • MgS

    There is a fine line between giving “A-list” players appropriate freedom and creating a “cult of the hero” model. The former engages people appropriately, the latter results in a closed culture where a handful get all the rewarding tasks and everybody else is treated poorly.

    Your “A-list” talent aren’t “A-list” if they cannot or will not engage with others in a collaborative fashion.

  • Diana Anderson

    I used Humetrics for years and think Mel Kleiman is fantastic. Thanks for the article.

  • been there, heard that

    The not so new motto for American employers: ” The more you lie, the higher you’ll fly”
    “get rid of the experienced, educated American employee, hire an illegal”
    “Ass kissers do the talking, honest workers do the walking”
    “Fire all employees with clean records, hire repeat felons, and pay them more”
    Fabricate your buddies background check, you know, the one with 3 DUI’s, 3 wives, 10 kids and never pays a dime in child support, oh, and by the way, make sure to immediately promote him to senior vice president and give him 6 months paid vacation, up front!

    • J. Cap.

      Your comment has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with the article. Perhaps a forum for disgruntled workers would be more appropriate. There are nearly as many seas out there as there are fish… 😉

  • Flying Dutchman

    Glad to see the author gets it. Now I need to find an employer that gets it.

  • jane

    Awesome and very very true.

  • victor

    too bad my last employer was anything but good……..

  • viraj jaiswal

    what to do to minimise cheating,bribery,and internal politics specialy to side line good workers.

  • viraj jaiswal

    i like analytical comments ,as employes are our biggest asset.

  • TH

    I agree with the comment about making good employees do all the work. The worst is when the manager punishes the good employee because the bad employee has not done his or her work. That’s my favourite one.

  • Oc

    Great article. At present time I’m a ‘quitter’ because my company and boss have never applied any of the 10 points. Maybe I have to anonymously forward it. ;-))

  • TornSock

    If you’re good at jour job, you’ll always be needed and you can hardly take a vacantion. If you’re not, you can get on vacation whenever you want. You’re useless anyway. And you also get promoted, because you can’t do the current job right, but It’s hard to get you fired either.

  • enenienwite cons

    another example: you r so good that we don’t want to hire another hand that may compromise the excellence u r imparting (as a French teacher). the fellow speaks 5 other languages well, but those teaching English only earn more than him – in an anglophone country! Dumb admin, isn’t it

  • AC Linn

    I think the worst part of “A-players being obliged to work with C-players.” Is a) that the A-player is under a constant debilitating strain – working with C-players – who are not only doing a second-rate job, but also “resent” e.g. the service excellence that the A-player provides to (all-important) customers. (On a “who does he/she think he/she is?” basis). And b) that the MD, CEO or owner of the company concerned is usually totally unaware of the (vital) role that the A-player is playing, in not only maintaining existing custom, but in increasing it.
    And, as such, long before the A-player quits in disgust – if he or she is a (mainly) telephonic, frontline Customer Services & Care consultant, for example. I believe it is of the utmost importance for the marketing or sales manager of any company, to call their company and undertake their own “mystery caller/customer” survey on a regular basis, to ascertain the (overall) service level provided by each employee, and in that way discover (or decide) for themselves whether THEY (as potential customers) would be interested in buying the products, or in using the services THEIR company provides!

  • Michelle

    I might still be at my company if they had followed any 5 of these rules!

    • Michelle

      or should I say didn’t follow…

  • w

    Who is more valuable to an organization, a cleaning lady working hard and having fun doing its job or a salesman who really only works because he gets paid.

  • AC Linn

    I think the overall message is completely clear, and has been for a long while. Namely, one of the main reasons why an “employer’s market” exists today, is because too few (especially) young people have grasped that they can (and need to be) “self-employed.”
    And have not stopped to ask themselves a) “What do I LOVE doing?” Or b) how can I use my (natural) talents and gifts* (*NB: every human being is born with at least one), or learned skills, etc., to go into business for myself? And work, e.g., as a virtual (independent) contractor, etc. and earn thousands of dollars. Like so many, e.g., young Indian virtual website developers, etc., have been (and are) doing.
    Also, look around (in their communities) and identify needs that no one else is filling, e.g., providing an organic fruit-tree cultivation and (heirloom) vegetable and herb planting (and maintenance) service for householders? Becoming a personal online (or offline) shopper? A private driver, or provide a motorcycle (car) pick-up and delivery service? The list goes on…and the time to start exploring unique (self-sustaining) opportunities is (right) now.

  • Stan Rains

    Cronyism and Nepotism seem to be a greater hindrance to growth and retention of top employees in both small business and large corporate operations than most of the items listed in this article.

  • @julio_gonzalez

    Mel should have made the whole post sarcastic or the whole content positive but switching back and forth in between paragraphs creates disconnections… good post overall though

  • http://www.facebook.com/rebecca.j.imre Rebecca Jones Imre

    I agree completely and have another addition to your list: If you work for an agency that is managed by the government, such as a school, blame every stupid decision on “policy” and tell your employees there is nothing you can do to change it. This one has actually been used for so long that most people now believe it.

  • doug

    @ere-6f6d7ea73f8b34354a3ecc69f872abfd:disqus, Your article raises good points. I think the effect would be stronger if you either stuck with straight discourse or with sarcasm. Mixing (e.g. contrast 3. with 4.) is confusing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/TomViolin Tom Hansen

    This article has some great points. However, I would strongly encourage the author to go over it and be much clearer in the text after each point, to distinguish between whether the text is a “do” or a “don’t.” I’m reminded of an old SNL skit, in which a nuclear power plant manager retires, and leaves his employees with the instruction, “You can’t add too much water to the reactor.” When a crisis hits, they don’t know whether he meant that too much water is bad, or that there’s no such thing as “too much” water, so you add all you want.

  • Janetn

    I must say the add on comments are hilarious! I think ( though it’s really not funny) this should be made into a book titled “The title of the article…#…”. I would buy itn a heartbeat.

  • WhoCares

    I had a boss, actually a VP that used to have spies throughout the region. They would report to the VP anything that happened and he acted on the report as if they were all valid. Several people got fired for being on the wrong side of the spy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1659992296 Eric Kunz

    Sadly, those who *should* get the message here, probably will not.

  • Vic Firewood

    Great article. My wife just quit her job for many of the above reasons and no surprise, she found a new job pretty much instantly. She is a rock star (and a total babe) and won’t do mediocre. She is very sad to leave as there are a hand full of rock stars at her job that she loves working with and has spent the past 6 months hoping for resolution. However the 3 or 4 C-players are ruining it for everybody else, are a “cancer” to her workplace and she is fed up doing extra work that is a result of their mediocrity without recognition. It has become so bad at her job that people are even taking credit for work she does. She made a bit of a stink about this and their manager had the opportunity to rectify the situation and instead asked the person who stole her credit how they can do it better next time. What is this? Kindergarten? Rule 4 made me chuckle.

  • Jobiro

    My boss tells me to copy him on emails I sent out 🙂 and let him know when I will be coming to work each day..
    I need to send him that article lol
    Can’t wait to quit!

  • Stacy

    Great article. My manager is doing all 10 and I’ve 1 foot out of the door.

  • sldghmr

    9a. Promote the C player to make room for another A player worker bee… Oh, now C player is in charge, goodbye.

    • David Hesson

      Lot’s of companies do this 🙂 One of my coworkers had a theory – promote the (presumably lazy) C to some unimportant role to make them feel good and give them less work so they have less things they can screw up. It’s especially prevalent at companies where they’re afraid of being sued for firing employees.

  • propensive

    Worked hard did my job took on work of others and cleaned up their messes. Did not complain unless it was obviously a wrong doing against the ethics of the company. Did not stick my nose in others business or start rumors. Did not call in sick. Yet got laid off due to age and sick time accrued. If there was any other reason I was not informed. i even asked if I had done anything wrong. Budget cuts you know is now the catch all.

  • piscesgirl

    #7 gets me! Does it really pay to work harder, longer and produce more when new management jokes about recognition needs in the form of a trophy? Foolishly insulting!

  • Fred Farkel

    Must agree with many others, the wording of items #5, #4, and #2 left me saying “Huh?”.

    In my experience, the disintegration of corporate loyalty, both employer/employee and employee/employer, began, or at least coincided, with the renaming of “Personnel” to “Human Resources” in the ’90s.

  • mary

    A valuable message for managers but a poorly structured article. I needed to re-read to get some points which is never a sign of a well written piece

  • Johnty

    Excellent common sense advice, especially the exit interview. Very good

  • Frustrated

    Our new CEO just sent out an email recognizing the incredible stress levels in our organization. Then told us, instead of helping us deal with it, we are to find, and lean on, those with more experience to help us do our jobs. That means those of us who are already carrying the dead weight in the office are now OFFICIALLY EXPECTED to take on even more dead weight. How is that acceptable?
    Employees are dropping like flies. On the bright side, everyone has finally found the time to update and polish their resumes.

  • nickinoz

    i’ve got one to add: ensure that every single little thing you do is written up in an email that is sent to everyone. DO NOT allow people to phone you to discuss the answer those five emails you sent them asking for an answer to different things in each one in a single reply to you, and also DO NOT allow them to walk up to your desk to talk about thise issues. when they phone you or speak to you face to face, ask them to go back to their desk and ask them to please answer each individual email they sent you to make it ‘easier to track’ for them. in this way much of your day will be taken up answering inane emails in depth with deep explanation which will take up at least 1/3 of your workday, and pressure you to try to catch up on the actual responsibilities for which you were hired to complete.

  • Unknown

    I have a better one. This is what my previous work did to the undesired: When a very difficult work comes, have the unknowns do the figuring out. Once it’s mastered and almost done, have the favored ones continue the work and put their names as the one that completed it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000751666267 Joyce Clemons

      Sounds like a government job under a spoils system… useless idiots hired as middle managers because they helped a winning political campaign. Not because they are qualified. Envelope lickers.

  • Kaya

    Mr. Kleiman’s statement’s points refer to text book theories of ‘nice to do list’, which does not reflect the practice at many work place at all. I am sad to state that having worked in not for profit sector over 25 years, there is no difference to private, profit sector apart from the promotion jargon…..

  • Art

    O how true. I resigned my manager’s post for this very reason. Upper management broke every one of these rules and then they never understood why we could not get good people to even apply for job openings. After 2 1/2 years of getting no where, I left to start my own business. Running on tight margins and loving it.

  • CMEGrantPros

    For all of us who have worked for companies with the same negative experiences, why do some of you feel the need to “kill the messenger”? Perhaps you work for a company with the miserable corporate culture he describes and you’re bitter. I thought this
    was a very good piece — obviously written by someone with a great deal of
    experience and knowledge in his industry.

  • http://soviut.myopenid.com/ Soviut

    I agree with everything but the retention policy. In animation, where I come from, studios grow and shrink organically depending on how many shows they’re currently doing. The ones that stay in business by making the revolving door policy work. They do this by having a pipeline that relies on as little tribal knowledge as possible, making it easy to jump in and out of depending on the talent that’s available at the time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Beth-Staropoli/1060970272 Beth Staropoli

    Excellent points for employers and managers. Too many professionals allow some or all of these behaviors to impede their leadership due to employee turnover.

  • Andrew

    I have a good one. Pay your employees!
    I had a 3 month job, for 2 of them my now x-boss didn’t pay me.
    When I went to him asking for my pay, he fired me.

  • Ray Depp

    tell them you are the top of the class but only going to pay slightly better than average, that’s IBM famous line

  • Roger William

    I work for T-Mobile, recently one of our managers was let go even though he was one of the best manager with absolutely outstanding performance his only issue was he was not bending to put false information in weekly report. Ever since this incident, the only thing I think is if T-Mobile can do something like this injustice, and there is no system to have these type of unethical directors on check should I even be working there, I know I have to till I find something else.
    My point is this type of unethical behavior and having a system that support such injustice is also a good example for an employee to look outside

  • employee

    Is this Oracle’s description?

  • Jackie

    I’ve led large teams up to 700 and find your tips spot on. Doing these things ensure strong commitment and follower ship which can yield breakthrough results both for the company and the employee.

  • Math Guru

    I’m so glad that where I work I am treated as valuable. We have faculty who have been here for 20 to 30 years and seem destined to stay and I aim to be one of them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bexcookiemama Becky Hoyt

    The company I work for puts mediocre people in management posititions. The hardworkers are then forced to train these substantard people in those management jobs.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000751666267 Joyce Clemons

      …and then the substandtard people, whose butt you save every day, treat you poorly as kind of a veiled threat..this is one of the most common and frustrating experiences in the work place.

  • Fredges

    I don’t agree with number four. It recommends not asking for input? Ask! But it’s up to you to use it. What I can’t stand is that my goals go up every year by X%, when my pay can only increase by 3% TOPS! What’s my incentive to work harder?? I’ve been told for the past several years, “We wish we could give you more, promote you, etc.” But there’s no money for growing staff, no management positions will be available, no growth opportunities at all. This place is GREAT for those who love the status quo…. not me.

  • yojoyojo

    This is excellent! Thank you!

  • Higgs

    Great True. I know companies which are breaking about.. 11 of those 10 rules. And yet they are surprised each time someone flees “why are you leaving, we are such a great..”. This should be printed in BIG font and posted on the wall.

  • http://twitter.com/multitouch Harry van der Veen

    Excellent post, thanks.

  • Chris

    As a freelance IT Service Manager of many years experience these ten tips are embedded into my management style purely as a matter of common sense and credo. However, not everyone grasps the intelligence of them. I recently had my contract terminated by a megalomaniacal Director who employed me solely to bully her staff into submission rather than as I do naturally, work alongside my staff. It just proves that some people are promoted to the level of their own incompetence and after seven months arguing with a rabid lunatic, I’m so glad to be back in the real world.

  • http://www.facebook.com/illutian.kade.7 Illutian Kade

    That moment when you realize you’d make a good boss. O_o
    -Having read those 10 points, I can safely say I do none of those.

  • rajendra

    May be all are treated equally but while considering for promotion the better performers will move up

  • lingum

    11. Don’t hire Harvard MBAs

  • glad I quit

    I think my ex-boss wrote this – or maybe he was the provocation for it being written

  • Guest

    Really nice article, I am employee and also suffering a same kind of things on my work like others who commented on this article.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lee.s.hoi Lee Siu Hoi

    At my first training course in management 30 years ago, the head of the business came in and said, “if you go into an office and have something urgent that you want to get done, look for the busiest person and give the job to that person…..”
    He is right! If you are busy, chances are you are good and hence when something need to be done, it would end up in your court.
    My advice, you have limited time so trade up on the things that you can afford to do and learn to say no at the earliest time. Good managers would not be offended by that.
    If you have not learnt how to say no nicely, then you are not fit to become a manager yourself. Your performance will deteriorate and you are just another employee.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lee.s.hoi Lee Siu Hoi

    Top managers always simplify life for themselves. Individuals might think they themselves are the best employees just because they work harder. This is not how top managers see things – top employees make life easy for top managers and hence they are invited to join the rank.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lee.s.hoi Lee Siu Hoi

    What is “the Best” anyway? If I have a car park attendant job, do I need to hire a rocket scientist to do it?! If my offering is a job for the average person who just want to feed the family, then I would be pleased if a bright job holder find something better and left the job. All I want from the person is that he/she perform what is required whole heartedly while still on the job. If the person needs the job to pay the bills and I need the person to do the work, we have a deal. Why make everything so complicated?

  • Dr. George White

    oh hummm…. sounds like all the obvious stuff…most organizations recognize good performance…so it’s a no-brainer to imply that you should..Ditto for the other points. While these 10 are good advice, they miiss the non-obvious, more important lessons. of providing meaning… providing friendships… providing security….larger purpose…healthy working conditions.

  • Kunigal khanum

    Or do like what heartplace does, whoever does just dump all the work no help no raise abuse their work ethics and then when they are frustruated and leave dont give exit interview so they may say negative things

  • http://www.facebook.com/rdaniel.pace.9 R Daniel Pace

    It really is simple. Hire great people, pay the best wage, point them at the objective, get out of their way.

  • http://twitter.com/proudtrisha Trisha Proud

    I am pleased to say that finally employers are realizing the value of employee “engagement” and the cost of “hire remorse”! These are great tips, sadly still only followed by a handful of employers; but it’s good to keep putting the message out there!

  • Benjamin Wilson

    These wisdom tips are very good.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jd-Free/100001561202664 J.d. Free

    These rules apply to governments as well as to employers. Many of them apply VERY well to what our government is doing (wrong).

  • http://www.facebook.com/kc.merrill Kc Merrill

    Great Article.

    Points #9 and #10 really resonate with me.

  • Gumby Rules

    I was told that it took me 45 SECONDS to do what could have been done in 30!!!!!!!!

  • Tom

    #10 has been my leadership mantra for years! Had to chuckle when I saw the list. So true and I have had it as an interview question on occasion. “How do you ensure you treat your employees fairly, Tom?” Simple: I treat them differently – as individuals.

  • gulag

    I was employed in an executive position with Huawei. Had a great insight into how communism, through innumerable “work” committees impacts on the workplace.
    Communist business management theory nails all ten points. There are a few missing points though. 11. instil fear for being outspoken, 12. make high performers a target for criticism for taking ownership/accountability 13. worklife balance = total dedication to the business (see Party)…..etc

  • Anonymous

    Here are a few more.
    1. Trim staff to minimum so that workers can’t keep up unless they work unpaid overtime
    2. Announce the company’s 100th consecutive profitable quarter on Employee Appreciation Day but have the president speak at length about profitability and do nothing to acknowledge employees contribition that day. (After you make employees serve on a committee to plan Employee Appreciation Activities but since the execs can’t make a decision — do nothing. Or give away 10 free movie tickets via drawing at a location with 700 employees)
    3. Set a corporate goal to make the company known for local philanthropy. Schedule the philanthropic activities during the company’s national conference and force already over-worked employees do all the philanthropic work on top of their jobs tasks and do not invite the employees who donated their time to the event. Then give the execs all the credit.
    4. Make a policy that execs get unlimited vacation and have them run around the sea of cubicles talking loudly about how they get unlimited vacation and how they are going to Cabo and will be back just in time to go to the philanthropy gala that the peons make happen but are not invited to.

  • dejo oyeyeiola

    very educative ,inspiring,resourceful and corrective training school for H-R-M’s

  • Abused in MA

    Amazing. My company still beats the call center hands down. I work in food manufacturing (for one of the largest company in the US) run by a bunch of ‘Good ‘Ol Boys’. They are stupid and insecure. In order to get and stay on the top (bec they don’t have the brains), they are mean and cruel to the best and smart employees, who they fear they will lose their jobs to. They not only expect their best employees to do more work without additional reward, they usually either drive them out or set them up and then fire them -if the employees don’t quit first. They keep the stupid, lazy employees because they are no threat. The managers, supervisors and team leads can do any thing they want and get away with it. They visicously harass, scream, bark at; Physically threaten and grab the employees; they take three lunches and take personal calls and have little work to do; come in late and leave early; change the rules constantly to favor them and their mistakes; and get away with it, no matter how illegal, because they cover for each other, and blame the employees. The employees get written up and then get bad reviews.

  • http://www.facebook.com/beegal Alyce Beman

    Remember to pose these issues in the form of questions about company culture, vs complaints, when you go to your inevitable future job interviews. Ask about incentives and bonuses for extra work; ask about team building and retraining for subpar work-you will recognize a bad situation when you see it again.

  • http://www.facebook.com/inwachukwu Immanuel Nwachukwu

    Sorry to be off topic, but I’m not sure if the sarcastic/reverse psychology approach is working well for this article.
    I got fairly confusing middway through, even though I knew what the approach was.
    In fact I think the writer, Kleiman, got confused himself on #4 and #2!

  • Cliff

    This is so sad – I have gone through the same thing. I am sorry for all of us. Is there anything we can do about it?

  • Tiffany

    Funny, at least 7 of these things were the major factors in my leaving my last job… And a VP of that company was someone who shared this.

  • Michelle King

    Well written article. I wish that this was mandatory reading for all managers.

  • Dunadan

    Nice; unfortunately it is a non-tribute to our field that I was taught this same information 30 years ago and we’re still trying to do something with it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/erik.scherer.1 Erik Scherer

    11. Treat them like children – don’t trust their decisions and instead dictate. 12. Allow very obvious politics, favoritism unrelated to performance, and appearances to dictate who gets rewarded. 13. Allow (or even plan for?!) a tangible divide between management and sole contributors.

  • Teri Lindeberg


  • BizJetTech

    O so true Treat how you would like to be Treated.Make them part of the TEAM That employee would bend over backwards,not watching the clock, when the next break is or time to go home. Most employees are not mentioned when they do outstanding work. Yet they are called out on when He/She makes a mistake or other issues!! This a best not the best course of business practice. Be part of the solution not dissolution.

  • http://twitter.com/UsefulisUsable Brandon McCartney

    Those last three suggestions for management are crucial. When the people you’ll be working for tell you you’re valuable it makes you want to become even more valuable.

  • htgoodie

    What about this? A
    position comes open and I’m force to work that position and my position for a
    total of 13 months (2 different times) and my boss tells me he’s looking for someone
    with more experience, but hires someone without a drop of work experience. Plus
    I have to train the new person and continue to do both workloads. Wait a
    minute, with a 20,000 pay gap. Could this be a reason why I’m looking for
    another job???? (Oh by the way we have the same degree)

  • http://www.facebook.com/kimberly.whipkeybohanon Kimberly Whipkey Bohanon

    Fantastic Article. My husband and I are both CEO’s and have found that this information is “spot on”. We’ve both worked in these types of environments and found it very unrewarding. Let those who are exceptional shine and reward them accordingly. This can help to inspire others to rise to that “A Game”standard. It also builds trust in leadership. They believe if they work hard, their efforts will be appreciated and rewarded.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000199432251 Rebecca Nixon

    To 10 Ways to Guarantee Readers Will Quit: I don’t need 10, one will do – repeatedly switch between being genuine and sarcastic in your remarks. That way, people will have to read and re-read what would otherwise have been a very easily comprehensible and helpful article.

  • walkingman717

    “Want something done? Then give it to a busy person”. That’s a strategy deserving to be in this Top 10 Ways… The best people get burned out while the “work sociopaths” cruise along on autopilot.

  • http://www.facebook.com/zane.v.zane Zane V

    11. Monthly performance reviews that don’t take into account an employes situation(illness for example) but only focuses on numbers.

  • MusingsOfa21yroldfool

    This was impeccably well written from an employees perspective and why I stay with my current employer (there only issue is a few dumb rules) rather than some other companies I have been trialled with. Not to mention a good chuckle. number 1. , 4. and 6. really hit home to me.

  • nigwut

    what a poorly written article

  • Henry

    Is the unbolded text what we’re supposed to do or not do? The format of this article is a bit confusing.

  • Amy Schiller

    Finally, someone who gets it…..

  • Dabraat

    Or change the rules, commission plan, or other key things right after you get hired. Or fire the person who just hired you, and give you a new boss who is totally different, meaner, more bossy, etc. You just quit a perfectly good job to go somewhere better, and now its worse than ever…

  • Tom Gimbel

    These seem like simple things but you’d be surprised how many companies don’t do them. Have fun. Reward your people. Find out what motivates them and use that as incentives. I share a few other tips on my blog: http://pastfive.typepad.com/pastfive/2012/03/four-ways-to-retain-employees.html

  • Wiggle

    Well, the good employees of America are MAD as hell at how things are being operated… Time for them to start their own companies and run these corporate IDIOTS into the ground…. It is already happening.

  • Highland26

    Allow targeting, bullying and mobbing to make a good employee miserable. Play politics with fellow politicians and let those who just come in and do a great job to be shunned.

  • Alex

    Prime old-school mentality eh?

  • Todd Eakes

    11. They like to give relatives nice sweaters for Christmas 12. To pass the time 13 … oh wait … thought this was the list for top reasons good people quilt … my bad !

  • How did I get here

    I find that sycophants, get promoted, get raises, do the least work but seem to be everywhere in Corporate America. I find it is the least needed talent in the job place, but management goes out of its way to promote and reward it.

  • Lt Donn

    What is so sad is these ideas are far from new…this strategy has been known in the work-place for decades, and has been used successfully by some of the best companies…so why do we still have companies treating their employees like dirt??? just does not make any good (business) sense at all

  • Espen Abusdal

    It’s really not easy to classify such a middle good human as myself. Some have tried to do it, but i think that this question is too hard. I advice rem of Jesus Christ to everybody. My Family are Good People. We work on the subject of the World.

  • Espen Abusdal

    The Patience Must Be Used in Every Task. In In In(rememberance) I did Everything.

  • Espen Abusdal

    Worlds discover not controllable tensions from our wisdoms’ smaller Wasp Holes, that never will get stuck with our bad Luck when it comes to no information(Tana Rongen’s Student:Espen Endre Abusdal..Forever is not Stupid, all though America is a Indian Called Espen Endre Elf Abusdal that belongs to Olaven and Liv Andre Døsen’s Louis Lane.

  • Eldon Lile

    To help alleviate the lack of qualified people in the construction industry, I have proposed the following.

    I see the need and wish to fill the spot for, for training construction electrical workers. Having operated my own business for 20 years and ran company,s and projects for others. If you research construction needs you will see the lack of qualified craftsmen. Myself asked for construction electricians and received 19 men who I was told were qualified,. However none could cut, thread, are bend, conduit. This is only one example.

    I propose to school & train men that are interested in learning the trade, here locally, to prepare them for stateside and overseas work. The need is great. Specifically electrical work in construction, some unions have said schools but restrict the number of trainees, why ? to protect their members with no thought to the future.

    I have 50 yrs in the trade both as master electrician, engineer, and contractor, and knowing the business from start to finish, can apply that knowledge in a way to prepare trainees for actual work conditions. I have worked in 46 of our states, plus, Canada, mexico, arabia, Albania, Angola, Turkey, Kazakhstan, etc, and have a personal knowledge of what is needed.

    This would be a continuing training programs, using myself and at the start 1 more qualified person. The school would be in Russellville, arkansas, starting in a small building to train, 10 people at once, in pipe bending, wire pulling, wire termination, controls, wire and conduit sizing.Plus added training in welding so they can weld their own brackets & supports.

    Soon after the people started my classes, they could ask and get an apprentice electrician permit from the state, which would soon allow them to seek employment, some of the students could be electricians looking to increase their knowledge.

    At the beginning we would start with basic electricity, and beginning pipe bending, moving along to farther study and the bending process.

    Advertising to different contractors, of this program, and seeking their input for needs. And perhaps later for money support and materials.

    To move along with this project, I would need an education, & training grant. To be used for a small building, buying tools of the trade, reading and teaching materials for the students, the program up.

  • Donder33

    11. Being out of balance between doers and tellers in a department. i.e. I work under 54 tellers(managers, Directors, SrDirectors, and VPs) from my SrVP down but there are only 35 of us individual contributor/doers.

  • Jackie B

    My last job guaranteed everyone would quit. From hiring new people that sat there doing nothing at a higher wage to promoting new people to supervisor positions.

    I got pigeon holed at the lowest position while still being forced to train new people. I left.

  • william

    a lot of people dont really believe because you have a record doesn’t make you a bad person,and regardless something i did far back as college shouldn’t hunt me for the rest of my life.but the system is wrong about this and this need to be said.in my case after my DUI case and after college,i noticed each time my employers did a background check i was been let-go,i became really depressed,i couldn’t work at the place i deserve or desire because of something i did years ago,which doesn’t define who i am today.till a friend from work who had a similar experience told me i could have my records disappear,sounded like magic right? well it wasn’t. she introduced me to a group of elite who actually got my records clean by hacking into every place that shows up i ever had a record and each time any of my employers check my past records now,its clean,you can try out eliterealhack((AT))gmail((DOT))com today to have your records deleted .you can thank me later.they guarantee 100% money back.this really helped me a lot and i think it can help someone here too.

  • Ken Froehlke

    People are under the mistaken impression that hard work alone gets promotions. Especially in middle and upper management, this is just not true. First, you need credentials to open the door. This usually means an adequate degree and/or certification(s). Even more than being credentialed, you need to be networked and well liked in the circle you are trying to break into. Relationships with the people responsible for filling these positions cannot be understated. You must understand, two levels up from your position, and nobody really knows what you do or how well you do it, and frankly, they are not particularly interested. One level up from you is the person responsible for forwarding this information, and that position has no incentive to do so in a competitive environment. This is why people better at relationships, who are aggressive and make waves wind up doing better. Upper levels are interested in bottom lines. In many cost center based careers, performance just doesn’t have enough visibility and impact on the bottom line to matter. Leadership and morale boosting skills are just not valued as highly as shrewd cost-cutting business management in a contracting economy. In other words, being a good worker bee doesn’t get you anywhere but worker bee jobs. Unfortunately, “lazy” workers are often times spending their time and energy on things like networking and advanced degrees or certifications. Then, they move ahead leaving behind bewildered peer worker bees wondering what they did wrong. Don’t get me wrong. Hard work is good. But don’t let it become an end unto itself. And don’t underestimate the power of socializing well with higher level people.