Sunday, March 02, 2008

Talent, Retention, and the 18 Month Window

As I was catching up on my business feeds like Tom Peters when I ran across A Focus on Talent

I found it interesting that the majority of senior leaders (92%) rank hiring the right talent as important. I totally agree that hiring the right people is critical to the essence of business, but I also believe that there is a gap when it comes to retaining the people that are hired. Equal attention must be given to existing staff.

Can you recall how excited you were your first day on the job and how exhilarating you thought things would be? Do you still feel that way now? Are you doing work that truly engages you, are you sufficiently challenged to tap into all your talents, and do you feel that your opinions and ideas are valued?

The culture that organizations create has everything to do with how people feel in the organization. Time, money, and effort can be spent hiring the right person, but if the same amount of energy is not put into creating and sustain the right culture, it is like playing a slot machine—you waste a lot of money trying to get a few wins.

I was chatting with a friend of mine who I worked with at Cisco earlier in the week, who left about the same time I did. He has been through another largish hardware vendor, a startup, and is now back in a different BU. We were joking about the "18th Month" magic window after which that "new job smell" is thoroughly extinguished. And I though it was just me.

While "tragedy" is probably too strong a word, it must certainly be frustrating for 1st level managers to be on the front lines seeing the impact of choices made by their bosses or other factors outside of their control.

1 comment:

Jake Brodsky said...

Perhaps I'm the wrong guy to be commenting on this, having worked at the same place for decades.

However, retaining talent is as much a matter of giving people meaningful work that has been well planned to mesh with the work of others. In other words, people don't like spinning their wheels.

Imagine that. :-)