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TCMPiConfessions of a Job Seeker


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Will your employees confess your sins during their next job interview? Come to think of it, why are they interviewing with another company in the first place?

I call it the “confession moment”. As a hiring manager in high-tech companies for over thirty years, I’ve interviewed hundreds of candidates. The confession I’m referring to comes in response to my question: “Why are you considering leaving your current employer?”

The answers are varied, from “My wife just got a new job in the area, and I need to relocate,” to “I’ve been here long enough, and I need a change.” But most candidates tell me something they’ll rarely tell their current manager – “I just don’t feel appreciated in my current job.”

When I ask why they feel that way, they’ll explain that their current employer fails to:

  • Compensate them fairly for the job they are doing, or
  • Include them in decisions that affect their work, or
  • Recognize their achievements and accomplishments.

Asked why they haven’t told their current employer how they feel, most reply that they don’t want to rock the boat or be perceived as a whiner, and importantly, that they don’t think they should have to. They’re right. They shouldn’t have to. It’s your job to make sure that your employees know you appreciate them and their efforts.

All three – compensation, inclusion and recognition – are forms of income. Now, it’s easy to think about salary, bonuses and commission as income, and most of us proudly proclaim in job postings that our compensation packages are “market leading” or “competitive.” But, inclusion and recognition are income, too – psychic income. How do you rate as an employer when it comes to psychic income?

No matter what level manager you are, first-line supervisor or CEO, you know that your success depends on your ability to attract, motivate and retain your staff. Of course, compensation plays a big role in all three. But inclusion and recognition are powerful actors when it comes to motivating and retaining your best performers, and a sincere small investment in both can maximize and protect the return on your compensation expenses.

Inclusion can be as simple as asking your staff how their jobs can be done better before telling them what to do differently. The next time you come up with a great idea about how to improve your team’s performance, rather than announcing the change, why not start by asking them how they would approach the problem? What could it hurt? First, they may come up with a better idea than yours. Second, they might come up with your idea – but now they will have an investment in making it work. At worst, they might come up with just the opposite of what you think should be done – but now you can deal with the objection in advance, and lead them to your idea. Regardless of the outcome, your staff will know that you ask for and value their input. They’ll feel included and appreciated.

When it comes to recognition, a simple pat on the back, or public “Well done!” goes a long way, and a handwritten note from the boss acknowledging the achievement or accomplishment will become a cherished possession. It’s proof that you noticed, and appreciated, their efforts on your behalf.

Consider the impact that a program celebrating lifetime milestones such as the birth or adoption of a child, marriage, years of service or retirement would have on your employees. A sincere, thoughtful note and a meaningful gift appropriate for the milestone, and consistent with your values are powerful reminders that you care about and appreciate the progress your staff is making in their lives at work and at home.

Compensation, Inclusion and Recognition – all three matter. Make it a priority to show your staff that you appreciate them and their efforts. If you do, they’ll reward you with renewed efforts and their continued loyalty.

About Our Guest Contributor

Peter Weyman

Peter Weyman is TCMPi’s CEO. He joined TCMPi in 2009 and has extensive experience in hiring, managing, and motivating employees in a wide variety of assignments – from tech startup firms to Fortune 500 firms.

» View Peter’s Linkedin Page

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