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Summary: “Rewarding and (Retaining) People When Money is tight”
By: Dugue Dumond
Executive MBA Professional

It is imperative to retain talents whether a company is a big conglomeration or not in this competitive world. However, using money as an incentive to discourage employees from leaving a company for another one is “less than an option” said Christina Bielaszka.  In an article for Business Week, she has conducted a research to find out the best way of rewarding people in order to avoid losing them to the competition.
The following ideas and answers were the center of her investigation:
• “Allow personal projects”
• “Let them make an impact and develop skills”
• “Help them plan their careers”
• “Show them you respect and trust them”
• “Keep them in “The loop””

The first idea from one of the people she had interviewed stated that top executives are sometimes reluctant to allow employees to work on their “personal projects” while working for the company as if this would hamper their performance. The idea is that when a person in charge of a company allows an employee to work on “personal projects”, the latter will use the idea soon or later to benefit the organization. So, according to the interviewee, it is always a good thing for companies to encourage their workforce to put on the table things they undertake outside the corporate environment for consideration.  Merge Gupta-Sunderji, a leadership and communications consultant based in Canada.

The second answer that came out from her investigation has originated from Nancy McGuire, McGuire Consultant Group, who said that employees are more likely to be motivated when they feel like they are part of  “something big”. Nancy spoke about her experience in a foreign country where she had to deal with much younger employees. She says that those younger people were lacking experiences in delivering presentations to executives. Skills such as negotiation, diplomacy were very fundamental for the advancement of their career. So, allowing them to participate actively in corporate negotiation and/ or presentations can boost their self esteem by giving them a broad vision of their importance in the organization.

Rachelle J. Canter, the author of “Make the right career move”, on the other hand, thinks that creating opportunities while recognizing the contribution of the employees can make them more satisfied than bombarding them with “Greenbacks”. From her point of view, employees can only be loyal to your organization if you show them that you appreciate their contributions in allowing them to move on to the next level. (Wiley, 2006)

Another participant in the research says that showing respect to employees should be one of the focuses of decision makers. Respecting them is a sign that you trust their abilities to do the right things and you have confidence in them. The following examples are some of the ways employees feel when they are shown respect:
“My manager had more confidence in me than I did”.
“I was given a difficult customer to assist. The message I heard was, I trust you”.
“My boss asked me to participate in a panel on his behalf”.
The way the participant sees the aspect of showing respect in the workplace is that if you thank employees for the job they do, they will be more enthusiastic in doing their job. Cindy Ventrice, author of “Making their day! Employee recognition that works (Berrett Koelher, 2003)”

The final point in the article is that some companies may have limited financial resources, but if they show that they appreciate their employees for the value they bring to the organization, they will without any doubt retain the best of their workforce. They just need to feel “In the loop”. They want to be able to express themselves at work. Todd Dewett, author of Leadership redefined (TVA, 2008)

To conclude I would say that it is not always easy to retain talents without the knowledge of what must be done. Executives from many companies most of the times use the money as the sole motivator to keep a good workplace going on, but it is never the right way to go as you have seen in the diverse point of views from the authors mentioned above. In the book “Deep Change”, it stated that executives sometimes are feared of being replaced by younger generation and because of that they do not use the right motivation techniques to retain them. In other words, they are afraid of “Deep Change”. Changes make the world goes around. If you are afraid of them, the world will stop spinning.
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