Dan Sweet stream posts

“There are weeds over there too!” (Greener grass and all)

I spent some time a while back in a training for “managers of others”.  One component of the training involved salary planning as well as some commentary on motivating and retaining employees.  P&G spends a lot of money to recruit and hire its managers and would like to retain them for 30 years plus, as long as the performance is there.  Various scenarios were discussed that involved different combinations of work, location, role, rewards, management style that might deliver a positive experience for the employee.  Eventually though, we got to the “what do you do when someone says they are leaving” question.

The HR leader leading the training said that his basic approach is consistent and simple.  “There are weeds over there too!”  That is the bulk of the approach.  Help people process the fact that the things pissing them off here likely exist over there too.

As I think about my career it is easy to look at other industries or geographies and think life might be better there.  My favorite tool that I find useful to provide a reality check when I begin to think along those lines is Glassdoor.com.  If you haven’t used Glassdoor before, head on over and setup a free account.  Read employee verbatims of what they like and hate about their companies.  Read their “advice to senior management”.  See what they get paid, what their bonuses, profit sharing, etc is.  It is amazing how quickly the glow can come off of some glamorous sounding jobs when you read a half dozen reviews from people working in your function at the company that all complain about the same thing.  Whether it is nepotism, office politics, work-life balance, no raises, no career planning, terrible systems, an organizational prejudice against a certain function, an outsourcing trend, etc – WAY better to know that dynamic exists up front.

P&G has 127,000+ employees.  No matter how good of a screening job you do, there will still be some jerks in a group that big.  However, as Glassdoor demonstrates, we are now living in the age of transparency.  If organizations as a whole exhibit significant dysfunctions in their culture, people WILL find out.  I hear people (mostly from older generations) bemoan the new openness and public nature of the Internet.  I’m a big believer in the old adage that “sunshine is the best disinfectant”.  I think if you are a good person or a good company that generally does the right thing, you have nothing to fear from transparency and openness. Go check out Glassdoor.  Post a review of your company.  Go read some reviews from employees at companies you are envious of.  “Test drive” that greener grass from the safety of your couch.  Leave a comment below and let me know what you find that surprises you.

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