Bricks and Mortar

Builders intuitively know that if you are building a house then you need both bricks and mortar, and they need to be arranged in a certain way in order to construct a safe, functional and attractive residence.

The bricks provide strength, the mortar holds it all together, and the architect’s plan ensures that they are arranged in an appealing way.

This seems like a common sense approach to building.

However, when it comes to building organisations in the corporate world, this basic logic regularly gets thrown by the way side.

All too often, organisations idolize super stars. The solid bricks. Those individual over-achievers who it is believed will enable organisational success.

But how much effort is spent on giving people the philosophy, community, time and space that they need to work together in a productive and harmonious way?

And how much care is taken to ensure that the right people get placed in the right parts of the organisation for maximum effect?

People are important, and talented individuals will often be able to make a big contribution. But wonderful organisations (like buildings that are able to stand the test of time) will always be more than the sum of their parts.

Finding and retaining talent

THE ability to find and retain talented employees is vital to sustained business success.

Attractive remuneration, stock options plans, medical benefits, and other incentives are attractive enticements for any employee. But what factors are important in attracting, focusing and retaining the most productive and talented workers?

Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman, in their international bestselling book “First Break all the Rules”, present the fascinating results from two Gallup studies conducted over a 25 year period. The studies searched for those questions that would elicit positive responses from only the most loyal and talented employees.

As it turns out, the key factors for attracting and retaining the most talented workers can be captured by 12 simple questions.  The more questions that an employee can answer in the affirmative, the more likely they are to be a productive and talented worker:

  1. Do you know what is expected of you at work?
  2. Do you have the materials and equipment you need to do your work right?
  3. At work, do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?
  4. In the last seven days, have you received recognition or praise for good work?
  5. Does your supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about you as a person?
  6. Is there someone at work who encourages your development?
  7. At work, do your opinions seem to count?
  8. Does the mission/purpose of the company make you feel like your work is important?
  9. Are your co-workers committed to doing quality work?
  10. Do you have a best friend at work?
  11. In the last six months, have you talked with someone about your progress?
  12. At work, have you had opportunities to learn and grow?