Mistake #8: Attempting to create employee engagement based solely on money

I once worked at small start-up company during the dot-com heyday whose basic implicit recruiting pitch was, “Join us! You’ll make a lot of money when we go public!” And join employees did, and make a lot of money they did, as well. That is, until the stock dropped and all the money they made went away and the employees soon followed suit.

The CEO began complaining to his executive team about the lack of cars in the parking lot before 9:00 a.m. or after 5:00 p.m. He also felt the low energy in the office and the lack of excitement within the company. He was concerned that people had become disengaged from the company and no longer cared about the product. 

He was, of course, absolutely right. Employees weren’t engaged and they did no longer care. The job had become just that: a job. No more, no less. Very few people were putting in the discretionary effort that is so prized by companies and which can truly make or break an organization. 

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Mistake #6 (Part 1): Thinking a good culture is something that just “happens”

The hiring of an employee is a huge investment for a company. And an obligation. Some CEOs think that by providing someone with a paycheck, they have dispensed their obligation. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, a paycheck is just the jumping off point if you truly want to create a successful company.

An organization spends a lot of money to hire superstar employees and it should make the most of it. A CEO’s goal should be to motivate and excite employees about both their role and the company at large. She needs to truly engage them in a meaningful way such that the company is  making the most of their skills, talents, and abilities. And an organization needs to lock their employees into the company so that the investment in them pays off.

To do this, you need the right company culture. You can hire all the superstars that you want but if you put them in the wrong environment, they’ll quickly become liabilities. Successful HCM means not only getting the right talent with the right skills but it also means getting it in the right place at the right time. By “right place”, I mean both the right culture and environment, as well as the right organizational design.

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