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Effort…

I attended a webinar recently sponsored by The CFO Alliance ®: The CFO’s Talent Mandate – Linking Talent to Value in 2019.  According to the speakers, CFO’s need to take a more active role in what has traditionally been the Human Resource Department’s space.  I’m not sure why the focus from Finance, but competing for your employees’ hearts and minds takes a village.

One with passion is better than forty who are merely interested. 

Tom Connellan

The research cited was sobering…  “Employers expect 45% of their newly hired college grads to remain under two years”; “CPA firms regularly see 3 and out”; many companies have a “Culture of Leaving”; “Less than a third of U.S. workers are involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their current work and workplace.”

They discussed the concept of “effort”.  When I Google “effort” (which was effortless), the machines say this:

a vigorous or determined attempt

Not very personalized, true?  The CFO’s suggested we think about our employees’ effort in a much more personalized way if we expect to compete for the level of engagement needed to succeed in today’s global economy.  They started with these two dimensions of “effort”:

Required effort

Such as operating a device or using technology; the most basic requirement of doing one’s job.

vs.

Discretionary effort

The effort over and above “required effort”; motivationally and emotionally driven.

Ok then, if more than two thirds of today’s employees are not enthusiastic; not committed to their work; nor their company (with many expecting to leave soon anyway), what do we do about it?

Well, I felt The CFO Alliance ® fell short with their recommendations… “66% will bring better dashboards to HR to support KPIs enterprise wide”; “43% indicated that their involvement to develop, manage and differentiate their customer relationships will continue to increase”; “33% will allocate more of their time, energy and effort to meeting and understanding the ever-changing customer needs…”

Two out of three say dashboards are the answer?  Less than half are committed to making a customer-focused effort?  That sounds like “required effort” to me; you?

Could it be that employees will respond if we offer those little, human, personalized mementos of appreciation?  Could it be that machine-generated, KPIs aren’t the answer?

Forty years ago I was a junior sales rep at ADP in a draw vs. commission-only job.  No base salary – if I sold, we made the mortgage.  Talk about discretionary effort!

Every month, Ray Marlinga the VP and General Manager of the Chicago Region personally signed my commission statement; adding a note (“sugar” when I succeeded; “the spur” when I didn’t).  I can’t tell you how much money I made each month in commissions – but I will never forget Ray’s effort to compete for my heart and mind!

Today, I enjoy a cocktail after work that I sip from a Waterford ® Crystal rocks glass I received from Bryan Colteaux when I was the Major Accounts Sales Manager of the Year.  I can’t tell you which Presidents Club I attended that year for my team’s success – but to this day I remember the personalized recognition from those rocks glasses several times each week.

I know how we all show up on dashboards with KPIs today.  But tell me, when was the last time the head of your organization wrote you a personalized note?    Too much effort some say?  Well, at least their employees’ resignation process and related paperwork is automated.  That covers the minimal, required effort – CFO’s and HR – make.

GAP

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