“Stop Paying Me So Much!”
Unique Reasons for Quitting
A better job opportunity isn’t the only reason employees head for the door, a new survey of advertising and marketing executives shows. The survey was conducted by The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service providing marketing, advertising, creative and Web professionals on a project basis. Those surveyed were asked, “What is the most unusual reason you’ve heard an employee give for quitting his or her job?“ Following are some of their responses:
“He didn’t like the smell of the office.”
“He was making too much money and didn’t feel like he was worth it.”
“He said he was over-employed.”
“She moved to Italy because she didn’t like the outcome of the election.”
“She didn’t like the lighting in our building.”
“He couldn’t get up in the morning.”
“She wanted to sunbathe on the beach in Europe.”
“He had to join the Witness Protection Program.”
“She quit to go to Hollywood and become a movie star.”
“He left to join the circus.”
Then there was the employee who had a silent exit strategy: “He just walked out without a peep. To this day we have no idea why he left, nor were we able to contact him.”
“These examples are light-hearted, but excessive turnover can take a toll on productivity and morale,” said Tracey Fuller, executive director of The Creative Group. “Employee retention is a chief concern for businesses, particularly as the job market becomes more competitive. Conducting exit interviews can help managers determine whether a situation is unique, or if there’s a workplace problem that needs to be addressed in order to discourage additional staff members from leaving.”
America’s Infrastructure Crumbling
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) recently released its “2005 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure” and assigned a cumulative grade of D for the condition of our nation’s roads, bridges, drinking water systems and other public works. There has been little to no improvement since they were graded an overall D+ in 2001, with some areas sliding toward failing grades.
“We need to establish a comprehensive, long-term infrastructure plan as opposed to our current ‘patch and pray’ method, in order to ensure a better quality of life for everyone,” said ASCE President William P. Henry, P.E., F.ASCE. To remedy America’s current and looming problems, ASCE estimates an investment need of $1.6 trillion over a five-year period from all levels of government and the private sector.
Grades range from a high of C+ for solid waste, to a low of D- for drinking water, navigable waterways and wastewater. Infrastructure security received an incomplete. “While the security of our nation’s critical infrastructure has improved since Sept. 11, 2001, the information needed to accurately assess its overall status is not readily available to engineering and design professionals,” said Henry. “However, along with capacity and condition, it is crucial to consider infrastructure security in any discussion concerning solutions for improving our nation’s infrastructure.”
The 2005 Report Card was assessed by an advisory council of 24 civil engineers representing a broad spectrum of civil engineering disciplines. Each category was evaluated on the basis of: condition and performance as reported by federal sources; capacity versus need; and current and pending investment of state, local and federal funding versus need. For more information, including state infrastructure statistics, visit www.asce.org/reportcard.
Are You a High Impact Middle Manager?
Corporate management expert and author Lisa Haneberg explains that the best middle managers do not manage people; they manage workflow, processes, systems and communication. To optimize performance, a middle manager’s goals should be to: get work done well and on time; ensure the right people are in the right jobs; and facilitate an environment where improvement and creativity happen. Here are her five Performance Principles for High Impact Middle Managers:
Ensure that everyone knows what he or she is expected to achieve. Middle managers should tell managers and team members what is required and what they are responsible for. Let them know you expect any questions or problems to be promptly communicated.
- Have regular conversations, in clear and simple terms, about how the employee is or is not meeting expectations. Good managers know how to discuss performance concerns in a matter-of-fact way to avoid emotional distress for both parties. Use regular feedback, preferably daily, instead of building up to a major meeting.
- Find ways to maximize intrinsic motivation. In order to move from mediocre to outstanding performance, employees need to have their hearts and minds fully engaged in the work they’re doing.
- Take decisive and proactive action to deal with poor performers. Keeping a non-performer causes the individual and the team to flounder, and affects productivity and morale.
- Be very picky when hiring. Do not settle on someone who is not the right fit, just so you can fill a vacancy. Collaborate with human resources to clearly define the person you need, and spend the time necessary to weed out unsuitable candidates.