When Employees Leave for 'Greener Pastures'
Employee changes can be a pain! When experienced employees leave for “greener pastures,” or any other reason, that expertise can walk out the door with them. That is, unless you’ve implemented good control systems!
One afternoon, as I walked through the production area of our company, an employee (I’ll call Joe) stopped me. “Mr. Beyer,” he said, “I have a great idea for a new system.”
I’m thinking, “Instead of plugging into me, why doesn’t Joe use our online Suggestion for Improvement system to submit his ideas?” I was about to learn why!
Joe couldn’t wait to tell me his idea. “I think we should have a system; whereby, once a year each employee has to go work at another company for one week! I think it would increase morale and employee appreciation for our company, and for our system of cleaning.” I laughed, but was thinking how much I appreciated his appreciation of our systems of organization.
“Thanks, Joe,” I said heartily, “Great to work with someone who gets it!”
Employee Changes Can Be Teaching Moments
Whenever an employee resigns, I have a private meeting with them, to understand exactly why they are leaving. I want to make sure there’s nothing that I or anyone at our company has done to cause them to leave.
Back in 2006, I was perplexed when we had three good employees put in their resignations in a two-month period. After getting their assurance that it was nothing we had done, we shook hands and parted as friends. Given that, they headed off for what was supposed to be “greener pastures.”
Later, other employees came to me in private, saying they thought the three were “making a big mistake.” They believed they would soon realize it and come back. To make a long story short, each of the three who resigned contacted me to ask if they could come back to work. Moreover, it happened sooner than even I had suspected.
I asked them why they wanted to return, and why so soon. One by one, they expressed disappointment in what they called “total chaos” at the company where they had gone to work. “After working for your company,” they added, “we just couldn’t stand it!”
They said they couldn’t stand the disorganization and the clutter. They couldn’t stand the fact that there were no systems or means to report. Furthermore, they said there were no standard operating procedures to fix the problems they were experiencing. That was a great confirmation of what we have done here with systemization!
Good Systems Can Eliminate Employee Changes
Over the past couple of years, we have had many business leaders interested in System100; wanting to see it in action, and to tour our company. Some have asked me if I ever lose employees due to these systems. Others have expressed their doubts that their own employees would adhere to such a system.
My answer is, “Yes, some employees will leave, others will balk at adhering to a quality and service control system. However, those are the ones you ultimately don't need or want, if your company is going to succeed!”
As the story above illustrates, my employees not only work the system, but they have now become volunteer ambassadors for the systems.
My book System Busters: How to Stop Them in Your Business expresses different reasons why a company needs to be committed to a system and one of the main reasons is the employee. All of my employees are worth the extra mile!
Providing them with all the right tools to do their job, and systems that allow us to be more productive and to measure the results of our work, makes life easier for everyone. Clutter and chaos are employee morale killers.
Did I mention—Great Systems Work!
Philip Beyer, founder/president of Ebiz Products LLC and founder of Beyer Printing Inc. in Nashville Tenn., is a chronic entrepreneur, business systems analyst and consultant. Author of "System Busters: How to Stop Them in Your Business" and recipient of an InterTech Technology Award for the design and development of System100 business process management software. Beyer speaks to business owners across the country on how to bring lean, sustainable order to their businesses. Contact him at (615) 425-2652.