You’ve probably seen the ads on TV. The government has a very popular new program which encourages people to trade in less efficient vehicles for more efficient vehicles, it’s called cash for clunkers. Well, the government incentives unleashed a huge wave of pent-up demand for new cars and might burn through $1 billion in funding for the program in a week. So why would I talk about that on a staffing blog?
Well, although I don’t expect to see a government program for it, many employers still seem to need an incentive to trade in their mediocre performers. You see, despite all the downsizing that has occurred, most employers still have a few clunkers for employees. People who were perhaps well suited to their jobs a few years ago, but who are not well suited to doing their jobs in the current environment. Like a gas guzzling SUV, they start (projects), run (meetings), and do pretty much what is expected of them, but not very efficiently. They are not bad, they are just not well suited to the current fast paced, turbulent, less predictable, more entrepreneurial environment.
Harvard Business Review recently ran an article entitled “What Are CEOs Talking About Now?” The author was a bit surprised how much CEOs felt that “the layoffs and cost cutting are behind them.” Instead the leaders were interested in seizing the opportunities “while staying prudent with day-to-day operations.” Similarly, in my consulting work with small and midsize employers, I see where the easy cuts have been made, where firms have eliminated the lowest rung of underperforming employees, but now are stymied as they launch aggressive growth initiatives. The really bad employees are gone, but the mediocre ones remain, and what is becoming increasingly clear is that these “less energy efficient” people are just not driving change initiatives very effectively.
I’ve written before about how many of us avoid confronting poor performance, about company culture can stymie change, but the problem of underperforming leaders often remains.
So here’s the deal, if you have a clunker, come to me. I’ll trade-in your current employee, and find you a shiny new, more energy efficient model AND save you $4,500 off of a traditional search fee … and we won’t use a dime of government money to do it. (Limited time offer, while supplies last, some restrictions apply, tax, title and license fees are extra, batteries not included, offer not available in all states, offer void where prohibited by law, limit of 6 per customer, not available in all stores)