Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Communicating the Experience can Increase Retention

Which Job Do You Want?

This interesting tidbit is from the Harvard Business Review.
Posted by Tammy Erickson on October 10, 2007 6:51 AM

Imagine that you’re in the job market, with offers in hand from three firms. All three are attractive -- the type of opportunities you’ve been looking for with competitive compensation packages. You decide to meet with each firm one more time, specifically to talk about what your entry experience might like -- what to expect in your first six months on the job. Here’s what representatives from the three companies say. Which job will you take?

“Actually, your first three months will be a probationary period in which you’ll get to know and work closely with your assigned teammates. They’ll see how well you work with the group and contribute to its success. At the end of that period, your teammates -- your peers -- will vote on whether or not you will get to stay in the organization.”
“We can’t tell you what your exact role will be or who you’ll be working with. For the first three months, you’ll be in our “fishbowl,” performing a series of weekly challenges, perhaps designing new products or marketing campaigns, under the close scrutiny of our CEO and other senior executives. At the end of the time, depending on what we observe, we’ll help you find the right position for your skills.”
“Your first three months will be spent learning our way of doing business. We have a specific way of operating, and we expect you to follow our processes closely. We’re convinced that the ways we’ve outlined are the most productive and successful. After an extensive training program, you’ll get a chance to apprentice with one of our strongest performers.”

If you’re like most people, these three ways of starting work at a new company are not equally appealing. In fact, depending on your personality and preferences -- depending on how you view work and the role you want it to play in your life -- you’ll probably have a distinct preference for one over the others.

In a Harvard Business Review article, "What It Means to Work Here”, getting it right -- finding a work experience that matches your personality and preferences -- is key to your ultimate enjoyment of your work. In the end, the realistic demands of the job need to be in line with the role you’re prepared for work to play in your life. By choosing the company that is best suited to your needs and priorities, the more likely you are to be highly engaged in your work.

Organizations differ widely along these important components of the work experience. Some companies have risk-based compensation (options, bonuses), while others have predictable cost-of-living salary structures. Some organizations set up highly flexible, self-scheduling work groups; others take a pretty intense “all hands on deck” approach most of the time. Some reflect an underlying philosophy of paternalism; others a virtually complete contractor-like hands-off attitude. As you think about what you want to do next, it’s as important to think about your preferences for these “experience” factors as it is to consider the actual objective of the work you’ll be performing. If you don’t get this right, no matter how much you intellectually like the idea of what you’re working on, you won’t really be engaged.

Here were the results as of last night when I picked my choice. (B)

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