Avoiding brain drain in a fast moving knowledge based economy, ideas for the future

brain drain 2IT organisations often focus on the value of their operational processes, technologies and ideas, but in what is a fast changing economy staff often follow their own hearts and dreams rather than look at the organisations big picture.

Even empathetic employers will loose staff over time as the personal situations and desires of their staff move from employment to employment in line with building a career for themselves.

The old days of “loyal,” staff who want to work within an organisation and help it grow from start-up to corporate are all but long gone, and equally even entrepreneurs can choose to enter and exit organisations much more rapidly than perhaps had been the case over the last 50 years.

Brain drain is often tackled with, what can we do about it? We expect people in the closing days of their employment to be disengaged and in a mind-set to move and often we accept this, but the question is should we be happy with this?

In what is a new economy our staff effectively become contractors, they have a contract with us and us with them, and who knows what guise we may meet in again given how  quickly employment changes.

Writing up process can be encouraged to be little and often but rarely can it be enforced given staff have their own ways and means. Equally staff asked to explain their job role may get defensive and avoid the issue feeling that the question could be a subversive way of preparing for their departure, which as every employer will know will not be the case.

I conceive that “post employment,” is a phrase for the new millennium, when someone leaves, why not incentivise them just as we would a tenant in a house. Perhaps we could allow a 90 day post departure agreement equivalent to say a months salary within the terms of a contract.

The terms of a tenancy is to ask that a tenant leaves a house in good order, while the terms of a leaver agreement for “post employment,” would be to leave clients, and the role in good order leaving solid guidelines and information for replacement staff to take on.

Given the employer will not always know when an adequate replacement will be on the horizon for the individual a discretionary element may be needed to maintain a strong policy that actually incentivises.

Hand overs are ideally in person, but where this is not possible approved process, and project document formats can be instigated to enable a true pass over of knowledge.

Staff are easily unsteadied and hence leavers must see the clear benefit in the outcomes of the relationship in as simple a term as the tenancy agreement on the house.

In todays world that extra money will be well received by the ex staff member and truly the process could be an attractive differentiator for the employer.

Food for thought in an economy where staff can change quarterly rather than once in a life time.

AGILE methods of employee job mobility require AGILE employer responses.

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0 Responses to Avoiding brain drain in a fast moving knowledge based economy, ideas for the future

  1. We cannot always know when change will happen but we can know and predict most human behaviour; why, because most behaviours are common to us all. A study of core values will reveal that financial incentives are in most cases out dated and not the best way to motivate how most people behave. A cash value is quick, shallow and ignores what matters most to most employees. Intrinsic values such as mutual respect based on sharing, improving, creating, protecting and appreciating should be nurtured and allowed to flourish. Clearly communicating the value of each and every employee from the day they are contracted until they leave is very important. A caring company will still have employee turnover but will always be remembered by its leaving staff for its deeper values. Communicating right from the start that all employees are very valuable and remain so even after they have left is a good idea. Some financial reward for work and handovers is fair and will help. You cannot buy loyalty, it is earned and mostly based on deeper values that form mutual respect. Create a values based culture in your company and reap the rewards that most blue chips companies do!

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