A Culture of Creativity or "Business as Usual?"

May 10, 2009 - 13:19 -- Dr. Ada

the light

Talent retention and management is one of the current worries in the corporate world. One of the most frequently cited reasons of talented people for leaving jobs is that they did not feel appreciated, and their talent was wasted. This was especially brought to my attention when I attended a University of Delaware Roundtable discussion regarding Employee Development.

What helps retain loyal employees

Dr. Robert Eisenberger has been doing research on how employees view their relationship with the work organization and how it affects their commitment to the organization. He mentioned that there are more than 350 other scientific studies that support his own results.

In a nutshell, those studies show that when employees feel their contributions are valued and their supervisors care about their well-being, they have less stress and work harder. They also increase involvement in the organization, standard job performance, creativity, and loyalty, which results in higher retention rates.

How do talented people will feel acknowledge, appreciated, and valuable? The research shows that this happens mostly when they receive discretionary favorable treatment, are listened to, and appreciated by their managers and supervisors.

Leaders need to learn how best to engage people in genuine and generative dialogue. They need to harnesses their wisdom and expertise for solving organizational challenges. They need to find together the best ways to be flexible and able to deal with change. This will be a win-win: the organization will benefit from their contribution, and the employees will feel valued and appreciated.

From frustration and constrain to creativity and opportunity

Over the weekend I was reviewing with a friend an old favorite of mine, which became an international classic book: A Peacock in the Land of Penguins. The book is a fable, the story of Perry the Peacock as he makes his way from the frustrating, constraining Land of Penguins to find his new home in the entrepreneurial, creative Land of Opportunity. This story echoes one that unfortunately is still unfolding each and every day in many organizations around the globe, and many times results in the lost of their best people.

This short 4 min. video gives the highlights of the story. Every Leader could benefit from watching it. It also shares what works best.

If you take the message of the book seriously, and want to retain the talent in your organization, there are some questions that beg to be asked:

  • How is your organizations hampered by “business as usual” thinking?
  • What are some of the assumptions and blind spots that get in the way of embracing new ideas?
  • How can Leaders build a corporate culture of creativity, flexibility, and collaboration to captures the talent, energy, diversity, and wisdom of their talented employees?
  • What kinds of problems and opportunities could you encounter if you decided to promote such a culture?

How you communicate and engage others in conversation influences your relationship with them, how loyal they are to the organization, how much turn-over you will have, and ultimately will affect your bottom line. Stop doing "business as usual" and explore the path of dialogue and collaboration for greater results!

Photo by: Eddi van W.