I’ve coached the senior team at Romans Group for over a decade now and am proud to be associated with this company’s incredible growth record, not least their doubling in value over the last three years – it’s tough enough to be good in a crowded marketplace but to be truly great requires a herculean effort. And “Hercules” would be a good nickname for the Managing Director of Residential Sales, Vincent Courtney, who has just celebrated an incredible milestone of 20 years at the Group.
This caused me to wonder how many people joining a company today will be celebrating their ‘China/Platinum’ anniversary at the same workplace in 2036? And for that matter, what percentage of people will now work for ten years at one company or even “just” five years?
When I started work it was important not to job hop, indeed many people stayed with some truly awful company’s for far longer than they should have for fear that their CV would be tarnished by moving too soon after joining. This concern also prompted caution when taking a new role – we were less speculative back then for the most part. So staying with one company isn’t necessarily a good thing but has the pendulum swung too far in the other direction? Now it seems people regard being in a company for a year as significant, for three or more as amazing, and not always in a good way. I see a pattern in many businesses which are made up of two groups of people: those who’ve been with the firm for 5-10 years or more and new people who replace others every year or two.
As part of the Summit Group, our elite programme limited to just 10 companies, we look at the “6 R’s”, one of which is Retention. Many companies will invest in assessing their Recruitment strategy and also spend considerable time designing Remuneration packages but not enough time on Retention planning. And the number one thing that will cause employees to stay is Recognition, and equally if they don’t get it, it’s one of the top three reasons they leave. As you plan out 2017 make sure you have a proper Recognition programme in place – it should be systemised and not left to chance.
Vincent Courtney’s 20 years at Romans is testimony to his incredible staying power but also to the Group’s ability to recognise significant milestones. In the last year alone I’ve seen people taken to Michelin Star restaurants, having holidays across Canada, being presented with luxury watches and many other rewards for loyalty. But these pale into insignificance compared with frequent praise, handwritten notes, public applause and the like, most of which cost next to nothing but do require effort, thought and planning.