I find it disturbing when business leaders choose to use CSR to compensate for ethically questionable business.
Many companies are struggling to find the qualified people they need, so they resort to retaining the people they have whether qualified or not. They fight to eliminate or at least reduce rates of attrition when it is increased attrition that can do the business the most good. Retention of the best is all that matters.
Recently, the head of a large business unit of a major international company here in Japan told me that the company’s rate of attrition is of no particular concern to him, even though it is higher than industry average.
You want to retain just the best in your organization.
Retention, per se, is no business objective. It is retaining the best that counts, even in the tightest of labor markets.
Businesses can be their own worst enemies when business process supplants business thinking.
The CEO of a large industrial American company in Japan told me of difficulties he faces in buying from a division of a large Japanese industrial company, not because of a lack of will to sell on their part, but rather unnecessary and burdensome bureaucratic processes that were designed to meet Japanese government procurement requirements, the division’s primary customer. Quality control processes at the Japanese seller company were impractical and far beyond what the American company required, while lead-times and costs were excessive. Adherence to process, no matter how inappropriate, dominated thinking.
Understanding the rationale for change alone when accountability is lacking is never enough. As leader, you will find yourself having to do the work of your staff in their stead.
By accountability, I mean a leader ensures there are rewards for the right behaviors and good results, and penalties if there are not.
CEOs often ask me how best to lead dramatic, strategic change knowing full well the kind of concerns, resistance, and doubt that such change can evoke in some staff. Below I list some of what advise.
If I offered you more money for results, would you change anything that you are doing now?
I have asked this very question to numerous successful CEOs, and invariably the answer is no. I suspect yours is as well.