Opportunity Drives Growth

Growth Series (Part 5)

The Growth series will posted on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays through the month of October 2011.

Company A had a growth problem. The leadership worked with their managers to set recruiting and retention goals each year as a part of the business planning process. Monthly accountability sessions reviewed the pipelines with a lot of time talking about whether specific candidates were targeted for the pipeline, in the pipeline or had fallen out. Most of the managers were certain that it was all about money and in listening to their recruiting dialogue; they were quick to give away money even before the candidate raised the issue.

When the managers and leadership of the company were asked to describe the opportunity without using any reference to money or earnings, none could do it. They had gotten so used to only competing with money that they did not even know how to sell their company in any other way. Opportunity and growth are strong recruiting and retention tools. When you reduce opportunity to a monetary commodity, you only win when you are the highest bidder and have trouble retaining when there is the lure of more money from a competitor.

Growth opportunity can be divided into categories each with a separate and distinct value that is not necessarily tangible but may include monetary or tangible benefits. Some tangible benefits are not directly from the company but accrue as a result of achieved opportunity.
  • Position – The more formalized positions that are recognized by leadership responsibilities, awards and or title that elevate the person within the company and industry. These have “bragging” rights and can be publicly recognized.
  • Status – Much less formal and is very important to most people. It is the both internal and external recognition of achievement and usually opens doors to other opportunities. Quite often includes being recognized as a subject matter expert. These people are often the “go-to” people in an organization.
  • Skills – Most companies offer training and or education that, for the most part, is an option. Few companies really do career development and skill development planning with their people including those in management and leadership.
  • Future - There are always objectives in terms of transition and achievement that are desirable. These include exit or business transitions, options to expand and develop other businesses, access to benefit and loyalty programs.
  • Personal Goal Achievement – We are all driven by goals we set and many are not monetary at all. Knowing these goals is an important part of creating a path to the opportunity to realize and celebrate these goals. It may be business driven such as establishment and development of a team or being able to realize a life experience such as a trip.
When I look at companies from their websites through their training and planning, it is often difficult to find the opportunities. It is usually even more difficult to find management and leadership who can verbalize the opportunity or have anyone see them as instrumental in finding the path.

Creating development paths that are valuable is a great retention and growth tool which serves both individual and company needs. Opportunity will drive growth and usually without the cost of competing on compensation alone.

Career and Skill Development will be addressed in future blogs and documents on our site.