Is there a perfect world where employees won't have to leave their current employment for new challenges? What if they could spend a day a month, or maybe 2 days a month, working somewhere else, for someone else, and doing something that may not directly benefit their employer?
Employee's often boast that they 'love their job' and the same individuals no doubt care greatly for the organisation and the people who they work with.
Yet the same employees leave those organisations, because 'something's missing' or the underemployment can be because they don't feel valued enough, as well as remuneration and a host of other and varied reasons.
Is that 'something missing' a need to increase job satisfaction? Gain new skills? Even work with individuals who are just different people than the ones they spend their days with and who offer completely new and fresh interaction into their daily lives.
By switching employment, often to perform an identical role in a new organisation, a number of outcomes occur of which some are;
- the employee feeds his/her desire for change
- the employee feels motivated
- the employee feels they are appreciated more, normally with greater remuneration in salary and/or benefits
- the employer must usually fill the position created, often involving costly agency fees, advertising costs
- the newly hired employee would not normally be fully operational in their new role for some weeks, or months
- employers must dedicate training resource to the new employee
Could a new employee benefit be created that allows an employee a day or two a month to take on a new role at a different workplace, while still maintaining their existing role and employment duties as well as the standard suite of benefits like salary, healthcare, holiday entitlement etc?
Having exposure to different people with different points of view/opinions could potentially fill the 'something's missing' gap for the employee and would expose the employee to different challenges, allow them to acquire new skills and give them a fresh outlook on a totally new environment..
Additionally, it could allow for higher retention rates for employers and lower hiring costs thereby reducing the drain on Human Resources costs that replacing a member of staff costs.
Would this opportunity work for every employee? I don't think it would. It may be that the right to participate in this arrangement would have to be earned, for example, it may only be offered to employees who have completed 3 years tenure with their current employment, so are at a higher risk of moving on. Likewise, if an employee already struggles to complete their standard working duties weekly, or had had bouts of sickness taking them away from their role it would not make sense for an employer to offer the Reducing Talent Turnover (RTT) programme.
Would there be some sort of policing of time spent away from the employment? As this would only ever be offered to top talent, policing is not likely to be needed as the individuals concerned would be at a higher echelon, and have earned the trust of their employer.
It may be that the RTT programme cannot be requested by an employee, and must be offered by the employer.
A secondment is a similar programme that benefits the employer as their employee is gaining skills/exposure that aids their current role and employment, and the employer and secondment employer exchange billing on a regular basis which prevents the employer from being out of pocket.
So what if the employee could take on a role/project that was not going to benefit their employer at all? Is the employer still expected to pay the salary of the employee, in spite of receiving no benefit and still having to pay for the employee who no longer has to turn up for work on the agreed days? The employer would still pay the salary, and would most likely be happy to participate.
They would be happy to participate, knowing that they now qualify to have a replacement RTT qualifier/employee from an external source come to their workplace, to tackle a project, and would they have to pay for that person? No they wouldn't, because the programme works on the pay-it-forward system.
The employee gets fresh working experiences, the chance to obtain new skills and does not have to go through a change programme of offering their services to the market via an updated CV, interviews etc. They also have the security of knowing they are valued as an employee, by being offered the RTT programme, and of course continue to receive their full salary and benefits.
The employer would not incur hiring fees whereby they would if their employee left, and they would not experience a loss of productivity from losing an employee and worse, the loss of knowledge. They would not have to dedicate a member of staff to training requirements and a loss of productivity for that purpose.
If, for example, an employee was to work for an alternative organisation in the RTT programme for 1 or 2 days a month, the mathematical equivalent is 12 and 24 days a year or 96 and 192 hours a year. If the employee earns $100,000 per annum, their (40 hour per week) hourly rate is $48.08 gross per hour which would equate to $4,615 and $9,231 gross in exchange for that employee.
The employer has to weigh up the cost benefit relevant to them. Would a project with a time scale of 12 or 24 days work return a net gain from someone with a fresh perspective? Would that turn into a financial gain, or is that not important and not a consideration of the programme?
The Reducing Talent Turnover programme needs a platform to deliver the talent, and enrol the projects for employers. It may be that a 'one-at-a-time' policy is undertaken for employees and their employers, but this dependency could differ for a larger organisation.
It would need to have a transparent feedback process set up, and would rely on honesty for project requirements, and honesty on the available skillset (if applicable) for those employees tackling the new assignments/challenges.
How is the exchange of service managed, so that the employer does not feel short-changed by releasing a valuable employee, in exchange of receiving an uncompleted project, or one that has been left a shambles? The feedback process and honesty of the talent should not take away the reason for the programme, which is to reduce talented employees from leaving businesses by giving them an additional and earned benefit. The employer also gets to keep their talent for longer periods, which should reduce costs to them, which could be incurred if the employee were to leave.
The first steps to consider the Reducing Talent Turnover Programme are:
1: Look at the legal implications/contracts for employees and employers, which may include such things as insurances, bonding agreements, implications on current employment contracts for employees etc.
2: Establish a web platform that can start to take enrollment for both employer (project) and employee (service), for example the employee offering may not specify the talents gender, age or photograph.
3: Contact a community/sector with a view to running a pilot case, (it might be with a select 3 or 4 organisations, and may not at this stage have the 'pay-it-forward' benefits)
4: Monitor and review, research, look to implement improvements, then re-test and re-run step 4.
5: Once satisfied with the results, collaborate with a team of talented individuals to get the RTT programme out of test mode, and onto the market.
This idea is the introductory and sole work of David Tikao, current MBA student at Massey University, New Zealand.
The theory does rely solely on the role of Management taking a step back and considering traditional operating boundaries, and how they currently apply them. Thank you for taking the time to read this hack. Feedback is welcomed.