greg bustin top performers in your organization

“I Quit.”

February 20th, 2017  | 

Published in Leadership, Organization Health

“I quit.”

Those words and others like them are spoken more often by more people by the last week of February than at any other time of the year.

The reasons vary, but the root cause is almost always the same. Hint: It’s usually not about money.

Non-cash Motivators

Money is a motivator but it’s usually not the biggest one.

A survey by McKinsey Quarterly found that three non-cash motivators— praise from immediate supervisors, attention from top managers, and the opportunity to lead projects— were just as or more effective motivators than cash bonuses, a pay raise, or stock options.

These findings support what smart leaders have known for some time: people don’t quit their job as much as they quit their boss.

The February timing is not a coincidence. According to data compiled by Corporate Counsel, approximately two-thirds of public companies have fiscal year-ends that coincide with calendar year-ends. My observations from working with companies of all sizes is that this statistic holds true for private companies, too.

For the other third— consumer products companies such as Estee Lauder and Polo/Ralph Lauren Corp., retailers such as Best Buy, Costco, and Walgreens, and companies with seasonal businesses such as AutoZone, Deere & Co., and Walt Disney Co.)— their fiscal years close at times other than year-end. For these companies, the volume— and success— of their business is tied to the holiday season. These companies need to complete this seasonal cycle and then close their books.

Is an Exodus Ahead for Your Organization?

The vast majority of companies are in the process of finalizing their books. Bonus payments for top performers will soon follow.

Once bonus checks clear the bank, many companies will experience a mass exodus as employees who are disillusioned with their compensation, their supervisor, their company or all three take flight.

What top performers in your organization are a flight risk once bonuses are paid?

About the Author: Greg Bustin advises leaders of some of the world’s most admired companies, and he’s dedicated a career to working with CEOs and the leadership teams of hundreds of companies in a range of industries. He’s facilitated more than 200 strategic planning sessions, and he’s delivered more than 500 keynotes and workshops on five continents. His fifth leadership book—How Leaders Decide: A Timeless Guide to Making Tough Choices—examines 52 of history’s greatest triumphs and tragedies and debuted in April as the #1 new historical reference book on Amazon.

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