Tenure Means Nothing, Results are Everything.

 

During a recent coffee meeting with a friend, we’ll call her Laura, I was reminded of a very prevalent and frustrating situation that many organizations face. Laura was infuriated by the status of the long term employees at her organization. Having been there for 4 years or so, she saw many opportunities for improvement in the aging organization she was now a part of. When she tried to bring new innovations or ideas to the table, she was quickly shut down. She lamented about how overpaid, long term employees refused to adapt or change because they’ve “paid their dues”. Things went beyond the ‘let’s do it the way we’ve always done it’. Laura was actually told to stop trying to bring things to the table because it was creating discomfort for the people that had been there longer than her. With membership of their organization stagnant, Laura was faced with the very sobering realization that her company cared more about long term employees than about growing. Tenure was winning out over innovation. 

I’ve seen it in many organizations where years of experience or years at the company are more important that results. While it is important to recognize loyalty and longevity, these things will not propel any organization into the future prosperity. Knowledge and expertise should be respected and utilized, but only as it pertains to growing and improving an organization. Clinging to the past as some sort of corporate security blanket will only force your organization into atrophy. 

Tenure means nothing. Results are everything. While this is an unpopular idea, we need to stop allowing past value to be equated to current value. People should be paid based on their contribution to the organization, not just on how many years they have filled a seat.

At what point should an organization come to the conclusion that younger, hungrier employees would bring better results that the old guard? 

I’m not suggesting we let everyone over a certain age go, but I am suggesting that people be accountable for their role and paid commensurate with their current contribution to the organization. 

Complacency and mediocrity have no place in businesses that are pursuing success. Forget about tenure and start looking at the value that someone brings to the table. We need to expect adaptation, personal growth, and accountability from our team members. Otherwise we will be overtaken by more determined and more dynamic organizations.

So I pose this question to you: What can you do to eliminate complacency and begin rewarding results?

 

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