Senior executives expend much effort into grooming their directors and managers and keeping them satisfied in their jobs with the aim of retaining their key people. The operative word here is people. According to a new paper from PricewaterhouseCoopers, it may be smarter to shift the focus to pivotal roles. People in pivotal roles are the ones that have the most direct impact on customer satisfaction. The roles different in every organization, and they're not necessarily high-profile.
Think of your IT department. No one's saying it's a mistake to cultivate your stars and future leaders, and they obviously bring value -- that's what makes them stars. But when it comes to employees who do the work that makes IT what it is, when it comes to the help desk staff or the systems analysts -- these are the people that make IT actually function. It follows that how well they perform has direct impact on how happy the rest of the company is with the IT department.
CIOs should not take this concept lightly. If you think people are happy just to have jobs in this tough employment scene, you are woefully wrong. Even though unemployment is still high, research PwC cites indicates some alarming data. In the second quarter of 2010, productivity went down 2 percent. As for being lucky to be employed? Between September last year and September this year, more people voluntarily quit -- 326,000 more. Workers, it's clear, are over it. By identifying which roles are pivotal and working on engaging workers in those roles, you just might unlock the productivity and performance lying dormant in your organization.
This shift in thinking won't be easy. According to PwC, the C-suite, together with HR, must ponder a lot of important questions. They include, what are the roles that have the most direct impact on customer satisfaction, that bring disproportionate value? Do you have the right people in those roles? What are we going to do to understand how these pivotal people tick, what they need and what motivates them? What are we doing in terms of succession planning for these roles? Anything?
It's a short and illuminating paper, and it'll take you fifteen minutes to read it. Download it here .