How to be happy and grow a business with low staff retention – Maverick Indonesia

This is what I wrote for my office blog at Maverick

Photos of Zul and Jojo’s “graduation” – From Zul’s Facebook post

How to be happy and grow a business with low staff retention – Maverick Indonesia

There was a time when we fretted about staff retention.

Like many others we adhered to the conventional wisdom that if you did everything right as an employer, then you’d have people working for you for a long time. Having people quit on you before they’ve served five years or more was an indication of bad management.

Not any more. These days we work on the basis that about 70 percent of the young professionals that we employ,  most of them being fresh graduates and coming into their first jobs,  will leave Maverick anywhere within 2 to five years – and this high turnover is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact we see this as something positive that will help us grow even more. let me explain.

You’ve heard about the Millennials and how they have different values from the older generation. They expect quick successes, they are taken up by causes and wanting to do good for society, they have options and they know it, money isn’t always important to them so long as they can pursue the lifestyles and goals they set themselves…

Much of this is true so, as employers what can we do about it? After much experimentation and making many mistakes, I think we’ve hit on a winning formula by embracing the limited “shelf life” of our recruits – most of whom come straight from universities because it is so difficult to get good, experienced professionals in the communications industry.


Why you need to help your new employees find jobs elsewhere

Having staff retention problems? For years we struggled with this problem, trying to stop people from leaving.

Then one morning we thought” “Why are we trying to stop something that can’t be stopped?”. So we changed strategies and and decided to manage the departure process instead.

We put together the Chrysalis program with Indra Soebardi from AAC – she’s the only headhunter who was imaginative and adventurous enough to get a grasp of what we are setting out to do – and rolled it out to the staff last week.

Will it work? Time will tell but if you’re interested in the details and the concept read this post below from our blog:

Chrysalis – A New Approach to Growing Our people

Here’s a wild idea. Come to work for us. We train you and groom you to be a first-rate communications practitioner. Then, after three years if you’d like to spread your wings and leave us for greener pasture, we’ll help you and we’ll even make sure you’ll get paid for this.

That is the basic idea of Maverick’s new career advancement program, Chrysalis that we announced last week. Stunt silence was the first reaction when people heard Ong Hock Chuan, the big boss, broke the news. I’m sure the second reaction, though probably uttered silently, was, “Is this for real?”

Yes, it is for real. Through Chrysalis, Maverick will help those employees who express a desire to explore new career opportunities outside of Maverick, providing that they have worked with us for at least three years. AAC, an Executive Placement Consultancy with specialty in the Communications industry, has bravely partnered up with Maverick.

“We know young people tend to stay in a company for two to two and a half years top before they start itching for new experience. We understand that need, so with Chrysalis, we ask them to invest at least three years in Maverick and learn as much as they can because we think that’s the minimum time you need to put in to become a capable communication practitioner,” explained Ong. “It will up your chance in landing in-house higher communications positions.”

Read more…