Money Money Money. It’s a Rich Man’s World.

Money Money Money Culture Abba 1976. Remember? I work all night I work all day to pay the bills I have to pay.

Almost 40 years later and money is still most business’s number one focus. Smart business you say? Think again.

2 Million People are Quitting Their Jobs Every Month.

Still recovering from the recession and with a 7% unemployment rate, there is a churn rate of 2 million people every month leaving their jobs in corporate America. That’s 24 million people annually saying I quit.  According to Forbes writer Kathryn Dill 42% of employees who quit do so because of stress.

What Does Employee Stress Feel and Look Like?

  • Unfulfilling work
  • Disrespectful behaviour 
  • Being taken advantage 
  • Disempowerment (micromanaging bosses)

I had coffee with someone recently who gets paid an hourly rate that is converted into an annual salary, and is then expected to labour 50-60 hours a week, no paid overtime, no time off in lieu, no banking of overtime, nothing.  And here’s the real jaw dropping clincher. When it came time to pay bonuses, the owner handed out only 1/3 of the bonus and said “You’ll get the rest only if you stay with the company until you retire.” Really? Talk about a pair of brass whatzits.

People may be scrambling to keep their jobs and, living within the uncontested sunshine tax zone of the BC Interior Okanagan, often for wages far below market rate, but employers who take such outright advantage of this situation are suffering a bad case of myopia and will eventually wither and die. Competition always knocks on doors of opportunity.

A Culture of Loyalty is Critical for a Company to Compete.

Good people who aren’t honoured and treated with respect have long memories. When a better opportunity shows itself, you can bet all the money you’ve amassed in your bank account that they’ll quickly and without a minute of regret, say adios and so long.

Fact: Three quarters of people who are working today are contemplating leaving their jobs.
Fact: One quarter of the workforces is actively looking for another job (i.e., sending resumes out).

Should Employers be Worried?

Think about how much time and energy it takes for you to hire and train good people. So once you’ve got them there, it’s only natural to want them to be productive as quickly as possible. But if people are unhappy that’s not going to happen. It’s time people. We need to think, as leaders, mentors and business owners, about what we need to do every single day to make good things happen for our employees.

We need to build a culture that keeps employees engaged and fulfilled. An employee-focused culture that gives employees a sense that they are part of making good things happen. A culture that at the end of the day leaves an employee feeling they’ve been productive and have succeeded.

Opportunity for Growth is Always More Important Than Money.

Listen up. Employees want to be fulfilled first and then get paid well. As managers we need to seek out right and meaningful ways to show these wonderful people the opportunities they need to grow as individuals. Most managers think “here’s your job, stick to it, don’t get out of that box.” They overwhelm people with templates and processes and check lists, all of which only leads an overriding sense of distrust and erosion of confidence. The net result being decreased morale and there goes your productivity.

I Want to Do it My Way.

When someone steps out it is because they want to do it their way, treat people the way they think they should be treated. Yes, they have an idea. Yes, they have something the market needs. But at the end of the day what they really want to create is a place where they want to go to work.

It’s not so much that they want to go out and start up their own business. They want to start their own culture. Take a lesson here.  According to 25% of the people who are looking for work really do want to go out and start their own business, 90% of the time it’s because of culture.

According to Duane Dike in Leadership Morale and Employee Turnover, almost 50% of new hires in unskilled jobs quit in less than one year. Culture is the biggest issue creating turnover.

It’s Never About the Money.

I was born into entrepreneurial business with this mantra: the only reason a business exists is to make money. That leads to taking care of cash, putting the almighty dollar ahead of people, and it just doesn’t fly any more. Yet there are still far too many business owners and managers out there holding onto this approach.

The great companies who survive will do just the opposite. They’ll care about their employees and put their money where their mouth is – back into their employees building a sense of real empowerment through engaging workplaces that help and encourage them, creating a lifetime of confidence that comes from being trusted and respected for a job well done.

Say Thank You.

Appreciate your people and show it with something as little as a thank you note tucked into their payslip. Hire and keep the best, make sure they’re happy. They will in turn make sure they are taking care of your customers who in turn reward you with profit and referrals. Now that kind of math makes sense to me.


Take an objective look at your organisation from a potential employee’s perspective. Who are you trying to hire and what is really important to them?

Ashton & Associates are specialists at identifying right fit candidates on the basis of values alignment, ambition and drive, skills, competencies and need.

More expert information on this topic from Ashton & Associates.


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Barbara Ashton is the President and Founder of Ashton & Associates Recruiting.

Ashton & Associates Recruiting… Hiring Right. Every Time.


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