Employee Motivation You Can't Buy

It’s easy to avoid the pain of valued employees leaving, says Geoff Loftus in his Forbes magazine blog. Simply treat your people so well that they never want to leave. Historic leaders – like Gen. Dwight Eisenhower – motivated their troops with two key character qualities: concern and honesty. And it still works. “Want to keep your people from leaving (or worse, betraying) you? Treat them like Ike treated his.”

By Geoff Loftus, Forbes.com

“A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece saying that there’s nothing worse for your organization than a traitor. My brother Mark agreed with me (more or less), but we found ourselves dissecting just what it means to be a traitor to an organization.

“If you sell out your country to another country, like Benedict Arnold or FBI-agent-turned-Soviet-spy Robert Hanssen, no two ways about it, you’re a traitor. If you sell the secret formula for Coca Cola to Pepsi (as someone tried to do but was rebuffed by Pepsi), you’re a traitor. But what about something a lot more subtle, something that many organizations face: One of your employees leaves to work for your competitor.

“Bob Lutz, former Vice Chairman at General Motors, worked at BMW, Ford, and Chrysler in addition to GM. Lee Iacocca worked at Ford and then Chrysler. Were these guys traitors every time they moved to another car company? Was Howard Stringer, now CEO and Chairman of Sony, betraying CBS when he left to found TELE-TV and then go to Sony, another company with large media holdings? Speaking of television, was programming maestro Fred Silverman a roving traitor by going from CBS to ABC and then NBC?


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