“I want you to grow and develop yourself, to get yourself the job you want, even if it isn’t with this company.” This was the perception of a high level leaders of a company who took it upon herself to teach two classes in good resume and interviewing tactics based on the book she had written about the practice. Staff in the company responded well to this, appreciating that the company was interested in not just what they give to the the company, but how the staff could grow in their careers.
Time went on and the leader could no longer teach the class. One of her staff thought it was a good idea still and has talked with his supervisor about taking over and revamping the class. The supervisor thought it was a good idea and brought it to her manager. That is where the idea ended. The manager declared that it was not in the company’s interest to spend its money to teach people how to leave the company. The classes were removed from the catalog, and the staff would no longer have the opportunity to practice their skills in getting a new job, whether it be inside the company or outside the company.
I found this to be a very sad development when I heard about it. It seemed rather shortsighted. The manager had assumed that the people taking the course would immediately beat a path out of the company to find their own version of the promised land. Following that train of reasoning, if she was so worried about that possibility, what does it say about her view of the company and the company in general?
A manager can have three different types of worldviews. They can have the company worldview, where they see everything out of the prism of what is good for the company, no matter if it hurts the employees or not. They can have a personal worldview, where they see everything out of the prism of what is good for them, and not care if it is good for the company or the employees. Or, they can have a people worldview, where they see everything out of the prism of what is good for my people (the ones they supervise) or the people of the company in general. Most, in my experience, have a combination of the three. The ones who are rated good managers by their employees have a healthy dose of the people worldview in that combination.
The people view managers have a longer view. They see that things like a resume writing class may cause some to charge for the door. They also see that the same class may give a promising employee the skills to bid for a new job, possibly one that would promote them in the company. You’ve retained someone who hopefully now sees that the company is investing in them, so they will do more to invest in the company. Yes, it could be that the newly promoted employee may be the type of manager we’ve written about for 100 entries or so, but it is the chance you take. The people view manager is willing to take that chance, knowing that it can provide an avenue for some really good leaders of the next generation to be born.
The corporate worldview managers are well too cautious for that. Their is a very short term view. The next report, the next quarter, the next performance review. What if someone leaves the company because of the resume class? They want people at their desks, laboring away for the good of the company, not giving a thought to their own well-being. Yes, they can get promoted, but they have to do it on their own time, not the company’s! You want to learn how to write that resume? Fine, you take a class, read a book, or find some training on it on your own time. You can ignore the spouse, the kids, the dog, or the responsibilities for a while. You can’t ignore that the company needs you slaving away, not being a dreamer.
In the end, it wasn’t really about a resume class. It was about two different styles of thinking. The leaders who offered the class originally saw that it was her responsibility to grow the people of the company, making them better people, and making it a better company. The manager who refused to continue the classes saw it was her responsibility to stop anyone from wasting the company’s money for a chance to possibly leave the company. I wonder if she even thought that those employees with managers like her would probably not allow their people to take the resume class anyway, and for the very same reasons.
It comes down to a very simple equation. The people worldview managers don’t have to worry as much about their people leaving, because they don’t want to. The personal or corporate worldview managers do have to worry about their people leaving, and one company sponsored class won’t make a big difference for someone heading out the door.