Jack, the Accountant Meets Jack, the Drummer!

Retain the person, not the job role.

Too many managers get employee retention all wrong. They plan and strive to retain the job role – an accountant, a customer service rep, a social media manager, a human resource executive or a data analyst.

Instead they should try retaining Jack, Anita, Yusuf, Robin and Michelle.

Don’t engage and retain the job role. Engage and retain the person.

One, you will have much better chances of retaining talent at your company. Second, you will enjoy and relish your efforts to create a personal connection with the people you work with.

Employees, immersed in metrics driven work environments, forget their many skills and talents. Help them meet their hidden self.

Go help Jack, the accountant meet Jack, the drummer.

Motivate Anita, the customer service rep to meet Anita, the numerology enthusiast.

Go look beyond the job tag and meet the real person.

Time to mix work with employee hobbies and passion

“Go do what you love” is not always a practical advice. Some are brave or lucky or both.

In a real world, where we have bills to pay, we more often need to do things we don’t love. We may or may not hate or dislike what we do as “paid work” or “jobs”. But, we certainly may not love what we do to pay our bills. Not all of us.

I like creating content – stories, blogs, even excel templates. Yes, I do.

But I have to do a whole lot other stuff to pay my bills.

Bills paid and some cash in the wallet allows me to go back to doing what I love. Creating content – stories, blogs and excel templates 😊

As a self employed professional, I get to choose my hours and schedule. Your team does not have the same flexibility.

So take the lead and mix work with their hobbies and passion.


Large organizations have resources to make a real difference. Office sports teams, tournaments, office music bands, cultural groups, drama clubs etc. can all thrive within an organization.

There’s space, time, people and budget.

These also help you spread the message – Happy place to work.

What about small organizations?

Smaller teams and smaller spaces with smaller budgets. One drummer can’t put together a band. One striker can’t put together a team.

You’ve got be more creative. Start small.

Start with music Saturdays for instance.

Or celebrate a fitness month where the gym regular guy or girl gets to train the entire team for a month. Put together charts in the office to track collective weight loss.

How about Art Sundays in a public park?

Then, you always have the option to collaborate with other smaller offices in the same complex or the same networking group.

Organize meetups – use online networking.

Options are unlimited. All you need is a start.

So next time, you plan employee engagement and retention, think and look beyond the job role. Look closer – meet the human in the suit.

Here’s the bonus. Jack, the accountant may get several better job offers. Jack, the accountant and the office drummer, would have fewer options. Every office has an accounts team. Very few would have their own music band. Boost engagement and stickiness.

Employee engagement and retention is not all that tricky when you realize you are dealing with people. People first – this always works.

I write a weekly newsletter on how we can create happier workplaces. Here’s the link. Do subscribe to receive weekly notifications.

By Nitesh Verma

Founder - Business Management Blog. I am an independent business strategy consultant, helping companies take data driven business decisions. My mission is to find and implement simple solutions for complex business problems.

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