Can Big Companies keep their talent?
Anita Sharpe on Business
When Roberta Chinsky Matuson looks back on her 20-year career in human resources, she would do at least one thing differently: 'I wish I had had my children while I was still a human resources director; I was totally clueless. I used to wonder, 'how can someone not get to work on time?' After I had kids, I saw that it was nearly impossible to get two kids out the door quickly.'
Today, as Matuson works with large and small companies on human resources strategies, she sees that little has changed in the flexibility department at Big Business. 'People in their mid-40s are just bailing out of Corporate America because it doesn't work for them anymore.'
That means that great talent is ripe for the picking for small firms that aren't afraid of flexibility. Meanwhile, she counsels large, rule-ridden corporations to bundle vacation, sick days, paid holidays, etc., into one big paid time-off bank 'and let employees be grown ups. It doesn't cost them anything.'
Admittedly, I have little experience in the huge-corporation arena; the Wall Street Journal was as big as it got for me. But as someone who has gotten fabulous work out of people largely by treating them as grown-ups who can make their own schedules and decisions, I'm mystified about why this seems to be such a problem at big companies.