Romance in the workplace should be encouraged. But let’s set one thing straight, we are not talking clandestine meetings by the photocopier or water cooler. No, we are talking about the strategy of ensuring that once a candidate is hired, the company ethos continues to woo employees throughout their whole employment, and even post-employment - far beyond getting them settled at their new desk.
What do we mean by romance in the corporate world?
In the competitive, corporate world we are all focused on hiring the best possible candidate for a job. When we see a candidate that we know we want, we pull out all the stops, no matter however subtle to ensure that they want to join our organisation as much as we want them on board. In most organization’s it is the hiring managers who focus more on this ‘romancing’ part of the recruitment process. They make sure that the future employee feels valued, that they've got the right experience and attitude, that they will be welcomed into the organisation with open arms and, what a wonderful organisation they are to work for. They hook them in so that they don't lose them in the interview process. But quite often, what happens then, is that once a prospective candidate becomes an employee, and are settled into the system, we tend to lose the idea of romance. We revert to the mundane, to the job at hand, we tell them what is expected of them and then expect them to get on with and deliver as per the job requirements. This is one of the biggest mistakes that organisation’s make.
The Importance of Corporate Romancing
Romancing leads to Retention
Stopping the corporate romancing process once the candidate has joined the organisation is shortsighted not just in terms of performance but also in terms of job retention. Losing employees is expensive, not only have they come through an expensive interview process, they have also been through what can be costly induction and training. You are losing not only money, but also experience and knowledge and that takes time and money to regain. As an organisation, or an employee, the most efficient way to run your business is to retain your talent. Yes, you need to keep ‘romancing’ them showing them value, keeping them happy and assisting them in fulfilling their professional dreams, throughout their whole career.
Romancing leads to performance and passion, employees who are valued are more productive and loyal. Remember the self-determination theory which is based around human motivation? The theory looks at human tendencies towards growth and outlines three core needs which lead towards that growth; competence, autonomy & relatedness.
If people feel like they have control of their lives by satisfying these needs, by feeling needed and appreciated they inherently feel happier, will perform better and are more likely to stay.
Romancing leads to Referrals
Referrals and word of mouth are the most trusted sources of brand awareness for your organisation and there is nothing like a referral straight from the horse’s mouth. Not only do you want your employee to be happy at work, but you also want them to believe in your product and if at all possible, to use that product themselves and to recommend it to others even after they have left the organisation. Let me give you an example. A young woman joins Marks and Spencer, has a really positive work experience there, feels like a valued part of the team and makes good friends at work. She then decides to leave the organisation for a few years for another opportunity. However, if she had a positive experience, she may well decide to still shop at Marks and Spencer & to recommend it to her friends. Using your alumni to further your brand is a great way to get the word out.
Employees are for life not just for interviewing
So, we’ve talked about romancing candidates beyond the interview stage, the employee/employer relationship should be one of romance long after they have been wooed. Keeping on top of employee satisfaction in the workplace throughout their careers makes not only for a happier workplace but one that is more productive and will drive positive revenues, assist with building a strong brand and lead to running a more successful organisation overall.