Stopping the Revolving Door

By Christopher M. Leporini, REALTOR® Magazine

Harvard Business Review on Finding and Keeping the Best People Harvard Business School Press 221 pp., $19.95
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Harvard Business Review on Finding and Keeping the Best People assembles strategies from academics, authors, and business owners for creating a workplace that will attract—and keep—top-quality workers. Harvard Business School Press released the title as part of it’s “Harvard Business Review Paperback Series,” which comprises more than a dozen titles designed to provide managers and professionals with the fundamental information they need to stay competitive in a fast-paced business environment.

This book isn’t real estate industry-specific; however, it addresses issues confronting managers in any field. The book’s eight articles cover topics such as the hiring process, reverse mentoring, and retaining valuable workers, and are written by well-respected experts, authors, and academics. Some of the authors include James Waldroop and Timothy Butler, both from Harvard Business School; Suzy Wetlaufer from the Harvard Business Review; Peter Cappelli of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania; and Betsy A. Collard of Stanford University. Each article begins with an “Executive Summary” that provides an overview of the article’s key points.

Tips for Real Estate Professionals

  • Avoid common biases during the hiring process. Conscious or not, biases that cloud your hiring judgment can cost you in turnover later on, writes Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, a partner at Egon Zehnder International, in the article “Hiring Without Firing.” Be aware of and try to avoid the following biases: 1) the “halo effect,” letting one positive characteristic obscure other shortcomings; 2) stereotyping, assuming that certain traits are based on race, gender, or nationality; or 3) the “just like me” bias, which is the tendency to overrate a candidate who is the most similar to your background and training.
  • Influence who leaves and when. Some turnover is inevitable—it’s how you manage it that makes the difference. “The old goal of HR management—to minimize overall employee turnover—has been replaced by a new goal: to influence who leaves and when,” writes Peter Cappelli in the article “A Market Driven Approach to Retaining Talent.” Cappelli points to Prudential’s hiring and retention policies, which take into account the reality of today’s mobile workforce. “Prudential has begun doing what most companies avoid: making a truly honest assessment of how long the organization would like employees to stay on board,” Cappelli writes. “Such an analysis inevitably reveals that different groups of employees warrant a very different retention efforts. … Once you know which employees you need to retain and for how long, you can use a number of mechanisms to encourage them to stay. The key is to resist the temptation to use the mechanisms across the board.”
  • Minimize conflicts when incorporating reverse mentoring. Reverse mentoring, in which a younger person instructs a more experienced coworker in an area such as technology, has the potential to educate and energize your workforce. However, it also can represent a powder keg waiting to explode, writes Diane L. Coutu, Senior Editor at the Harvard Business Review, in the article “Too Old to Learn?” In order to make sure that the reverse mentoring succeeds, position your program as an opportunity for mutual learning and carefully match the communication styles of the mentor and protégé.

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This post was contributed exclusively for REALTOR® Magazine.

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