Employee health is given a great deal of lip service in tech sales. However, very rarely do I see nor hear from employees there is any credible effort in creating a truly healthy work environment.
Yoga and Free Food
Yes, many companies offer free yoga classes, provide free meals, and of course there’s in-house happy hour, though when can you ever find time for these activities when your VP of sales is breathing down your neck night, day, and weekends?
Corporate Branding Fiction
Many of these work/life/balance corporate branding efforts are misleading. In terms sales folks will understand, this is “bait and switch.” I receive calls and emails daily from individuals all around the U.S. who were told things like, “We support a healthy work and life balance…blah, blah, blah.” Then, if an individual has a family illness or a female becomes pregnant, even if they’re high performing, suddenly the company finds reasons not to support that individual.
Retaining vs. Retraining Costs
Why? As I’ve highlighted many times on my posts, retaining successful corporate contributors is always more cost efficient, if we’re going strictly to the bottom line, than forcing an employee to leave. On average it takes 11 months to retrain a new employee and get them working at or near the same level as the the replaced employee.
In enterprise sales, for some reason sales cycles are now expected to be four to six months, when in reality large enterprise sales cycles can take a minimum of one year. Now, this isn’t because cycles themselves have decreased, rather because Venture Capitalists or public investors expect sales to close within an unnatural business sales cycle. Here’s a deep dive below into the numbers from SHRM explicitly highlighting why employee turnover deserves attention.
Healthy Corporate Work Environments
Now, to balance this out in a big way, I also hear about excellent corporate cultures and leaders who do treat their employees with common decency. These companies not only succeed over the longer-term with regard to employee satisfaction, loyalty, and the Glassdoor question of, “Would you recommend to a friend”, their bottom line end of year sales numbers are excellent year-over-year. Even in tough economic times, these employers find a way to succeed.
Quantifying Employee Churn
Here’s a Harvard Business Review study that is both helpful reading for individual contributors and leaders specifically targeting this subject in quantifiable terms.
It would be wise for leaders to consider the costs of replacing good to excellent employees. At the same time, it’s imperative sales professionals research an employer, rather than finding out the hard way you’ve gone from the frying pan into the fire. Ultimately, your health should be your number one priority and working within a toxic environment leads to all sorts of stress related illnesses.
Melanie Wise, CEO