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Some Surprising Findings on Median Employee Pay in 2022 

employee median

Some Surprising Findings on Median Employee Pay in 2022 

High inflation, layoffs in the tech sector, and a general sense of malaise – this about sums up the last 12 months. Yet, if you were employed at Warner Brothers, Dominos Pizza, Skyworks Solutions, or Schlumberger, median employee pay from 2021 to 2022 popped by between 67 and 108%. According to a Wall Street Journal analysis, despite some troubling macroeconomic indicators, compensation for the median worker over nearly 300 companies in the S&P 500 index was greater in 2022 (compared to the previous year).

The leading company in the analysis was a real estate investment trust that managed casinos and hotels. Vici Properties saw the salary of their median worker rise by 1,373%. Granted, the firm did not include the tens of thousands of workers that are technically employed by casinos working at their properties, but the jump was certainly notable. 

Meta Platforms (home to Facebook) registered median worker pay at nearly $300,000. This was up from 2021, but barely (1%). Meanwhile, Alphabet (home to Google) saw median pay drop by 5%, landing at $279,802 for 2022. While a struggling tech sector contributed to white-collar layoffs, small and large employers have continued hiring leaving unemployment at notable lows. In terms of salary levels, approximately one-third of those companies the Journal looked at reported median salaries of at least $100,000. Energy firms gained big in 2022 and unsurprisingly were represented in five of the Top 20 firms with the highest paid median salaries. 

On the lower end were those companies paying $50,000 or less to their median workers. These numbered around 100 of which the vast majority were either retailers, cruise operators, or restaurant chains. Something all 100 firms shared in common was the large percentage of hourly or part-time workers. Firms with contract, fixed salaries have a hard time maintaining median remunerations at $50,000 or less. The market is too flexible with high levels of movement at these salary brackets. 

An interesting observation comes from the industry side of the list. A preliminary assumption would be the financial services sector heavily represented in terms of the amount of median pay. Yet, media and entertainment, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, life sciences, and energy nearly dominate the top 30 listed companies. The Journal included Equity Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) as their own category and not part of Financial Services. REITs had at least four companies included in the top 30.    




Why the Future of Work Depends on VoIP

Now that employees are splitting time between home and the office, distributed workforces are doing their jobs more flexibly, happily, and efficiently than ever before. According to research from Owl Labs, 62% of employees feel more productive when working remotely. In fact, people love hybrid work so much that 1 in 2 are even willing to take a pay cut of 5% or more just to maintain their flexibility. 

Suffice to say, hybrid work is here to stay.  But with all it’s benefits, hybrid work still presents plenty of challenges, too.  Many businesses are struggling to communicate and collaborate as they would in a typical work environment. 

That’s where cloud calling comes into play. But first, let’s dig deeper into the technology that makes cloud calling possible: VoIP. 

What is VoIP?

VoIP stands for Voice-over-Internet-Protocol. In simple terms, VoIP allows you to place phone calls over an internet  connection instead of a traditional landline.

Here’s how it works: When you make a call, a VoIP system synthesizes your voice signal into smaller data packets and ships them over the internet to an awaiting IP address. If you’re calling a regular telephone, the solution converts the digital signal into a traditional format before reaching the recipient. 

Unlike a traditional PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network)VoIP systems don’t use physical phone lines or cables. This means businesses can deploy a full phone system for both internal and external calls, entirely in the cloud.  

And the best part? All it takes is an internet connection. That means anyone can use VoIP from any location on any device. That’s flexibility you just don’t get from a traditional PSTN.

Why VoIP is a must-have solution

The adoption of VoIP for business has been gaining steam for well over a decade. As a matter of fact, cloud calling licenses have nearly doubled from 47 million in 2018 to more than 90 million in 2022.

The U.K. is even planning on shutting down its entire PSTN by the end of 2025. Once its aging infrastructure has sunset all calls will become digitized through VoIP calling. 

Of course, some forward-thinking businesses are ahead of the curve. During the pandemic, when countless organizations shifted toward remote-first policies, several identified cloud calling as a necessary upgrade from costly on-premises solutions. Fueled by the continued use of hybrid work, the global VoIP market will more than double in size to roughly $100 billion in 2032. 

So, why VoIP? Well, consider the drawbacks of legacy infrastructure. 

Traditional systems are inflexible in terms of adequately supporting a distributed workforce. Worse yet, they’re exceptionally complex and expensive to install, manage, and maintain. As phone systems age, older hardware becomes obsolete, requiring recurring upgrades and potentially costly overhauls.

Benefits of VoIP and cloud calling

VoIP systems aren’t restricted by the  on-prem limitations of PSTN and Public Branch Exchange (PBX) systems.  By enabling comprehensive cloud calling solutions, VoIP offers a range of advantages, including:

1. Reduced costs: According to estimates, cloud calling can help businesses save up to 90% on international calls, 75% on operational costs, and 30% on teleconferencing and phone bills. Why? No fiber optic cables, installation, or maintenance required.

2. Global scalability: VoIP coverage is expanding around the world, allowing you to support a truly global workforce. Because it’s cloud-based, you can add or remove users as your business grows or changes, rolling out new phone lines according to your needs.

3. Collaboration: Cloud calling can also deliver cloud-based messaging, video conferencing, and contact center solutions into the same experience. Along with next-level call quality, these advanced features make it easy for all team members to stay connected no matter which device they use.

4. Simple set up and maintenance: No physical phone lines or robust hardware required. All it takes to set up is an internet connection and a web-enabled device, which means new users can be onboarded within minutes. Plus, thanks to minimal  on-premises hardware and automated software updates, IT departments don’t have to worry about outdated communications technology.

5. Cloud security: One of the biggest challenges of working from home is keeping your business data safe and secure. The leading cloud calling platforms deliver built-in security features like real-time data loss prevention, SOC-2 compliance, and bring your own key (BYOK) capabilities to safeguard information and prevent outside intrusion.

Future-proofing your hybrid workforce

Simply put, the way we work is evolving. That means your business needs to be evolve too.

Thanks to VoIP, it actually can. As a more flexible, feature-rich, and cost-effective solution, cloud calling is poised to carry enterprises into the next phase of hybrid work and empower tomorrow’s businesses to perform at their best.

Reilly Nolan, Content Marketing Manager, Webex by Cisco has more than 10 years of experience across the technology, healthcare, interior design, consumer goods, and fashion industries. Unpacking the human aspect of the product experience is what informs his writing most. In his spare time, Reilly has published and shortlisted fiction in a variety of national literary magazines.


remote employee

Firms will Struggle to Differentiate between Contract and Full-Time Employees 

The line between a contractor and an employee may get even blurrier. The US Department of Labor has proposed to make it more difficult for someone to be classified as an independent contractor. This is expected to hit several sectors especially hard – namely the transport of goods and people. 

The Department of Labor proposal is vague. For example, contractors would be moved to full employee status once it is deemed they are “economically dependent” on a company. What constitutes dependency is not clear. Some studies suggest full-time employees (as opposed to contractors) can cost a company up to 30% more. Yet, as the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) suggests, many employers take advantage of misclassifying workers who are then deprived of federal labor protections. If employees are not aware of their rights these relationships can go undetected. 

Upwork, a freelancing marketplace, revealed in a December 2021 study that roughly 60 million people (over one-third of US workers) engaged in some type of freelance work over the previous 12 months. Many worker advocacy groups are understandably championing the Department of Labor’s proposal. Rideshare Drivers United is a group centered on protecting contract driver conditions. They frequently cite that although many Lyft and Uber drivers can make upwards of $60 per hour, their take-home pay after deducting insurance, car payments, and gas is at a minimum wage level. 

On the other end, the Associated Builders and Contractors and the largest US business lobbying group, the US Chamber of Commerce, argue that those workers who want to preserve their flexibility would be harmed by being forced into a strict full-time schedule. After all, businesses like Uber and Lyft as well as trucking companies that count on contract drivers have structured their operations on flexible scheduling. Many argue they wouldn’t be profitable otherwise. 

The prevailing argument for those policymakers and politicians advocating for reducing contract work is it is exploitative. While there is research to suggest some contractors would elect full-time employee status, that doesn’t necessarily bolster the case that the government should regulate it. Other surveys and studies such as the heavily cited BRX Research survey (1,200 people in 2019) revealed that the vast majority of respondents indicated gig or contract work was not their primary source of income. Moreover, the youngest cohort of this study was seemingly using the flexibility of their gig jobs to supplement their main employment. 

Like any law, the unintended consequences are where the focus should be. It does not seem like those advocating for the current iteration of the proposal have pondered the extent to which mandating contractors become employees could affect not only the flexibility of the position but employers as well. 



chain global failure friedman footprint relationship chinese registrar supply analytics life



Employers Can Thwart the Great Resignation Through Recogition & Career Growth Opportunities

One thing Dan Johnston and Michele Bailey agree on is lack of career growth is among the reasons so many people have left/are
leaving the workforce.

Johnston is the founder and CEO of WorkStep, a San Francisco maker of workforce retention software. WorkStep recently collected the insights of 16,000 employees at some of the top companies in the U.S.

“The top reason for turnover is career growth,” concluded the survey, which further defined the problem as “the inability to create a roadmap to climb the ladder and connect with managers for support.”

Other top drivers for quitting include unclear job expectations, lack of safety and limited peer coaching and feedback from leadership.

Surprisingly, perhaps, is pay ranked as the No. 7 reason people self-terminate—even though increasing salaries is the top strategy employers rely on to attract new workers.

The fact that lack of career growth topped the WorkStep survey would not surprise Bailey, the ForbesBooks author of The Currency of Gratitude: Turning Small Gestures into Powerful Business Results. Ticking off ways employers can retain workers, she includes: “encourage professional development.”

Forward-thinking, growth-oriented companies hire talented people with the capability of taking on bigger responsibilities, she notes.

“Professional development provides the opportunity for steps up in their career path,” Bailey says. “Employees who do not see a clear path are at risk of leaving.”

The founder and CEO of The Blazing Group, a brand and culture agency born of Bailey’s “strategy-first approach” to business and desire to enhance employee wellness in pursuit of business goals, she also created My Big Idea, a mentoring program designed to propel individuals toward their personal and professional goals.

Other things employers should do to keep good workers is build culture by acknowledging the whole person. While “work-life balance” has gotten a lot of attention during the pandemic, Bailey says good leadership ensures that balance is in place by going the extra mile to know employees, and to listen to their concerns, whether personal or professional.

“The reality is that all of us bring our personal selves to work and our work selves home with us,” she says. “When something is going well or poorly in either space, it tends to seep into our attitudes and
behavior in the other. When you address the overall wellness of your people as part of your business mandate, you have people well-aligned and rowing in the same direction.”

Creating an army of brand ambassadors can empower employees, who will feel as if their voices are being heard—and will thus perform their best work, something Bailey backs up with statistics from Gallup and Salesforce.

“Many businesses tout themselves as collaborative workplaces with great cultures; however, worker frustration suggests that the reality is otherwise,” she says. “A good culture is a place where they’re
freed to flourish, energized and proud to represent the brand to clients.”

Bailey further suggests that rewarding and recognizing jobs well done should be part of any business plan.

“Showing gratitude to your workforce is imperative to having a successful business,” she says. “Eventually people want you to
show them the money–and you must if you truly value them–but frequent shows of gratitude in any form should be consistent
and timely.”

Bailey will get no argument on that point from David Friedman, the author of Culture by Design: How to Build a High Performing Culture Even in the New Remote Work Environment. The founder and CEO of CultureWise, a turnkey operating system for small to midsize businesses to create and sustain a high-performing culture,
Friedman formerly presided over RSI, an award-winning employee benefits brokerage and consulting firm that was named one of
the best places to work in the Philadelphia region seven times.

Having taught more than 6,000 CEOs about work culture and led more than 500 workshops on the subject, Friedman believes, “Recognition is the best way to boost employee engagement, productivity and profit while significantly strengthening your

He adds, “It may seem intuitive that employees who are thanked and recognized for their work are happier and, as a result, perform better. But unfortunately, managers may be busy with other tasks or have an attitude of ‘If you don’t hear anything, assume you’re doing a good job.’ That approach loses good people who were very valuable. 

That’s something U.S. businesses cannot afford to continue considering the record numbers of workers who are leaving their jobs, something Friedman notes has been blamed on a lack of appreciation from employers.

Appreciation is an especially important factor to a large segment of the workforce— millennials and Gen Z. In a poll taken shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic began, 79% of millennial and Gen Z respondents said an increase in recognition and rewards would
make them more loyal to their employer.

With companies losing talented people and struggling to fill open positions, leaders need to know how to make employee recognition and appreciation a more consistent part of their work culture, Friedman contends.

He also cites benefits to company leaders praising teams as well as individuals, pointing to the Gallup survey that shows giving kudos
to teams can encourage collaboration, inspire trust, clarify organizational goals, improve quality and reinforce a team’s sense of

“Praise for a job well done should flow across all levels of the organization–peer to peer, manager to their direct report, and
direct report to their manager,” Friedman says. “Remember your remote workers–they may already be feeling disconnected from the
workplace, so remind them that you notice and appreciate their contributions.”

Yes, but appreciation must be authentic and individualized, according to Friedman, who notes that employees are savvy and
can see through an “everyone gets a trophy” mentality.

“Saying ‘great job’ is nice, but it’s much more meaningful if you detail the specifics of the person’s actions and how they helped
advance the company’s objectives,” he says.
“And if their efforts merit more than a compliment, or such efforts are a trend for them, then leaders need to figure out a fair tangible reward. Promotions with pay raises and increased responsibilities go the next step to show consistent high performers that they
are truly valued.”

Recognition should also be tailored to the recipient, he maintains. Some people enjoy being the center of attention, so a formal public recognition is ideal for them, Friedman says, while others avoid the spotlight and prefer a one-on-one acknowledgement. For a team
acknowledgment, a company-wide or departmental meeting might be a fitting forum.

“That’s a great way to show the link between the team’s accomplishments, company objectives and the importance of
working well together,” Friedman says.

It may pose a problem reaching remote workers, but he recommends leaders show their appreciation in person, noting, “the inperson touch has a lot more impact, especially when it comes from an executive with whom the employee has very little exposure.”

Friedman finds creating and maintaining a positive culture pays dividends when it comes to retaining workers.

“Culture change starts with identifying the specific behaviors that drive success in your company,” he says. “One of them should be
showing meaningful appreciation. That means regularly recognizing people doing things right, rather than frequently pointing out
when they do things wrong.

“Recognition leads to happy employees, better retention, and better business results. When your people know they are appreciated, really valued, it will make a huge difference in your day-to-day culture and in your growth as a company.”


Editor’s note: Since this story published, WorkStep released Q1 2022 turnover data that shows:

  • Lack of career growth remains the main factor driving workers out of their current positions (three quarters in a row)
  • Pay dropped in importance from #2 (Q4 2021) to #10 in Q1 2022
  • 77% of frontline supply chain workers are considering a job change in the next three months
  • 70% of frontline supply chain workers feel as if their voices aren’t being heard
  • 41% of respondents say management never asks for feedback

WorkStep’s linked research takes a deeper look at the frontline workforce’s sentiment toward their current roles.

business relationships

5 Ways To Strengthen Your Business Relationships And Grow Your Company

Another record year for entrepreneurship could be in store for 2022. But how many of these new business owners end up succeeding will depend on more than the quality of the products and services they offer.

Creating and nurturing customer relationships allow businesses to offer a more personalized and enticing customer experience, which produces the buyer loyalty that is vital to a company’s long-term success, says James Webb (, a successful entrepreneur in the medical and fitness sectors and author of A Country Boy’s Journey To Prosperity.

Relationships are the greatest asset an entrepreneur has,” Webb says. “To retain customers, it requires a process that turns every touchpoint with a customer into an opportunity for communication, trust, and mutual growth.”

But Webb emphasizes that an entrepreneur’s success is also highly contingent upon the strength of other business relationships as well.

“Good relationships with employees bring new meaning to work, strong productivity and new ideas that carry the business forward,” Webb says. “Relationships with financial partners allow you to take risks. Mentors and colleagues can help you view strategy and processes through a different lens.

“The more you cultivate all of these business relationships, the more you, they, and your business can grow. But you can’t take them for granted. Relationships are gardens that need tending.”

Webb offers these tips to entrepreneurs on how to strengthen their relationships with customers and other business associates:

Invite customer feedback. Webb says to truly know where your company stands with customers and what you can do to improve and better meet their needs, you need to survey their thoughts about your products and services – ideally in person. “Most of the time unsatisfied customers don’t approach you with a detailed list of things they’d like for you to improve on,” Webb says. “They just leave for one of your competitors. So set aside time to get their feedback and show them you care.”

Make your customer feel valued through the entire experience. “Consider the customer experience from start to finish,” Webb says. “Find opportunities to go the extra mile and make shopping with your company enjoyable. Positive words will spread like wildfire about your business, especially on social media, and remember, negative words can spread, too. Make customers feel they’re a part of something special by making them feel special.” A key part to the customer experience equation, Webb notes, is providing good website content that gives them insight and a quick path to solutions.

Encourage a sense of ownership among your employees. Webb says giving employees a voice in major decisions, more responsibility and allowing them to own stock are ways to create a sense of ownership and strong ties between your employees and your business. “Inspiring your employees to love your business as much as you do will strengthen your company’s foundation,” Webb says. “Your business will be that much more likely to survive setbacks and grow.”

Be generous with compliments. “Employees know you can’t give them a raise every time they do a good job, but recognizing them when they do good work makes them feel appreciated and goes a long way toward making them want to stay at your company,” Webb says.

Value your vendors. People who service your company regularly are a big part of the infrastructure that keeps your company rolling. “Treat them like honorary employees,” Webb says. “Everyone from your suppliers to your web designer is an important part of your extended team, and nurturing these relationships with nice gestures and consistent communication will just make your company stronger from the ground up.”

“It’s critical to be humble enough to understand that you need great relationships to succeed as an entrepreneur,” Webb says. “I’ve seen talented people fail because they thought they could do it alone.”


James Harold Webb ( is the author of Redneck Resilience: A Country Boy’s Journey To Prosperity. His career in radiology saw him rise from a technologist to becoming a leader in the industry as the entrepreneur of several companies focused on outpatient medical imaging, pain management and laboratory services. In 2014, Webb turned his attention to the fitness sector and developed, owned and oversaw the management of 33 Orangetheory Fitness® franchises throughout North Texas. They were all sold to a private equity group in 2019. He currently owns the franchise rights for Dallas, Austin and Houston for BeBalanced Centers, a homeopathic hormone weight-loss franchise. His team has three stores open with plans for another 15 to 20 over the next four years.


8 Small Policy Changes That Can Significantly Strengthen Retention

Worker shortages are plaguing the warehousing and logistics industry. While many companies are looking for new ways to attract workers to remediate the situation, retention is just as, if not more, important.

Without strong retention, recruitment will do little good. Replacing a salaried employee also costs six to nine months’ salary on average, so retention is far more affordable. Thankfully, even small policy changes can strengthen employee retention. Here are eight examples.

1. Tighten the Recruitment Process

Retention starts with hiring. Employers can prevent many turnover cases by hiring workers who are more likely to stay in the first place. The first step to achieve that is to ensure that job postings are accurate and transparent.

One study found that nearly half of all workers have left a job because it didn’t meet their expectations. Instead of relying on vague language and buzzwords, job descriptions should offer specific details about the position. That way, any applicants understand the roles they’re taking on, preventing disillusionment down the line.

Job seekers will also appreciate honesty. Being transparent in the recruitment process may give new hires a better starting impression of the workplace.

2. Create Upward Mobility Opportunities

One of the most crucial policy changes for better retention is to enable upward mobility. In 2019, 20% of workers who left a job did so because of career development-related reasons. In fact, career development has been the number one reason employees leave for 10 straight years.

This issue has a relatively straightforward fix, too. When a new position opens up, instead of looking for outside hires, companies should promote from within. Businesses should also look to create plenty of opportunities for advancement to give workers a career growth goal.

Career development opportunities can be more than raises and promotions, too. Courses to teach employees new skills or fund their education will help increase retention, too.

3. Accept Anonymous Feedback

Another simple yet effective policy change to make is to have a system for anonymous feedback. Workers may have suggestions for improving the workplace but may fear retribution if management can trace their comments back to them. Anonymous feedback forms let employees speak up confidently.

It’s important to respond to this feedback, too. Making changes that workers want can help ensure the workplace fosters a positive environment. Employees will also feel empowered if they see how their actions impact the workplace, and empowered workers are 33% more likely to stay for three years.

It can help to encourage workers to use these systems, too. That encouragement will promote an air of trust and transparency and empower them further.

4. Support Worker Health

Lifestyle-related benefits are easy to overlook but can be an effective policy change to retain employees. Healthy workers are likely to feel happier and more satisfied, and employers can help them be healthy. By offering perks that support healthy worker lifestyles, businesses can show their employees that they care about their well-being.

Providing nutritious food options in company cafeterias is an easy change to make. Foods high in nutrients like vitamin C can boost workers’ immune systems, helping them feel stronger and healthier. Providing exercise programs or occasional on-site massage therapy can help too.

5. Communicate With Employees Often

Along similar lines, it’s important to maintain communication with employees. Studies show that nearly half of Americans feel lonelier than usual, so feeling seen and valued in the workplace can make a significant difference. Talking with workers will help them feel valued and bring any issues they have to light.

Remember that this communication goes both ways. In addition to listening to employees, management should inform them of any upcoming opportunities and changes often. If workers don’t understand what’s going on at the company, they’ll feel underutilized and unimportant, leading to turnover. In contrast, feeling involved can convince them to stay.

6. Maintain Competitive Compensation

Most employers already understand that higher pay and more competitive benefits will help convince workers to stay. This issue goes beyond bumping up a starting salary once or offering new perks, though. Businesses should have a policy to review industry compensation rates periodically to see how theirs compares.

Workers quitting because of pay and benefits-related reasons have increased by more than 26% since 2010. This trend also coincides with the growing movement of more businesses offering new perks and adjusting pay rates. What constitutes competitive compensation is changing and changes regularly, so a one-time fix is insufficient.

Periodically reviewing industry trends can reveal whether an employer offers sufficient compensation or if they need to adjust. This prevents underpaying compared to competitors as well as unnecessarily raising rates.

7. Recognize and Reward Commendable Behavior

According to one survey, 79% of employees who quit their jobs cite a lack of appreciation as a major factor. Thankfully, employers can address that with relatively straightforward policy changes.

Workplaces should have a policy of recognizing and rewarding positive behavior in their workers. Regular awards given to the highest-performing employees or praising workers’ actions and achievements in company newsletters can help workers feel valued. These rewards, though seemingly small, can go a long way in employee retention.

Workers don’t often expect much in return for good service. Typically, recognition of a job well done is sufficient. While monetary incentives don’t hurt, taking the time to praise commendable behavior can make a significant difference.

8. Encourage Employees to Take Advantage of Perks

Another seemingly small but significant change for employee retention is letting workers know it’s okay to use their benefits. Poor experiences with other employers may leave workers feeling like they shouldn’t use their time off or other perks. Encouraging them to do so can assuage those concerns, making them feel more welcome.

When workers take advantage of their benefits, they’ll likely feel more relaxed and fulfilled. When management doesn’t just allow but encourages it, they’ll feel appreciated, too. If employees feel like their employers care for their work-life balance, they’ll be less likely to leave.

Small Changes Can Have a Big Impact

Workplace changes don’t need to be disruptive to have a substantial impact on employee retention. It’s often an amalgamation of multiple “little” things that convince workers to leave a job. In the same way, making several little changes can convince workers to stay with their current employer.

These eight changes represent some of the most effective yet straightforward improvements to strengthen retention. By implementing these fixes, businesses can reduce turnover and related costs and foster a more motivated, positive workforce.


3 Tips For Leaders To Steady The Ship When Employees Lose Their Balance

Company leaders and managers have a big responsibility in overseeing employees. But they can’t see everything, and sometimes there’s more going on in a worker’s life than meets the eye.

Employee disengagement or burnout isn’t always apparent, and some employers may be in for a surprise if and when the COVID-19 pandemic winds down. One study shows that 57% of U.S. employees say they are burnt out, with many likely to leave their job after the pandemic is over. And a Gallup survey reveals that the percentage of engaged employees – those enthusiastic about their workplace – is under 40%.

What the numbers mean is leaders need to learn how to spot and help out-of-balance employees, says Mark McClain, CEO and co-founder of SailPoint and the ForbesBooks author of Joy and Success at Work: Building Organizations that Don’t Suck (the Life Out of People).

“One challenge leaders and managers routinely face is to recognize when the people around them – peers, colleagues, but especially subordinates – are out of balance or are heading in the wrong direction,” McClain says. “Beyond the potential impacts on their personal lives, you want to try to head off the negative effects such imbalances can have on their roles in the company.

“This may seem imposing, but you have to pay attention as a leader. No employee can run at a crazy pace forever, yet some companies let people run themselves right out of the building. Other workers who are disengaged can be harder to spot initially.”

McClain offers these tips for leaders to spot, address, and help out-of-balance employees:

Make work-life balance part of your culture. “You can expect much from your employees, but you don’t want them to fry themselves,” McClain says. “You don’t want them to harm their health, their family, or their relationships. If you have good people, ideally you’ll grow them and help them work toward their vision of a healthy work-life balance. The sooner leaders confront imbalance in the equation, the more meat they put on the bones of company culture.”

Screen out for potential burnout. Some companies hire knowing they will overwork people or take advantage of their ambition to work extra hard and advance up the corporate ladder, McClain says. But that approach can lead to burnout and departure, which costs companies in terms of replacing them. “There are always going to be ultra-motivated climbers,” McClain says. “But exploiting them is beyond bad. Those who can’t stand it get out, and the HR departments plan on the fact that every four or five years, only 15 to 20 percent of those hires will be able to move up the ranks. These types of organizations instead should invest in pre-hiring assessments to screen out those who value a life outside of work. Doing so would save the companies money and turnover.”

Be a counselor. It’s not an invasion of privacy for a manager to show concern in an employee, McClain says, and probing is necessary to help the employee. “Like it or not,” he says, “being a counselor of sorts is part of managing people. Getting to know them as people, and their work styles, is what makes spotting imbalances possible. It’s why good managers pull employees aside and say, ‘Hey, you’re here, but you’re not engaged. Is something going on?’ Managers who take that step are able to uncover issues and steer their employees to the help they need.”

“Many companies talk about caring for workers until they’re blue in the face,” McClain says. “But when you put in place the pieces to help them succeed, leaders walk the walk – and everybody wins.”


Mark McClain (, ForbesBooks author of Joy and Success at Work: Building Organizations that Don’t Suck (the Life Out of People), is CEO of SailPoint, a leader in the enterprise identity management market. McClain has led the company from its beginnings in 2005, when it started as a three-person team, to today where SailPoint has grown to more than 1,200 employees who serve customers in 35 countries.


Is Your Business a Revolving Door? 10 Ways To Keep Your Best Employees.

Employee retention and turnover are important terms to every business owner and leader. But sometimes the driving factors behind why employees leave aren’t fully grasped or addressed by leadership, and if that disconnect persists, the business suffers while some of the best employees beat a path to the door.

“Leaders know that it’s vital to attract good talent, but knowing how to keep good talent involves an important process that leaders must learn and practice,” says Steve Baker (, a business coach, vice president of The Great Game of Business Inc., and co-author with Rich Armstrong of GET IN THE GAME: How To Create Rapid Financial Results And Lasting Cultural Change.

“Making employee retention a priority for your company is essential for continual growth, success, and sustainability.”

Baker and Armstrong offer 10 tips to business leaders and managers on how they can retain their best employees. Make employees feel they’re part of something special. “In the same way that you promote the value proposition of your products and services to potential customers, you should do the same with employees, only focusing on your attributes as an employer,” Armstrong says. “Inclusivity and pride are feelings you can leverage to help them understand that working for your organization is a unique opportunity.”

Emphasize the purpose and meaning of the work. “The outstanding employees you seek to hire and retain have special talents, skills, and drive,” Baker says. “Make it clear to them that what they are doing benefits both the company and your customers in important ways.”

Ensure deserving team members are rewarded. Successful companies reward employees who go above and beyond. “Recognition, bonuses, and promotions demonstrate your respect and appreciation for hard-working team members,” Armstrong says.

Give employees more responsibility. One of the most effective employee retention strategies is to give them greater responsibility to make a bigger difference. “This starts with financial literacy training and continues with regular updates on business statistics like profits and revenue, and details on how their efforts are moving the needle,” Baker says.

Surround employees with other talented workers. People like to be a part of teams that are built for success. “By creating groups of skilled and motivated workers,” Armstrong says, “you can tap into a competitive and cooperative partnership that will benefit the business as a whole.”

Mentor employees. “When you prioritize personal growth and development,” Baker says, “employees see that their careers are going somewhere and that their organization’s interests are aligned with their own.”

Nurture trust in leadership. All great relationships are built on trust, and the workplace is no different. “Outstanding employees will stay if they trust leadership,” Armstrong says, “and that trust grows from leaders being honest, open, and interested in their team members.”

Get employees emotionally invested. People are passionate about the things they have helped create. “The more you engage employees in the development of the organization,” Baker says, “the more emotionally invested they become and the more likely they are to stay.”

Create a positive work culture.  “If you create a drama-free environment where honesty and integrity matter, your employee retention rate will rise,” Armstrong says.

Provide competitive compensation. “None of the other retention strategies matter if you continue to underpay an employee,” Baker says. “It is important to stay on top of what constitutes fair compensation in your industry.”

“Increasing employee retention and keeping it at a high level is challenging,” says Armstrong, “but you can start by getting your people in the same game the owner is: the game of business.

“You can build a winning culture by creating a business of business people. Allowing employees to contribute to a greater good and valuing their contribution inspires loyalty and commitment. At the end of the day, it’s all about creating a winning company and a company of winners.”


Rich Armstrong ( is the president of The Great Game of Business Inc., and co-author, with Steve Baker, of GET IN THE GAME: How To Create Rapid Financial Results And Lasting Cultural Change. This book is the how-to application of Jack Stack’s 1992 bestseller, The Great Game of Business. Armstrong and Baker co-authored the update of Stack’s book in The Great Game of Business – 20th Anniversary Edition. Armstrong has nearly 30 years of experience in improving business performance and employee engagement through the practice of open-book management and employee ownership.

Steve Baker ( is the vice president of The Great Game of Business Inc., and is a top-rated, sought-after speaker and coach on the subjects of open-book management, strategy, and execution, leadership, and employee engagement. Baker is a career marketing and branding professional and an award-winning artist.