Who needs stars?

I do hope that I do not give the impression of being a very studious student or anything like that by mentioning my classes in the posts here all the time. If that is the case I must clarify that the right way of looking at it is that how much would I be attentive to what is going on in the class when my mind is rambling over what I write here -)

Now that it has begun in such an apologetic tone about the classes obviously the inspiration for this one has to come from one the classes. OK, it was a class on Human Resource Management – an elective course. The discussion was about promotions, benefit etc. based on seniority or merit or whatever. An example of a fairly successful company was brought up where the promotions and salaries etc. are based entirely on your seniority in the organization and the employee turnover is merely 2% as against the industry average in that segment of around 30%! Why bother about merit based benefits etc. to retain stars? Its so difficult to assess “merit” anyway and probably we can do without taking all the pains of judging merit.

Thought over it a bit and then I believe that in general an organization could indeed do without bothering about the merit kind of thing. Not because they do not lose stars or because existence of any “stars” is a dubious thing, but because who needs stars? (Before I go ahead, I must put down something on who is a star. Of course there is nothing like a “star” who is a “star” under all circumstances, but given certain circumstances, particular organization, particular industry, there are people who would have the capacity to do things much better than others and make a difference. They are the stars.) Most of the people are not stars – there would be nothing so great about stars if that were the case anyway -) Probably the percentage of people who are stars is much-much less than 2%. In all likelihood the company in the example is losing all the “stars”, but that does not make a difference. What would you do with stars anyway? What you get recognized for is what you produce on an average and what you produce on an average would roughly correspond to what your average employee is like. A few stars here and there could make some differences provided they do not get crushed under the team culture, so necessary for any organization, which would itself be extremely difficult to ensure.

So, what is all this fuss about hiring and retaining stars all about. Nothing. Most of us prefer predictability whether we accept it or not and organization can as well stop making all these big talks about hiring, retaining, encouraging and promoting stars. Most of the customers are not stars and they are happy to get what non-stars can provide.

If you are a star, hence, make your own way. World (except possibly small but sincere organization) does not need you otherwise.

I hope I am not blasted for writing all this -) Blame HR!

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