KEEPING SUZANNE CHALMERS
Suzanne Chalmers, one of the API’s top talents software engineers, asked Thomas Chan, the vice-president of software engineering at Advanced Photonics, Inc. (API), for a private meeting.
Thomas Chan had been through this before when valued employees asked for private meetings which ended by announcing that they wanted to quit. Reasons for leaving the company were anything like the long hours, stressful deadline, need to decompress or get to spend time with their kids…etc.
Thomas Chan assumes that the real reason for the staff leaving was having too much money too fast which gave employees financial independence and less motivation.
• There had been instances before Suzanne Chalmers, API’s valuable employees asked for a meeting and then announcing their purpose to leave API. • Many of API valued workers have financial independence making them less reason to stay indefinitely with the API • Many of them stated reasons such as stress long hours in API but however, will find work again in the same industry with the same stated problem that API have • The trend that people who left API will join a start-up company a few months later. • Many of small start-up software firms that were specialist, they recruits such as Suzanne Chalmers with better learning experiences, challenges and potential gain in share options.
• Suzanne Chalmers, who called to arrange a meeting with Chan. Chan almost intuitively, knew that Suzanne was going to quit after working at API for the past four years. • Suzanne was one of the API’s top talents in that area. • Some employees say they are leaving because of the long hours and stressful deadlines. • They say they need to decompress, get to spend time with their kids, or whatever, but that’s not usually the reason. • Many of the employees who leave API join a start-up company a few months later. • Start up firms can be pressure cookers where everyone works 16 hours each day and has to perform a variety of tasks. • API has over 6000 employees, so it is easier to assign people work that matches their technical competencies. • Most of the people who leave are millionaires.
• Financial independence gives them less reason to remain with the API.
The problem in this case study is high employee turnover caused by the work environment and the lack of employee loyalty.
There are several OB theories and models that can be applied to explain Suzanne Chalmers’ decision: 1. Maslow’s Needs Hierarchy: says that as a person satisfies a lower level need the next higher need in the hierarchy becomes the primary motivator and remains so even if never satisfied. • Physiological need of her financial independence makes her stable, • Safety by securing her position at API as a Software Engineer in Internet Protocol (IP) expert • Belongings by were a valuable employee at API
• Esteem by her high achievement accomplished in her position • Self-actualization is the higher need that Suzanne needs to satisfy; mostly work with more variety and challenge
2. Learned needs theory: may also be applied as it states that a person’s needs can be strengthened through reinforcement, learning, and social conditions.
Need for Achievement (nAch) is a learned need in which people want to accomplish reasonably challenging goals and recognition through their own effort. Thomas Chan offered Suzanne a 25% raise and more share options to stay with an API which did not convince her to stay because of her high nAch. He should have given her feedbacks and recognition for her work effort to motivate her which were in fact lacking...