Lesson Learned from 2020

After my first write up, Lesson No. 1 - Distribute Your Eggs into Many Baskets, let me share on Lesson No. 2 – Remaining Positive When Key Talents Decided to Leave. 

2020 began with the excitement of moving into a new decade, with nary a whisper of a pandemic. Well, we all know how the year ended. We were sucked into new norms that eventually transformed the business community’s landscape, not to mention our personal and family lives. It shifted our entire view of how businesses work. Health safety for individuals and the community became the central theme of doing business. 2020 brought us a paradigm shift that gave us new valuable lessons in business.

Lesson No. 2 - Remaining Positive When Key Talents Decided to Leave

During the third and fourth quarters of 2019, we received many resignation letters from our Key Talents. Many of whom had been with the organisation between 2- 4 years. I always get nervous when receiving phone calls from my employees. If they were looking to have a business meeting with me, I would usually get an email to book my time, but phone calls were for more delicate matters. No matter the reason, it is always difficult to say goodbye after having formed a bond from the many years of working together. 

Our usual exit process would require an informal exit interview to understand the 'pull' and 'push' factors. . The trend of Gen Y and Z is to stay with an organisation for 3-5 years at the most before moving on to greener pastures. Those 3-5 years will be fully utilised to absorb as much learning as they possibly can through formal and on-the-job.

As Management, we sometimes wonder if the ROI (Return of Investment) for developing and training employees is worth it since most will eventually leave for various reasons. The investment we make will ultimately benefit the organisations they choose to move on to. What is worse, many will end up joining our competitors and prominent clients. But at the end of the day, when the talents we have so carefully developed succeed in joining bigger and better organisations, we know the success of our development program is proven. 

When our key talents leave, we continuously look at our succession planning program and the question we constantly ask ourselves is -Should we continue developing or should we hire new talents? The number of potential projects we had in the pipeline in 2020 was a cause for concern for us. The number of resources we had promised our clients meant we had to continue to grow our pool of talents.

Alas, this turned out to be a blessing in disguise for us. When the pandemic struck in Q1 of 2020, many projects got delayed and some were even postponed indefinitely. Despite the increased number of talents leaving our organisation, those who remained were all successfully deployed to projects and nobody was sitting idle. This is where LUCK played a hand and gave us a boost. Always trust that sometimes a significant portion of your success lies on LUCK, and we got lucky.

Bidding in many tenders was part of our PLANNING. People leaving, not so much. Just like Covid-19 pandemic that came as a surprise but with LUCK and a whole lot of praying, we are still here, thinking innovatively and performing diligently in delivering exceptionally to our clients and business partners. 

Lesson Learned

Disruption while uncomfortable can sometimes be exciting, painful yet liberating, destabilizing yet energizing. It depends on how you turn a disruption into an opportunity and make it work for you.

Lesson No 3 - Don't Underestimate the Capability of an 'Underdog' Customer (coming next)