… the HR Minion. Because even minions have opinions. And giggles.

Be careful what you wish for, cause you just might get it.

My company has a department with an average tenure of 7 years. They are a solid team. They are efficient, hard working, low maintenance, and they all get along. In my time with this company, I have NEVER had to respond to a problem from them. I’ve never had to staff for a position in that department either.

At first glance, this is awesome. Why can’t all departments be like them? Retention is important but at what point does it become more detrimental than helpful? Here are the negatives to what should be considered an ideal department:

1. No motivation for advancement or professional growth. The team members are all great at what they do. But this is the only thing they want to do. They have never expressed interest in moving to another department, learning new skills, moving up in the company, etc. While not everyone needs to want to be managers, it’s not good to have a team this complacent either. It is harmful for the company or for their own careers because stagnation is bound to set in.

2. Lack of new blood and new ideas. How innovative can your team be when they’ve all gotten used to and never had a reason to question the status quo? No one rocks the boat, no one tries to do something different, and there is no need for flexibility. You need new people to breathe new life into a team.

3. Lack of growth for the supervisor. Supervisors across the world probably wish they had such a harmonious team. However, you only develop your skills as a supervisor by dealing with problems. How much effort does it take to manage a team that never has problems?

4. All your knowledge lies with a few select people.
When you have the same people performing the same job for years, they develop amazing levels of expertise. Unfortunately, you can come to over rely on them. So what happens if one of them does leave and no one else knows what they know? You’re in trouble, big trouble. It’s a liability issue to have only one subject matter expert for any process.

Retention is great but it needs to be managed as much as turnover. Move people around, do cross-training, encourage professional development, and never stop challenging your associates in order to keep them sharp. How can any company survive if their own associates are complacent?

Any other downsides you can think of? And am I the only one who can’t get the song “When I grow up” by The Pussycat Dolls out of my head?

When I grow up, I want to be famous… but be careful what you wish for, cause you just might get it.

2 Responses | Add your Own

  • 1 MsPinkSlip :

    Good turnover is rarely discussed because we can’t get companies past their bad turnover to even discuss good turnover.

    I have a few of those cohesive little silo departments, too. They are usually comprised of a majority of women who are retirement eligible in 5-10years with one or two submissive/antisocial men mixed in. Am I right?

  • 2 HR Minion :

    Mspinkslip – You are totally right! 🙂