Retaining Knowledge Workers LO11854

Joe Katzman (
Mon, 13 Jan 1997 01:09:04 +0000

Replying to LO11788 --

David Wilkinson asks:
> Joe-- What's you "instinctive" answer to this question?

My instinctive answer? Lower the "Dilbert factor."

Knowledge workers have too many choices if they're any good. If management
come off as idiots, these people will at some level begin looking for more
hospitable environs. Petty bureaucracy, obvious lack of vision, or a
culture that makes it difficult to contribute to the company or maintain
cutting-edge skills will all cost you.

The point about culture is particularly significant. Knowledge workers
aren't stupid, and they realize that their long-term prospects for
employment rest on these factors. If you make these things difficult their
survival instinct begins working AGAINST continued employment with you,
the reverse of the normal response which is to maintain certainty by
staying put. Needless to say, many companies have not yet grasped this

That's my instinctive response, anyway. I don't know how well that fits
with the experiences of people on the list....

-- Joe


Joe Katzman <>

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