Real Conversation at a company I worked for in the past. Tell me who the caveman is, then who the progressive is:
Me (presenting slide deck): So, here's the turnover stats for the month. Part of what I'm working on as the new guy is to give you more visibility related to turnover, then we can mine down to figure out where we have problems, and how we might be able to impact it.
Frank (functional area VP, with bully factor of 11 on a scale of 10): My numbers high, and that's mostly because we hold people accountable in my shop. Up or out, some choose to leave. Glad HR's taking a look at it, and I'm also glad that they're taking ownership of turnover in the company.
Me: <Biting my fist in my mind so I don't react>.
Gary (CEO): Frank, you don't really believe that HR owns turnover, do you?
Frank: Sure I do, I've got to run the business and I'm glad they're stepping up to own it.
Gary: Do you think reporting is owning?
Frank: I don't follow.
Gary: Do you think that HR simply reporting turnover indicates they're the owner?
Frank: No. I expect them to do something about it.
Gary: Frank, let me be clear. You're accountable for turnover in your organization. I'm happy that we have a credible HR function that reports on it and they can certainly help, but when you have 60% turnover in your organization, I'm coming back to you to ask you what's #@$@*# in your organization. I'll ask Kris as well, but you're the one who's responsible. You need to have answers. You might want to ask Kris what he thinks as well.
Me: <Staying silent, I really have nothing to add when the CEO is providing the lashing on turnover accountability. The young capitalist might have piped in, but wow, have I learned how to shut up when things are going well.>
Frank: <Statements and gestures indicating he understands and agrees>
Meeting moves onto the next topic.
Easy to see who the progressive is, right? The CEO. Now that I think about it, I should have given him a big freaking hug/sidebump/pound right then and there in that meeting.
Conversation brought back from long term memory as a reaction to this post from Lance at Your HR Guy, who questions the functionality of the exit interview as a replacement for your managers knowing what's going on and having open lines of communication with employees. Good post, go out and give it a read....