Many of us only do business stateside, but there is a lot to be learned from the way businesses function internationally. Japanese business stands in stark contrast to the way business is done in the United States.
In Japan, employees do not switch companies. When one is hired, it is considered an honor to be employed and a great offense to ever leave the company. When I first heard this I was a little taken back. What about the company culture made it shameful to ever leave?
The answer? Everything. In Japan, your company is your family. Any problem of your family or personal life is discussed with your team leader. All vacations are taken together as a company. It’s family. Many companies even go so far as to have a company song which they sing together in the mornings as a sort of pledge of allegiance.
So, am I asking you to go this far? No. But I am presenting a question for you to think of this week: do your team members have a reason to stay?
You might think this is their problem, not yours, and, frankly, I get that. You are not responsible for the happiness of everyone. Happiness is a personal responsibility. But you, more than anyone, are responsible for the team environment. This may sound like a burden, but it can actually be a blast to create traditions and team dynamics that give people a reason to stay. This doesn’t happen in one day and does take significant thought. Especially as you evaluate what kind of team you have.
This is a short post, but I prefer you take more time thinking about the question than reading the post.