True, there is no “I” in “team.” There is, however, an “m” and an “e.”
Anquan Bolden wanted $6,000,000 per year – a sum befitting a receiver of his talent and production. The Ravens decided that retaining him was not their highest priority on a salary cap-challenged roster. Fans felt differently, especially in light of the 6thround pick received in consideration by the Ravens’ trading partner, the San Francisco 49’ers.
Despite its controversy, the transaction reflects the reality with which each party has to approach the employment relationship. The Ravens reportedly asked Bolden to take a $2,000,000 pay cut. The Ravens made the request, not because Bolden wasn’t worth $6 million, as compared to other wide receivers, but rather for the good of the Ravens. Bolden refused for the good of Bolden.
Both parties were right. The result was nothing if not predictable.
Employers often forget to see things from the perspective of their employees. Why do they stay? What do they want? What are their career goals? How can I help? These are the questions employers must ask if they are going to keep their most valuable players. Sadly, the question many are reduced to asking instead is “what could we have done differently?”
As frequent readers of this blog know, I am opposed to the institution that is the annual performance review. I do, however, strongly recommend that employers institute an annual career review. While such discussions should take place throughout the year – over lunch and in hallways – there is no substitute for actually scheduling a time to sit down with people, one-on-one, to discuss what is important to them.
After all, there are only two things in the business world that never lie: time and money. If an employer actively spends its time working for the betterment of its key players, it will doubtless find that the reverse is also true.