Do organizations really value employees who critically think?

I recently came across an article by Andrew Jacobs, Being critical for a moment | Lost and Desperate which examines critical thinking and creativity/innovation within organizations. 

The author asked, “Do we assume people in the workplace are able and encouraged to critically think?” One follower replied, “very few roles require critical thinking capability. Most need problem solving and customer service attitude.” 

I thought this was very interesting. I spend a lot of time with organizations talking about the importance of hiring and developing critical thinking skills among employees. I discuss the importance of, “thought based organizations” where diversity of thinking is valued and encouraged. However, do organizations really want critical thinkers? Remember that the critical thinkers are the often the ones who question norms and callout mistakes.  They can be the squeaky wheels.  Do organizations value employees who question the norms and culture or are they labeled as trouble makers? There is a Japanese proverb that states that, “the nail that sticks out gets hammered down”.  Is this the case within corporations?  Will the critical thinker who speaks out be encouraged or hammered down to fit into the existing culture? 

What do you think?  Are we encouraging critical thought in the workplace?  Should we?

Improve retention with “stay interviews” instead of exit interviews

I came across an interesting article about a new trend to help with employee retention. It is called “stay interviews”.  Instead of an exit interview (which the author compares to “closing the barn doors after the horses are out”) the focus is on why employees are staying.  

The concept of stay interviews is interesting because the data would help employers understand what motivates their employees. Why do the employees show up to work everyday? How does the job help them achieve their dreams? 

The best way to find out the answers to these questions would be to ask the employees what motivates them but how many companies actually do this? Or should I ask, how many companies actually make changes based on the feedback? It is not enough to ask the question but an action (or explanation) must occur as a result. Otherwise the information is simply information and won’t improve retention. 

Check out the article: Hiring Wisdom: Why You REALLY Need to Do Retention Interviews

Does your organization track employee motivators? How?