Friday, May 24, 2013

Retaining Key Employees

Did you ever work for a company you hated to leave? You liked the people, the location maybe even the coffee shop down the road. But somehow all that familiarity that binds you to them does not make you want to stay when a better deal comes along of a monetary or management type role.

Most likely you were well liked and undoubtedly management would like to keep you, especially in this age. One way they could go about this discussion is the way Moshe did it in this week's parsha. Chapter 10:29-32
29. Then Moses said to Chobav the son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses's father-in-law, We are traveling to the place about which the Lord said, I will give it to you. Come with us and we will be good to you, for the Lord has spoken of good fortune for Israel.   כט. וַיֹּאמֶר משֶׁה לְחֹבָב בֶּן רְעוּאֵל הַמִּדְיָנִי חֹתֵן משֶׁה נֹסְעִים | אֲנַחְנוּ אֶל הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר אָמַר יְהֹוָה אֹתוֹ אֶתֵּן לָכֶם לְכָה אִתָּנוּ וְהֵטַבְנוּ לָךְ כִּי יְהֹוָה דִּבֶּר טוֹב עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל:
30. He said to him, I won't go, for I will go to my land and my birthplace.   ל. וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו לֹא אֵלֵךְ כִּי אִם אֶל אַרְצִי וְאֶל מוֹלַדְתִּי אֵלֵךְ:
31. He said, Please don't leave us, for because you are familiar with our encampments in the desert and you will be our guide.   לא. וַיֹּאמֶר אַל נָא תַּעֲזֹב אֹתָנוּ כִּי | עַל כֵּן יָדַעְתָּ חֲנֹתֵנוּ בַּמִּדְבָּר וְהָיִיתָ לָּנוּ לְעֵינָיִם:
32. And if you go with us, then we will bestow on you the good which God grants us.   לב. וְהָיָה כִּי תֵלֵךְ עִמָּנוּ וְהָיָה | הַטּוֹב הַהוּא אֲשֶׁר יֵיטִיב יְהֹוָה עִמָּנוּ וְהֵטַבְנוּ לָךְ:
Moshe invites his father along for the journey of a lifetime. Moshe promises it will be good for his father in law because God has said so. Chobab replies, nah, you go, I'm going to go home and get some sleep.

Moshe then lays out the problem with Chobab leaving could be seen as a benefit to marauders because Chobab knows the encampments. And then Moshe tries again with God will help him, too. The implication of verse 32 is Chobab would not get any sympathy from God once he left.

A serious predicament here but in the end Chobab leaves and Moshe endures 38 more years wandering in the desert. Keep in mind at this point Moshe is about 82 and Chobab must be at least 100 to be his father in law if not more likely 150. Chobab had heard about the miracles god did for Bnei Israel and figured the best times were now behind them and he could go home in peace, presumably to die and be buried in his homestead.

Sometimes the employe needs to go and you are better off letting them because tomorrow they will be enticed again and you would be in the same boat. You can try to promise everything will be better but like Chobab leaving Moshe, they know it is time to go, you should trust their judgement and move on yourself.
Parsha Behaalotecha in the book of Bamidbar, Numbers 8:1-12:16
It is said that the Torah or Bible could be interpreted in over 70 ways. More likely these days 100's of ways. In light of this idea, I am writing some posts that bring a business sense to what we can learn on a weekly basis. Enjoy, Shabbat Shalom

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