Simple, right? Those are the three, ideological ideals introduced in long-term CEO and newfound author Robert J. Kohlhepp’s new book Build a Better Organization. While Kohlhepp provides plenty of detailed examples and personalized scenarios to illustrate the informational, statistically-backed, and factually driven aspects of the narrative and book’s overall subject matter – he leaves a far greater impression on the reader concerning his fixation on improving employer-employee communication tactics.

Also his focus on employee experiential qualities relating to feedback, conduits used for said communication tactics, and presentational standards representative of company values. “The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the average employee turnover rate nationwide, across all industries, has hovered around 45 percent for several years.  That large number should concern anyone responsible for attracting, hiring, and retaining skilled workers,” Kohlhepp writes in the book’s seventh chapter, titled Holding on to Your Best People. “In fact, holding on to top talent is a challenge within any organization, but the stakes are high.

Losing high performers is costly, in terms of both brain drain within the organization and the additional expense that will be incurred in finding, hiring, and training a replacement.” He goes on to elaborate, “(My company) paid a lot of attention to employee attrition and turnover, especially after we ran the numbers and saw that replacing an entry-level partner cost us, as previously stated, at minimum, $3,000 to $4,000 and replacing an executive could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars—on up to $1 million—because of the impact that a senior leader can have on the whole organization.”


The introduction of this particular quote reinforces a concept explored over and over again, literally and in terms of the book’s overall tonalities. It’s pragmatic now to be empathetic to your employee base. Gone are days when there was a certain, prestigious glamor related to the Boss from Hell stereotype. The social and external reverence for the ‘Miranda Priestly’ or ‘Scott Rudin’ archetype has all but vanished like yesterday’s smoke. As a seasoned professional like Kohlhepp can tell you, the times have changed.

Employer and employee’s appropriate symbiosis has never been more evident, whether with respect to the data he puts forth in that particular chapter, or with respect to the overall state-of-affairs within the world that we currently reside in. “A book I read recently had a quote that resonated with me: ‘The road to success is always under construction.’ That rang true to me because there will always be obstacles or road bumps to your success; they are a given. But the people around you can help you get over and past those obstacles,” Kohlhepp writes. “They help get you over those bumps.

Sometimes they encourage you as you encounter those bumps, sometimes they push you over them or drag you, or sometimes they may yell at you to get you over those bumps—but somehow you manage to get over those bumps. Looking back, you may even decide that overcoming them wasn’t so hard: ‘I can do that,’ you remind yourself.’”

Kendall Townsend