LEADERS, MANAGERS, AND OWNERS: CAUSE AND CURE
(A pdf version is available at the bottom of this article.)
Job searches are up 40% from December to January1. Why are some people willing to stay or leave their current jobs, companies, or move to other departments? Research consistently shows over the years that it’s NOT because of the money.
On the contrary, people are willing to stay in their job, department, or company, even when the pay is not very good, when these two primary qualities are present: 1) Exceptional Leadership (people don’t leave jobs, they leave managers); and 2) Opportunity for development.2
What are you doing that contributes to the employee staying or going? If managers knew the answer, it’s likely that the statistics shown above would not be so high. Your greatest strength can be your most dangerous blind spot.
FREE LUNCH CHALLENGE
Go to lunch with employees and ask how their job maps to the business strategy, or how the manager supports their personal vision for the future. Offer to buy lunch if they have a concrete answer. According to research, you have at least an 86%3 chance they will not know the answer and you won’t be forking over any lunch money.
THE MISSING LINKS
Among the qualities that define exceptional leadership4, people want to know and feel that: a) there is a plan; b) they have a role to play that supports the plan (e.g., meaningful work); c) there is empowerment to function independently; and d) there is opportunity for professional development to achieve their best. “Opportunity” does not necessarily mean promotion. Along the way they want transparency, to be respected and supported. How do you define success and encourage the people you manage or lead? If you verbally define what is expected, then that’s your first warning flag. Effective performance management tools, measurable objectives, cross-functional opportunities, training, coaching, and mentorship are a few answers. An empowered employee has a multi-dimensional process that helps them control their work and fosters power in managing their success and failures.
LEADERSHIP STRENGTHS CAN BE DANGEROUS BLIND SPOTS
A successful leader and manager can blend the skills of leadership, to inspire vision, confidence and stability, with management to produce work results, while creating opportunity. However, most follow the cultural norm of “command and control” to get the job done. Ask anyone who was promoted, or manages a business about the different skills required. We tend to rely on the skills that were great strengths that made us the success of today. But those strengths are a liability going into the future. High-performing people don’t want to be micro-managed. But, like most leaders, managers, owners, and entrepreneurs, the solution tends to be running faster, pushing harder, working longer, communicating ineffectively, and creating more procedures to fix problems. In the process they push away the greatest assets that could help achieve the sustainable success they’re desperately seeking.
TAKE ACTION TO BE INFLUENTIAL
What have you done to influence success and retention or departures? Small business is able to easily attract and retain high quality talent from large stable organizations when the company demonstrates the missing links. Everyone has their own internal motivation. What drives one person is not the same for another. Leadership can inspire and tap into human potential. To achieve greater success and employee retention, know how you operate and how you affect the people around you. If you’re not absolutely certain, then find out. If you are the obstacle to employee success, then you will continue attracting employees that support your style, but not retain people who can achieve your plan or vision.
1Corporate Executive Board (CEB) quarterly research of currently employed people seeking jobs, which is up even though unemployment is down. This also considers that January and February are the highest months for hiring according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
2 Forbes 1/2/2013 “Top Five Reasons Employees Will Quit in 2013”4 “8 Signs of an Extraordinary Boss”
Posted on the blog http://mycoachken.blogspot.com/2013/03/top-reasons-people-stay-or-leave-job.html
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