Leadership and How to Keep Good People
I had been in the retail industry for 17+ years and had come across many types of people, people that were just introducing themselves into the work environment and other that were ready to retire. One of the focuses I had during my course in the retail industry was Leadership and how to keep good people.
Is the answer with Money?
While money is nice, I decided to ask a few other seasoned leaders like myself in retail, wholesale and other service industries. It was amazing that many gave me the answer of "money", some researchers believe that 85% of leaders or managers believe this to be true. They feel that company compensation plans are the reason people leave, like it's always someone else's fault. While 85% seems high and normally the majority is correct, let's think back to when everyone thought the world was flat; it only takes a few individuals to make a huge impact.
Is the Answer with you?
You matter the most to the people if you are the leader, you actually have more power and influence than you may think. When you think of leadership and how to keep good people, look in the mirror, what do you see? If you are a leader you are the individual that drives many factors like engagement, commitment and support. Leaders are in place to provide meaningful but challenging work, competitive compensation, a chance to learn and grown, respect and a chance to be recognized for a job well done. Remember the old saying "There are only a few vertebrae difference between a pat on the back and a kick in the pants".
What could you lose?
As Leaders we are in charge of many things, but the most important is people. When you have the outstanding, results producing individuals on your team that you are leading; are you not the only one who wins? Your team wins, your company wins, your customer wins in which builds long lasting relationships. You could lose much more than you may realize.
You lost them now what
So you really didn't think about Leadership and how to keep good people. Is all lost? Well no but I hope you are ready for this. Many experts fell that losing that "star" performer or consultant will cost you half of their sales that they were producing for the next 2-3 years. Take into consideration the experience and education that they brought to the table, also if they leave are they taking a few clients with them? While you may feel that the current economy is full of individuals, you could not be further from the truth. While the unemployment rate is currently at 9.7% take the following into consideration.
- Are you willing to pay to relocate the talent you need
- Are you in a high demand field like Science and Technology or Healthcare
- Did you know the "talented" workforce is shrinking at an alarming rate
We have all heard the famous "I'm Bored" from our children or we have said it as we were children to our parents. Well as leaders we have team members that also get bored, they just don't say it in words, it's their actions we need and should hear. Many times we have a "superstar" that has outgrown his or her responsibilities and we do nothing, we either don't know or we are to worried about our underperforming team members. The individual or "superstar" is normally very bright, energetic and creative. They need to be able to continue grown and feel they are being challenged; but contributing to the team in a manner that obtains positive results. If you as a leader or your company fails to provide the individual with the ability to be challenged, they could leave.
Here are a few steps on how to keep good People
- Know who your team is - know their names - use their name in conversations
- Know what their ambitions are while they are on your team - but know their ambitions in 5 years
- Praise your team members for a job well done in public - be specific - don't just say "Johnny, good job today" - tell Johnny exactly what he did today that makes you feel he did a good job
- Have a fun environment - have one day a month that the team celebrates birthdays and service anniversaries
- Challenge your team - if your superstar is getting complacent ask them to help a struggling team member (this builds leadership in that team member)
- Address performance issues quickly but discreetly - the worst thing to team morale is rogue members
- I have always been a leader that allows team members to get bumps and bruises along the way as they learn; I feel this builds self confidence and team work as they approach others
- Be available for support and guidance - I have always portrayed the Coach mentality to my team
I feel that Alan Keith of Genentech said it best when he said "Leadership is ultimately about creating a way for people to contribute to making something extraordinary happen"