Labor Day ushers in what many describe as the official end to summer. For many organizations, it means a day off for employees and a 3-day weekend. So as we get back into the swing of a full week after this holiday, it’s fitting to pause and remember why celebrating employees more than just one day a year is critical to success.
For leaders, it’s those subtle behaviors day after day that can either endear employees to your team or business or just the opposite occurs – we drive them away slowly to the competition. At Organization Impact, we tell our clients “If you don’t take care of your employees, your competition will.” Pretty powerful words.
So for every leader, let’s explore three ways we can lose employees. On the surface, we would likely quickly agree with the negative outcome of each behavior. But how often do we use these actions to some degree?
#1 Not giving reasons why
Let’s be honest. Sometimes the temptation is great to say, “because I said so” when an employee wants to know why you want them to perform a certain task or behave specific way. And while there is some basic truth in that statement (after all you are the leader), there is a hidden magic in explaining the “why” to your team. When employees understand the connection of their actions to the bigger picture they understand purpose and gain buy-in. The result? A team working together toward the same goal.
#2 One style fits all
Every leader has natural strengths.and weaknesses. One of the biggest traps is failing to recognize that every person on the team performs best when led in the manner that works best for them. There is no “one style fits all” management approach. Some need lots of details while others thrive with some independence. Some want direction while others want to participate in the process. The implication for you? The natural style you have likely only works best with some folks on your team but not for everyone. So in order to be the most effective, effective leaders adapt to each person on the team.
#3 What you see is not what you get
This probably the greatest culprit to lost employees. Consistency is one of the toughest aspects of leadership. It’s easy to talk a good game and even have the best of intentions. Employees, however, judge leaders by their actions. Does my leader do what she says she will do or do I have to remind her several times? Do I trust that my manager has my best interests at heart and I know he doesn’t say one thing to me and something contradictory to someone else? Is my supervisor giving me the feedback that is making me better and helping me grow in my career? It’s the compilation of many of these “little” things day after day that help our employees discern our integrity as leaders. Do they get the leader we profess to be?
Recent studies tell us that with the recovering economy, employees are now more likely to pursue possible career options. If the cons outweigh the pros of their current job, they will consider a change. And every leader is a key element of that equation. These three tips help prevent losing even one member of your team. Where will you start?