Since the start of my business, I’ve been fortunate to interact with many, learn the ins and outs of small business ownership, and have great conversations with people from all walks of life. As I prepared for this first post, I kept coming back to one topic that has been top of mind with me for a while: Do people leave jobs or leaders?
For some, making a career move is pure aspiration, the next strategic move, or part of the plan. However, for many it’s often about something else. How many times have you heard people say, “I love my leader and the vision of the company, and that is why I stay.” Or, instead, “I have to get out of here – my boss is a tyrant.”
Could it be about leadership?
As a leader or a staff member, when was the last time you really thought about this? For leaders out there, when was the last time you took a pulse check or the temperature of your team? Is your staff engaged? Are they actively providing and soliciting feedback? Are your conversations rich with dialogue, or are you getting just “yes” from everyone?
Below are some quick tips to test the waters. In actively trying one or more of these, you may connect with the employee who is feeling unheard, dissatisfied, or disengaged, and be able to right the ship before you lose great talent. I have found that leaders who engage employees, invest in their success, walk the talk, and give and demand respect, are the ones who create a following and become leaders everyone wants to be around.
Consider these suggestions:
- Keep the communication flowing. Reduce resistance by promoting active dialogue and transparency in all you do.
- Empower employees. Provide them opportunities to stretch their wings and cut their teeth on something new and different.
- Reward and recognize in small and big ways. You’d be amazed how far a thank you goes.
- Speak with, don’t speak at or through your employees. Treat them with respect. They notice.
- Solicit 360 feedback. You’d be surprised what you hear. It may be going great, or you may need to make some adjustments.
- Commit to active, two-way dialogue. Encourage employees to challenge the status quo, to be an active part of the conversation.
- Listen. Take the time to actively listen before speaking. Most of us really appreciate when someone truly listens!
- Be human and a great example. A few years back I had a leader who truly understood me as a person and supported an important need in my personal life that gave me peace of mind at work. It was a great lesson for me, because when I became a leader, I offered the same opportunity to one of my employees. It was a great leadership example and one that I will never forget. Don’t forget they are not just employees….they are people!
Have you tried any of these tips? What was the result? Do you have other tips to add? Share them in the comments!