With an average timeline of 24 days and cost of $4,000 per hire to fill an open job req in today’s competitive job market, it benefits organizations to focus on retaining good talent. But while retention is important, if you can understand how to get the best out of the talent you have on your team, retention will come organically. By shifting the focus to growing your talent, you can reap benefits that produce positive byproducts for both your team members and your organization.
While some feel the traditional organizational pyramid, where all follow one, is becoming a relic in lieu of more linear lines in the workforce, there is a need for thoughtful leadership to build a great team. Some leaders are born, but most are made. Learning how to lead a team, especially a talented team of high-performing professionals, takes constant education and is an evolutionary process. John Quincy Adams said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” So, if good leadership skills inspire others, how can you be a successful leader who gets the most out of their people?
Create a Culture of Transparency
There will always be information that is not for public consumption and will remain at the higher levels, but when you instill a culture of transparency within your team, you instill trust in all who work for and with you. Companies that walk the talk, demonstrate that their mission and values are authentic, not just words used to attract business and talent. Simple steps about sharing organizational announcements, keeping employees in the loop about higher level information (where appropriate), and asking for employee assistance in problem-solving, displays a philosophy of inclusion and transparency.
Feedback is critical to performance improvement at every level. This isn’t solely an HR benchmark to fine-tune job performance, it also nurtures professional development, increases employee engagement and provides a sense of autonomy. Additionally, if you’ve done your job well, you’ve built a team of high-performing, proficient colleagues who have fresh ideas and alternative solutions. When an employee feels their voice is heard, they can be a valuable brand ambassador and loyal team member.
Invest in Your People
Most of us like to leave our work at work and have a healthy work-life balance, but when you foster relationships with team members, you also show that you are investing in their professional development. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you need to invite them to your child’s graduation party, however, an understanding of their family, outside hobbies, goals and interests can go a long way. This personal connection fosters a sense of allegiance not only to you as a leader, but to your organization as a whole.
Encourage, Empower, Appreciate
Autonomy is crucial for self-motivated productivity, but guidance is needed at all levels in order to grow. Without proper guidance and a growth strategy, employees feel stagnant. Stagnancy breeds complacency, and complacency doesn’t move the needle. When applicable, offer different opportunities that push past your employee’s limits. There will be failures, but that’s ok as there will also be successes.
“Thank you for a job well done.” It’s just that simple. Everyone likes a gold star, and it’s free to show appreciation — but if your organization allows compensation for performance, that’s even better. Attention to the effort, growth and output from your employees, plants a seed that will continue to grow.
You read that right. It sounds out-of-the-box, but it’s incredibly effective. Dan Roberts, CEO and Co-founder of Scout Alarm, believes that leaders who have a relaxed approach to their job breed confidence, trust, collaboration, transparency and creativity. It’s actually quite intuitive. Uptight closed-off people aren’t approachable. And without approachability, any of the aforementioned tools won’t work.