Recruitment and retention of talent is a huge challenge today for most companies. There are no easy fixes, and some candor might be helpful. Nothing will help a company address this worker challenge more than having outstanding supervisors throughout your company. Nothing.
Most every large organization has some terrific leaders within its ranks of executives, a good number of mediocre leaders working right next to them, and a few abysmal leaders thrown into the mix. As a result, the likelihood that a given employee will work for an outstanding leader becomes a game of chance. We can (and should) do better.
We urge our company clients to adopt this audacious goal: To have every employee report to a phenomenal supervisor. The benefits are threefold:
- It will assist with recruitment as your company gains a reputation as a good place to work.
- It will help with retention; employees often leave a supervisor more than a company.
- In today’s employment market we are having to hire and retain some people who in other times we would not employ. These employees require an even higher level of skill to supervise and grow into solid employees.
To achieve this goal of having every employee report to a phenomenal supervisor requires three steps:
- Adopt a clear vision for what it means to be a leader in your company; embrace MindSet’s Seven Principles of Leadership©. These principles provide a high-level, consistent schema for how leaders throughout your company will act. Lacking such principles, employees will experience inconsistency not only between leaders, but even from a given leader from one situation to the next. The result is a work experience that is more stressful and unpredictable.
- Put the right persons in leadership roles. This seems so obvious, but is nevertheless often fumbled. Too often individuals are placed into leadership positions due to technical knowledge or seniority. Neither of these factors are highly correlated with the ability to lead humans. MindSet provides our clients a list of skills and personal characteristics that we have found to be predictive of leadership success.
- The final ingredient needed to provide leadership consistency is high-quality leadership training for those who are to be placed in supervisory roles. Apparently, some think that supervisory ability is either innate or something one learns by osmosis. Neither is the case. Like any other skill, leadership ability can be fostered and grown. The goal should be to teach supervisors what it is that outstanding leaders know, what it is they do, and how to make the Seven Principles come to life for employees.
After a company has followed the three steps outlined above, the foundation will be set for that company to take an additional step to put cultural health, and successful employee retention, into hyper-drive! This potent step is to make use of BetterCulture’s 20 Tenets of Culture© coaching program to help all employees better understand what they can and should do to make their work setting exceptional.
Consider the contrast: Company A has some seldom-referenced and often-neglected company values, haphazard promotion practices for supervisors, little or ineffective leadership training, and no initiative to help all employees learn what they can and should do to best contribute to the success of their colleagues and company.
Company B has clear and meaningful principles of leadership widely embraced throughout the organization, knows how to effectively recognize supervisory potential, provides first-rate leadership training for all supervisors, and invests in providing every employee with insights that will help them to be more successful at work and in life.
You make the call. Do you want to bet on Company A? If so, good luck…you’re going to need a lot of it.
I have just shared with you a formula for incredible success – three steps and a kicker that are easy to understand, but (oddly enough) rarely followed. Yet when unusually well run companies follow this prescription, they see an increase in production that is analogous to the power of compound interest; it explodes to levels otherwise unseen.
Founder of MindSet, LLC.