There are two thoughts on many people’s minds these days.
1. They’re tired of this lackluster economy’s impact on their career progress, and, in many cases, they are tired of lackluster leadership. Their sense is that their leaders have cut or frozen compensation and benefits and made them do the work of the people they laid off.
2. Options. If they get a call from a friend or headhunter they’re going to listen. “Give me a reasonable option and the likely answer is…. I’m gone.”
Your job as a leader is to proactively engage your top talent. Here are a few no-nonsense tips to securely loyalty and outstanding performance.
Straight talk. Cheerleading and spin in a dire situation will fool many, but rarely fools the top talent. Encourage straight talk by doing it yourself and thanking those who give you straight talk back.
Access to you. If your people aren’t using your ‘open door policy’ that’s your fault, not theirs. Frequent, like daily, walking and talking. Thanking, asking, encouraging, challenging, and sharing go a long way in the eyes of the talented people on your team.
Amplifying weak signals. Interestingly if a person who’s normally down is suddenly up, or vice versa, these are weak signals. You’ve got to learn to get people to tell you stuff they don’t particularly want to say. One great way to get people to talk is to use leading questions, and then be quiet. Don’t say the usual, “Anything wrong?”. They’ll understand that you’ve noticed something.
One last thought if you think increasing compensation and benefits will retain your best talent think again, this idea so far down the list, you can almost forget it.
Most planning produces operational changes. But it seldom addresses the leadership necessary to really change the dynamics of an organization. At ABB, we help you produce a better performing organization rather than just adjust plans.
If this kind of thinking resonates with you, talk to us. We’ll work with you to dramatically improve your competitiveness, retain your top talent and increase your market share. Call us a 616.855.2604 or contact us.
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Your ABB Team