When I was doing the research for my book The Solutions Oriented Leader one fact became apparent. Great organizations understand how solutions oriented leadership improves employee retention for several reasons.
Employees don’t want to work for a pushover or a boss. They certainly don’t want to work for someone who lacks values or directions. Our research indicated that employees crave structure, integrity, and vision.
Simply stated they wanted Solutions Oriented Leaders!
It makes sense then, that good leadership can help with employee retention. We know that if you want to keep your best employees from leaving, one of the greatest things you can do is show them some strong leadership and help the to develop as leaders.
Sounds simple, but of course it isn’t! Great leadership isn’t something you can discover overnight, and it isn’t’ something that can be boiled down to five or even 10 easy steps.
With that said, you need to start somewhere. Here are six things that you can focus on to build your team and establish yourself as a solutions-oriented leader.
6 Areas for Leaders to Focus on to Build the Team
- Start asking for ideas. Solicit feedback from your team members. Challenge yourself to actively seek out new perspectives at least once daily. You don’t have to act on every piece of feedback you receive; just let employees know that you hear them.
- Look at your company’s mission statement. Spend some time thinking about what it means to your practical, daily actions. Reiterate it to your employees. Ensure that your team shares a sense of mission.
- Give employees more responsibility. Give them autonomy, without micromanaging or looking over their shoulders.
- Invest in coaching—either by becoming a mentor, or by asking someone to be yours!
- Get a leadership performance review! Ask some of your top employees for any suggestions they have, or any feedback concerning your leadership style.
- Focus on integrity. How well do your actions line up with your stated values? Give yourself an inventory and appraise the ways in which you could put words to action a little better.
That leads to the next challenge facing leaders and human resource management I call them the 4 Biggest Hurdles to Effective Employee Retention
The Biggest Hurdles to Effective Employee Retention
Employers and HR representatives pour countless hours into each employee—grooming them, training them, investing in them, making them into integral members of the team. But sometimes, just when you turn a good employee into a superstar, they decide to leave, heading to a different company and leaving you back at square one.
If that’s not the most frustrating part of team leadership, it’s got to be high on the list. Of course, you probably do what you can to enhance employee retention—but sometimes that’s easier said than done, and the hurdles to proper retention are numerous.
It Starts with Hiring
The first big hurdle to employee retention is bringing on the wrong employees in the first place. Teambuilding starts with the hiring process—and if you’re recruiting employees who are a bad fit, don’t be surprised when they don’t stick around for the long haul.
Are you experiencing a lot of employee turnover? That may mean you need to go back and reflect on your hiring standards. Make sure you have clearly defined job descriptions and a clearly articulated company culture, and that you hire with both in mind.
Employees Want Training
Another hurdle to retention: Employees who get hired but then quickly realize that they have no clear way to advance in the company—and no clear future with your organization.
Employees want to know you’re investing in their career development and here are a few things you can do. I say this all the time, but it’s because I really believe in it.
First, check in with employees regularly to talk about their career goals, and to be open with them about possible avenues for advancing in the company. Offering training lets your employees know that you care about their development as people and employees.
It also shows that you are investing in them over the long haul. It sends a powerful message, and it’s a message that most employees really appreciate.
Invest in some on-site training options at your company; it doesn’t need to be every day but do offer it routinely. Computer training, marketing seminars, mentorship programs, trips to outside seminars and workshops—there are plenty of ways to make this happen.
Communication is Everything
Another hurdle to retention is lack of proper communication. Employees like to know that they have an open dialogue with the boss, or at the very least with the HR manager. It’s important that you keep those channels of dialogue open.
Having an open-door policy is helpful, but one formal step you can take is to implement an annual review process and really take it seriously—a great way of showing employees that you have an ongoing interest in them. Employees are more likely to stay with a company where they feel supported—so whether you’re the boss or the HR manager, make sure you’re approachable. You’d be surprised how far this can go!
What About Benefits?
Often, the biggest hurdle to retention is just money. You want to provide your employees with enticing benefits and competitive salaries, but sometimes the budget just doesn’t allow for it.
That’s when you must get creative with some cost-effective employee benefits—like flexible scheduling, work-from-home options, professional development events, and more.
It’s not easy, boosting employee retention—but when you get a good team in place, it’s worth the effort. Since we are discussing employee benefits, I understand its natural for business owners and entrepreneurs to want to boost employee retention…
The problem is they want to boost employee retention and keep costs down without losing customers and profits! So, let’s look at our options and what we can do to boost employee retention without breaking the bank.
Boost Your Employee Retention—Without Breaking the Bank
What are some cost-effective ways to keep your employees on the team? Start by reminding yourself that employees don’t quit their jobs—they quit their bosses. And if people start leaving you in waves, well, I hate to tell you, but it’s not them—it’s you!
But of course, you don’t want to let it get to that point. You want to prevent the mass exodus by investing in employee retention—as affordably as you can. And to that end, I’ve got a few ideas for you.
Affordable Ways to Invest in Employee Retention
Be the best. Allow your employees to feel like they’re playing for the winning team. Focus on your company’s competitive advantage, and then share that in your company mission and values statements. Make sure your employees know they’re working for a company that’s special!
Offer metrics. Your employees want to see that their hard work is accomplishing something. They want to see results—so show them. Run some reports and provide your employees with data to show that their efforts are paying off. Encourage them to keep up the good work.
Be Inclusive. When you make inclusivity and diversity a cornerstone of your business and company culture, you will increase employee retention, productivity and attract the best team players.
Of course, these are just preliminary steps—but by following them, you can show your employees that you’re proactively seeking to become a better and more solutions oriented leader. And that, in turn, can pay off in the form of heightened employee retention.
The connection is there, and I’d love to explore it with you further. Reach out today and let’s talk! You can contact Dr. Rick at www.rickgoodman.com or call 888-267-6098.