Why now, more than ever your business can't afford a leader that is just "pretty good."
You've been hearing it everywhere. The inescapable truth that the last two years has made a significant, potentially irreversible impact on the way people view their jobs and careers. There are whispers about it in the breakroom, private messages exchanged between co-workers, and an aura in the air that promises the coming of change. People are no longer willing to work at jobs they have to tolerate.
So much so, that I have been hearing stories from people I know that are leaving their current roles without any prospects or back-up plans.
If you have been following the articles on this topic, you'll see that there is a laundry list of reasons why people are choosing to leave (often abruptly) their theoretically secure and reliable paychecks. And while I think the jury is out on the popular quote: "People leave managers, not companies" from Marcus Buckingham; managers play a pivotal role in keeping employees from quitting.
After a solid year, and a time of undeniable self-reflection, workers are posing a question to themselves that they may have never asked before: "Would I be happier doing something else?"
Some people think it's the new generation, that they just don't know how good they have it and they should appreciate having a consistent income and not "bite the hand that feeds." Others are feeling for the first time in their life, that their time is valuable, and that they don't want to waste their 40 hours a week, 160 a month, and 2,000 hours a year... being unhappy.
Regardless of the opinions on where, why, how, this has happened, the truth of the matter is, it is what you are now facing as a leader or a business-owner. You and your team are not immune to the effects of the "great resignation" (Washington Post), and you may be fearful that you too are subject to it's impact.
Are you an existing leader or business-owner? Or maybe you have recently left another job because you feel confident you will be a better boss? Have you been struggling to walk the fine line between manager, mentor, friend, and leader? At this point, you don't have the luxury of trial and error and "finding your way" as a leader in this new world.
You need to learn how to be an effective, engaging, transparent, and reliable leader who models integrity and great communication before your employees find a place they can get it. You may have natural-born leadership skills and are likeable to your current team, but if you haven't learned the proven practices of what makes an impactful leader, it will be difficult to sustain on talent alone.
Start with recognition. This isn't just a pat on the back for someone who goes above and beyond. People desire consistent feedback that they are on the right track, that they are doing what you expect, and that you see them. Appreciated employees are more engaged, engaged employees are more motivated, and motivated employees produce better work, and more importantly, they stay.
-Laura Evans, LMHC