Chances are, if you’ve been watching the news lately, you’ve likely started to see a shift in headlines from what we have been through, to what’s to come. Though it’s impossible to predict the future, it certainly seems reasonable that the forecast of a mass employee exodus is coming. The question become, “Do you want to stop it? If so, How can you do that?”

It’s true that turnover is a natural evolution of the workforce. At the same time, as a leader, it’s important to remain on the “driving” end and not the “receiving” end of those decisions.  Creating an environment in which nobody would ever want to leave might sound impossible, but falling a few feet short of that goal is better than never striving to achieve it at all.

Imagine if you had a rock-solid team of “A” Players with a line out the door of more people wanting to join. Think about what the future could hold if your highest potential executives never went to your competition, but INSTEAD stayed or even flocked to your company! Would those scenarios allow you to achieve more?

Retention of employees is HUGE for what’s to come.

What Matters

Inc.com recently published an article that states a jaw-dropping 52% of employees plan to leave their jobs this year. Additionally, in their research they found:

  • 71% more employees are more disengaged in 2021 than they were at the beginning of 2020
  • 66% of employees said they would be more engaged at work if their employer improved company culture
  • 46% of employees feel less connected to their company or co-workers since the start of the pandemic
  • Most employees blame a lack of communication (26%) or lack of effort to make remote employees feel connected (25%)
  • One in four employees (25%) reported work-life balance as the reason they would search for a new job

What kind of culture will inspire and retain the best talent? How can employees get involved and feel part of something bigger than themselves? What is the right balance of virtual and in-person interactions? These are just a few endless questions that should be asked within the senior leadership of an organization.  The fact is that the answers aren’t found at the top, but instead on the ground floor of your organization. It’s time to stop theorizing and start asking your employees these questions.

Servant Leadership

If you had to list the most important names in your organization who would immediately come to mind? The names of clients or the names of your employees? If the answer is anyone other than the names of your employees, it’s likely time for a paradigm shift. Your people are your most valued asset, and they should feel as though you are dedicated to serving them the same way you do your clients that buy your product or service.

Zig Zigler’s famous quote that “you will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want” is commonly mistaken.

If the reason you want something from others is that it will benefit you, that is inauthentic behavior that few will trust. If your intent is to genuinely serve those around you, you have begun to create a relationship of authenticity. Work on asking purposeful questions, perfect your active listening skills, and share responses that are rooted in the intention of serving those you lead. If you truly believe in what you say and the intent behind why you are saying it, others will as well.

“Listen with the intent to understand, not the intent to reply.”–Stephen Covey

Inquiring Minds

Retention cannot happen without constant care of the responsibilities and relationships around the office. True care of both of these things leads to professional purpose and fulfillment. Here are some questions you can ask your employees to help you understand them more:

Responsibilities:

  • What wins are you experiencing?
  • What challenges are you facing?
  • What is making your job harder than it needs to be?
  • How are you feeling about the work itself that you are doing?
  • What have you not been involved with yet, that you would like to be?
  • Do any of our processes seem inefficient? Do you have any ideas on how to fix them?
  • If you could wave a wand and change anything about our department what would you change?
  • A year from now, how are you different than today and what as an organization do we need to do to get you there?

Relationships:

  • On a scale of 1-100, how confident are you that you’re in the right place, doing the right things, with the right people? What can be done to move us higher up on the scale?
  • Who do you work with (me included) that frustrates you, and why?
  • How can I be better for you as a leader?
  • What can I do to help make you more successful?
  • If you were ever to be open to an opportunity outside of our organization, what would it look like, and how can we create that here together?

Confidential surveys are good for disclosing issues that people don’t feel comfortable sharing.  When your office is smaller, this may be more difficult but in the end these surveys don’t lead to retention by themselves. What leads to retention is candid conversations on a regular basis with those that you work alongside.

About Us: 

Top Talent is part of the  Sanford Rose Associates network, recognized as one of the Top 10 Search Firms in North America with 90+ offices worldwide.  With over 90 years of Logistics experience, Top Talent is a recognized leader in Talent Acquisition for Logistics, Transportation, and Supply Chain.  Let us put our team to work for you. To learn more about successful strategies for getting those impact players and game-changers on your team, reach out to us today.

– Michael Monson
Top Talent LLC
President and CEO
Email: mike@toptalentllc.net.