What keeps CEOs up at night?
Lots of things.
But their #1 concern is attracting and retaining great talent.
And many companies do better at attracting this talent than keeping it.
How much are you losing if you can’t figure this out?
That depends. If you need to retain highly complex positions (managers, software developers and such), you risk missing out up to 800% more productivity, because superior talent is up to 8 times more productive (Keller and Meaney, Leading Organizations).
What is the answer?
Make your company so attractive that no one wants to leave.
Here are five ways to do this:
1. Develop a high-trust culture.
Trust serves as the foundation for all else. Trust is the incubator for healthy communication, collaboration, empowerment, productivity, profitability…in short, all components that support working at highest and best levels.
Does your company lean on “control and monitor” behaviors or heavy compliance?
These are early signs of a problem. How do you begin to turn this around?
It begins with you. Determine how trustworthy you are as CEO, because your company will rate no higher than its leadership. Download the trust infographic and rank yourself – and then ask those closest to you to do the same. Compare. Where do you need to begin developing more trust with your people?
DO OTHERS REALLY TRUST YOU?
Learn the two vital parts to trust and how they can help you become a more highly effective leader.
GET THE INFOGRAPHIC
2. Foster a company-wide growth mindset.
This kind of mindset is the stuff of motivation and innovation.
A fixed mindset reflects a closed attitude. Language includes phrases like, “That idea won’t work,” or “It can’t be done right now.”
Growth mindset attitude and language, on the other hand, will reflect phrases such as “How might this work? How might this be possible?” Failure is seen as a way to learn and not as a reason to stop trying.
If you notice there are just a handful of people always making decisions for everyone else, this is an indicator that you are not fostering a growth mindset in your employees.
Where can you start?
Begin by what is right in front of you – applaud all new ideas. When asking for input, make it a rule that whenever someone volunteers a new idea, that the first person to speak after that must say something positive about the idea, whether they agree with it or not. This sends the message that all people have something valuable to contribute, and it fosters creativity.
3. Recognize and reward the right things.
Are you emotionally biased toward certain employees and against others?
On a company-wide basis, make sure that your systems and processes for recognition are standardized. Form a taskforce to evaluate this.
And then, have this taskforce identify what should be recognized. Go wide! The way in which you acknowledge things such as caring and supportive behaviors can go a long way; these certainly are influences on business outcomes. And on a personal basis, please take the time to acknowledge contributions and jobs well done. It is free to mention people in meetings to thank them for their efforts – and this kind of approach fosters a caring culture that goes far.
4. Empower your people.
If you feel your people need higher accountability, it may be your systems and processes and not a lack of talent on their part. Start with the basics. Make sure you have clearly outlined expectations for their role and responsibilities.
Then, work together to agree on top goals and priorities for their area of responsibility. Can you show them how these support company-wide goals? Without this foundation, even the best in talent will operate somewhat hesitantly or begin to get lost in the weeds. Make sure you have agreed on a system of reporting that reflects these goals, and which relieves you from chasing your executives for answers (the latter of which is a real trust-killer). By setting this structure in motion, you will empower your talent to move forward with confidence and perform at their best.
5. Invest in leadership development at every level.
Learning and development is a key concern for companies world-wide. And company talent seeks opportunities for growth and career development. Providing employees at every level with leadership development opportunities meets both objectives well.
When you invest in this, you foster greater performance and contribution – and you can also more easily identify rising stars. And as your company talent receives this focused support, they will feel recognized by the company, and motivated by their growth and future opportunities within. It is surprisingly cost-effective to implement a company-wide leadership development effort. And the ROI is exponential (Note: Executive coaching typically yields an ROI of 4-10 times the initial investment; training with a group coaching component can yield similar results.)
Retaining your top talent requires a healthy and exciting culture. If your culture needs a “reboot,” please understand that this takes time and effort. The payoff, however, is exponential, being key to current profitability and future success.
Patti Cotton helps executives optimize their effectiveness in leading self, others, and the enterprise. Her areas of focus include confidence, leadership style, executive presence, effective communication, succession planning, and masterful execution. With over 25 years of leadership experience, both stateside and abroad, Patti works with individuals, teams, and organizations across industries, providing executive consulting, leadership development, succession planning, change management, and conflict resolution. She is also an experienced Fortune 500 speaker. For more information on how Patti Cotton can help you and your organization, click here.