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How to Lose Your Leaders

Angie Morgan, September 30, 2019

Don’t Let Talent Walk out the Door

“Hey, how did your company take your resignation?  I’m sure there was a shock wave that went through the system?” 

I raised this question recently to a friend who told me that after a lengthy, successful career with her company, she was leaving for a new opportunity.

Now, my friend is amazing.  It’s no surprise she was being pursued by other organizations.   What surprised me, though, was that she’d leave.  She was idolized at her former company.

After she shared that the business was taken aback by her announcement, I had to ask a follow-on question.

“As you reflect upon the past few years, what missed opportunities did they have to retain you?

An interesting dialogue ensued, which inspired this Leadership Moment titled How to Lose Your Leaders  – a tongue-in-cheek list of poor assumptions and bad ideas when it comes to talent retention.

So, here goes: You’ll lose your leaders if you …

  1. Believe a paycheck is a retention tool.  A paycheck, alone, won’t make someone stay.
  2. Act like retention is only HR’s job.  People don’t quit their company, they quit their managers and colleagues.  Retention is everyone’s job.
  3. Think you know what’s best for your employee’s career.  Employees, too, should have a say in how their career develops.
  4. Ignore the importance of culture.  If organizational values only exist on a fancy wall poster, culture isn’t being minded.
  5. Not offer professional development.  Learning doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive.  It just needs to happen.
  6. Fail to develop career paths.  Career growth doesn’t mean climbing the corporate ladder.  It means helping people feel like they’re progressing in their profession.
  7. Don’t tell people they matter.  Employees need to feel like they count.  Small things add up.
  8. Ignore the little things.  Every employer knows your birthday, start date, and other odds and ends about you.   If they don’t use this personal information to make you feel valued, they’re missing out on easy opportunities to engage you.
  9. Fail to keep pace with workforce trends.  If software is outdated, the dress code doesn’t make sense, and there’s not a lot of focus on the workplace experience, then your business needs to catch up with the rest of the world and develop modern workforce practices.
  10. Treat your top talent like everyone else.  If you’ve got superstars, they deserve superstar treatment.  (Not diva treatment, they just need special attention so they’re developed for future opportunities.)

At Lead Star, we know that work is a relationship between an employer and an employee.  For any relationship to work, both have to be committed and put their best foot forward.

Do you have additional ideas of how employers can lose their leaders?  Email me by clicking here

My best, Angie

PS This list is relevant if you’re a manager, but also great insight if you’re an individual contributor and feel like the fit at your current role isn’t ideal.

PSS  Last week I asked for your Monday-morning, get up and get-going songs.  I published some of your selections on my LinkedIn page – check it out!

Share: | Tags: Building a Leadership Habit, Growth Mindset, Leadership Behaviors