Your staff are without doubt your most valuable assets. They’re the life force of your company and the touch point for your customers. They’re also your most expensive asset. Hiring, training and potentially firing staff can quickly become a huge drain on company resources, both in terms of finances and your time. Ensuring that your teams are supported, trained and motivated is the biggest way to reduce staff turnover and increase morale and output.
A great manager brings the best out of their team. They are able to look at the strengths and weaknesses of the collective and the individual and create a safe environment that allows each member of that team to perform at an optimum level. When that happens, magic occurs.
Enabling people to bring their best usually results in great things for the business, the team and the customers. However, ineffective managers tend to stick to what they know, rather than know what to do. Generally as a result of insecurities, they stay within their comfort zone and try to squash any ideas or initiatives that will take them outside this zone. As a result, hardworking, enthusiastic and talented team members become increasingly frustrated at seeing good ideas ignored without merit.
Frustrated staff quickly disengage, check out and eventually stop coming up with creative suggestions, causing the whole team and potentially the business to stagnate. Don’t be afraid to examine your employees’ ideas. If you are unable to implement them, be sure to provide sound feedback as to why that is the case, along with encouragement to continue creative thinking.
We are pretty sure it’s impossible to please everyone. You shouldn’t try to. But rather than dismiss criticism or take complaints personally, use the opportunity to examine the feedback on its merits. Are there practices that you can improve upon as an individual, or as a company? Sweeping problems and complaints under the rug leaves you vulnerable to staff seeking opportunities elsewhere, where they feel that their concerns will be heard and acted upon.
Understandably, complaints can be difficult to hear, and our ego often interrupts what can be a very generic message and converts it into an attack. Often this is exacerbated by the delivery of the message. More often than not the actual complaint will be buried somewhere under frustration, anger, fear, confusion and a whole host of other emotions. If we as managers can override our defensive instincts and try to hear the message behind the emotions, we’ll be poised to ascertain which elements of the concerns are within our control, and the steps we will take to try to resolve the issue. The goal is to prevent it from reoccurring.
If you have a thorough and appropriate recruitment process, then you have built a great team- a team of talented, happy and competent individuals. Micromanaging these people is the single fastest way to isolate them. Experienced staff are both confident and competent. Micromanaging them will greatly reduce their empowerment, and therefore motivation, going forward. Leaders who dominate people, decisions and processes led by fear lack vision and make this mistake. Micromanaging ultimately derails your team’s motivation and creativity.
Common feedback is that certain leaders, at various levels, are often slow about growing and developing themselves. Whether it is due to poor time management or an intrinsic belief that they have nothing left to learn is unclear. However, the story is common: upper management may invest heavily in leadership development for middle and lower management, yet be reluctant to get the same level of training. This is regardless of the fact that leadership issues at the most senior levels are just as frequent, often causing friction, strain and turnover throughout the company.
Some examples of behavior that indicate a need for executive-level leadership development include:
You’ve worked hard to find the right people for your business. Have you interviewed yourself to determine if you are still a good fit at your company? Following these four steps is a great way to get started on a plan to retain the top talent for your company- and not fall victim to mistakes managers make that cause great employees to quit.
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