Why Can’t You Retain Top Talent?

 leaving“Being the best at whatever talent you have, that’s what stimulates life.” – Tom Landry

The competitive nature of today’s global economy stipulates that you have and retain the top talent in your organization. We acknowledge that to do so is as great of a challenge as it has ever been.

A recent article in USA Today highlighted how American workers are on the move. They reported that “27 percent of employees switched jobs in the 12 months ending in the first quarter according to payroll processor ADP, the most since the firm began tracking the figure in 2014.”

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Courtesy: USA Today

So what is a leader to do in order to retain and recruit top talent for their organizations? We have identified several characteristics that may shed some light on why your top talent may be headed through that revolving door. We believe as you take care of these leadership issues you can build the type of team that people would want to work for and think twice about leaving. But first, why are they leaving?

Lack of clear expectations

Nothing will frustrate your top talent more than a lack of a clear set of expectations and vision. Without it, your organization is adrift and your people struggle to find their way. Employees have to fight extra hard to succeed when they do not clearly understand what is expected of them in the first place. The constant feeling that they are not performing at an acceptable level, even if they don’t know what that level is, will send top talent running for the door.

Lack of investment

Your top talent needs to know that you are totally invested in their success. The buy-in is a two-way street and it needs to be demonstrated in tangible ways that reinforce your commitment to their success. Your investment in them shows that they are valued and that you are confident in their ability to make a meaningful contribution to the organization. When top talent feels that you do not value them enough to invest your time and resources in them, they will begin to seek an employer who will.

Perceived lack of respect

The culture and morale of your organization rest on foundational leadership principles. Namely among them are trust and respect. Top talent is especially attuned to the respect or lack thereof, that you have for them. These employees have devoted much of their lives to developing the skills, knowledge, and experience that make them so valuable. If the people in your organization perceive that you do not respect them, then it only stands to reason that they will be a part of a future exit from your organization.

Lack of a clear path forward

We want to be very clear about this leadership principle. Unless your people have a clear path forward, it will be clear to them that they are in the wrong place. In his book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, John Maxwell writes, “You can find smart, talented, successful people who are able to go only so far because of the limitations of their leadership.” It could be that the top talent in your organization is leaving, not because of a lack of opportunity, but because of a lack of leadership and a clear vision as to where they are going. It is incumbent upon you as the leader to provide it.

Lack of authentic leadership

Nothing will demoralize your people or your team members more quickly than a phony leader. Besides, too much is at stake for a leader to be anything other than genuine. Authenticity is the foundation for trust. No one wants to work for a leader who cannot be trusted. If you lack authenticity, employees will start to question your motives; they will perceive that you have hidden agendas that are not in their best interests. If the top talent within your organization can’t find authentic leadership where they are, they will look elsewhere for it.

We all have the desire to succeed; we want to know that our contributions are valued and that we are making a difference. Top talent has sacrificed far too much to achieve their level of skill to compromise on the leadership environment they work in. Provide them with the clear expectations they need to be successful. Invest your time and resources in helping them achieve great things. Leave no doubt as to how much you respect and trust them and their abilities. Provide them with a clear path forward and the means to follow that path. And, be an authentic leader, someone that top talent can look up to and emulate.

Your organization can only rise as high as your top talent. Isn’t it time to start retaining those employees who have the potential to add so much value? What adjustments will you make to your leadership today?

 

© 2017 Doug Dickerson and Liz Stincelli

 

 

Doug Dickerson is an internationally recognized leadership speaker, columnist, and author. His books include: “Leaders Without Borders: 9 Essentials for Everyday Leaders”, “Great Leaders Wanted”, “Leadership by the Numbers”, and “It Only Takes a Minute: Daily Inspiration for Leaders on the Move”. He lives outside beautiful Charleston, South Carolina.

Email Doug at: managementmoment@gmail.com.

Follow Doug on Twitter  @DougDickersonSC and on Instagram at: DougDickerson1.

 

Motivation vs. Inspiration

Motivation vs inspiration“Excellence endures and sustains. It goes beyond motivation into the realms of inspiration.” —Azim Premji

Webster’s definition of motivation is the process of motivating through force, stimulus, or influence. Inspiration is defined as the action or power of moving the intellect or emotions. The words motivate and inspire are often used interchangeably but, they have very different meanings. So, do you want to motivate your employees or so you want to inspire them?

      The external

I think of motivation as an external force. Picture the carrot or the whip in getting the behavior you want. When you motivate employees, you get them to perform purely to receive a reward or to avoid punishment.

            The internal

I think of inspiration as an internal force. Picture excitement, pride, and being part of something bigger that influences behavior. When you inspire your employees they perform because they are internally driven to make a meaningful contribution.

Why it Matters

Motivation can provide a great incentive for achieving short-term results. But, for the long-haul, do you want employees going through the motions purely to receive a reward or to avoid punishment? Or, would you like employees who are loyal to you, dedicated to doing a good job because they are proud of their contributions, and inspired to be part of something great? The fact is, both motivation and inspiration play an important role in leadership. Motivate employees to achieve short-term goals; inspire employees to reach far beyond your vision.

So, what are you going to do?

© 2017 Elizabeth Stincelli

Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the Founder of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations change attitudes, change communication dynamics, improve collaboration and problem-solving, engage employees, and strengthen organizational culture. Liz holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Liz by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.

It’s Your Time to Soar

Doug Dickerson on Leadership

Photo Credit: Google Images Photo Credit: Google Images

Eagles don’t flock, you have to find them one at a time. – Ross Perot

While walking through the forest one day, a man found a young eagle who had fallen out of its nest. He took it home and put it in his barnyard where it soon learned to eat and behave like the chickens.

One day a naturalist passed by the farm and asked why it was that the king of all birds should be confined to live in a barnyard with the chickens. The farmer replied that since he had given it chicken feed and trained it to be a chicken, it had never learned to fly. Since it now behaved as the chickens, it was no longer an eagle.

“Still it has the heart of an eagle,” replied the naturalist, “and can surely be taught to fly.” He lifted the eagle toward…

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Three Reasons Your Employees need an Advocate

advocate“I’m passionate about people. I’ve spent my life in advocacy. People matter-whether or not we agree on the issue, people matter.” —Ann Marie Buerkle

Your people matter; they are your greatest asset. When employees don’t feel they have someone in your organization advocating for them they feel as though they are not valued. If you don’t think having an advocate for your employees, here are three reasons to rethink your attitude.

It’s hard to get a clear view from the top

It’s hard to get an understanding of what your employees are dealing with when you are sitting at the top of the hierarchical pyramid. Even when you have risen through the ranks, eventually you forget what life was really like on the front line. An employee advocate can provide the reminders that you need so that you can put yourself in the shoes of your employees.

Hidden agendas

You want to believe that your management has everyone’s best interest at heart. The truth of the matter is, there are hidden agendas being pursued from every corner of your organization, even yours. An employee advocate promotes transparency in management. It makes it much harder to hide and ignore the hidden agendas that may not be in the best interests of your employees.

Demands on time and energy

You do not have the time or energy to focus on the needs of each employee on a daily basis. As a leader, your attention is spread from the biggest of pictures to the smallest of details. This makes it impossible to commit the time and energy necessary to give each employee your attention on a continual basis. The role of an employee advocate is to be the go-between between employees and management. It becomes the responsibility of the advocate to give employees a voice and to direct management attention to where it is needed the most while ensuring employees that they are being heard.

Easy to do, easy not to do

Giving your employees an advocate is easy to do but, it’s also easy not to do. It is easy to take employees for granted and to forget that they need someone who can give them a voice. While it is easy to understand how the bottom-line benefits when employees feel valued. It is also easy to dismiss the role of an advocate as an unnecessary position. Your people are the key to your success. They need someone dedicated to advocating on their behalf. Think about how hard it is to get a clear view from the top. Recognize you’re your organization is riddled with hidden agendas. And, admit that you already have enough demands on you time and energy. Giving your employees an advocate is easy to do and easy not to do. Are you ready to commit to giving your employees the advocate they need?

© 2017 Elizabeth Stincelli

Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the Founder of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations change attitudes, change communication dynamics, improve collaboration and problem-solving, engage employees, and strengthen organizational culture. Liz holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Liz by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.

Get Rid of the Word ‘Should’!

should“You would be much happier if you removed the word ‘should’ from your vocabulary. ‘Should’ is denial. You’re saying your expectations deserve to override reality.” —Albert Ellis

Expectations, how many ways do we let ourselves down with our expectations? Goals are one thing; they are an aspiration to achieve a future state. On the other hand, we tend to mislead ourselves with expectations. This is how things ‘should’ be. I ‘should’ have done this. I ‘shouldn’t’ have done that. ‘Should’ is irrelevant. What we have is what is. So, how can we get rid of the word ‘should’ and stop denying what is?

What is real?

When we focus on ‘should’, we risk overlooking what actually is. Things are how they are, regardless of if you think they should be or not. You did what you did, regardless of what you think you should have done. You cannot live in denial of what is real. This is the first step to getting rid of the word ‘should’. The word ‘should’ becomes even worse when you try to insert your ‘should’ into someone else’s reality.

Where are you now?

Where you expected to be is irrelevant. Where are you now? How foolish it is to waste time concentrating our energies on where we expected to be. The only way you can achieve a desired future state is to be honest with yourself about where you really are right now. The word ‘should’ becomes a heavy weight when you try to tell others where they ‘should’ be.

                What do you want?

Not what do you want in an expectation way, what do you want in a way that allows you to set actual goals. Goals are actionable, expectations are not. What do you want that you are willing to put in the work for? What can you do so that in the future you won’t find yourself under the dark cloud of ‘should’? Don’t push your wants on others; no one ‘should’ want what you think they should want.

What is the next step?

Now that you acknowledge what is real; where you in fact are; and what you are actually willing to put in the work to achieve, what is the next step? Again, goals are actionable; what action will you take? What is your plan to get yourself from your current state to your desired future state? Start on that journey, one step at a time. Your next step is personal, don’t try to ‘should’ it on others.

Remove the Word ‘Should’ from Your Vocabulary

Is it possible to go through life without regrets? Probably not but, you can sure distance yourself from regret by removing the word ‘should’ from your vocabulary. Get clear on what is real. Focus on where are you now. Define what you want. And, then plan out your next step. Stop deceiving yourself with ‘should’.

 

 

© 2016 Elizabeth Stincelli

 

Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the Founder of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations change attitudes, change communication dynamics, improve collaboration and problem-solving, engage employees, and strengthen organizational culture. Liz holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Liz by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.

 

What is the Quality of Your Culture?

culture“The role of a creative leader is not to have all the ideas; it’s to create a culture where everyone can have ideas and feel that they’re valued.” —Ken Robinson

Your organization has a culture; it may be a culture that has been deliberately developed or it may be one that has grown, unnoticed, from the behaviors of organizational leaders. This culture will either have a positive impact on employees, productivity, and innovation or, it will erode the very foundation that the organization needs to be successful. So, what is the quality of your culture?

Collaboration

One of the most obvious signs of a healthy culture is the willingness and ability of employees at every level of the organization to collaborate. This starts with you; as a leader, you must let employees see that you do not know everything and you need the knowledge and support of others. When they see your willingness to collaborate and your appreciation for the value that is created from collaborative efforts, they will be much more comfortable following your example.

Engagement

Another clear sign of a healthy culture is a high level of engagement by employees in their work. Engagement is about active participation. This is not ‘just going through the motion’ participation, but truly invested in the task at hand participation. This type of engagement is developed by leaders who share their big picture passion with employees. These leaders help every employee understand the incredible value they add to every task they participate in. Then they allow employees to have control over their own work.

Curiosity

One often overlooked sign of a healthy culture is curiosity throughout the organization. Curiosity is what drives innovation. It keeps employees excited about their work and wanting to learn and do more. As a leader, you either encourage curiosity and outside-the-box thinking, or you stifle it with an ‘I don’t pay you to think’ attitude. Challenge employees to be curious, to experiment, and to explore new ideas. Curiosity benefits the employee, you as the leader, and the entire organization.

Support

One of the biggest components of a healthy culture is the support of employees by management. Employees need to know you have their back and their best interest at heart. They need to know that they can trust you, and that you trust and respect them in return. An employee should never feel like they have been left to tread water alone. Make sure every employee knows that you are right there with them.

You are the Key

You are the key. You will either use your leadership to purposefully develop a positive culture, or you will turn a blind eye and it will take on a life of its own. Either way, it’s your leadership behaviors that will determine the quality of your culture. Set the example that fosters collaboration. Share the passion that inspires engagement. Challenge employees to be curios. And, make sure your employees know that you are there to support them. So, what is the quality of your culture?

© 2016 Elizabeth Stincelli

Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the Founder of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations engage employees and improve organizational culture. Liz holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Liz by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.