In these days of a genuine shortage of people with required skills it becomes even more important to make sure that the best people in the business are happy, motivated and productive. It is a delicate bloom that we try to cultivate and it demands constant application on the part of the leader and indeed the leadership right through the business.
One of the nice things about social media is that just occasionally, very occasionally, we come across a useful post that can really resonate with what is currently happening.
I picked up such a little epic a couple of weeks ago that is based on the need to retain talented people in the business and listed those attributes that encouraged them to stay.
Not necessarily in the order of importance or validity they are as follows:
- Well paid
I am just a little unsure about this one. Certainly people must be remunerated at a level that satisfies their needs so perhaps it should be read as “acceptably” or “appropriately”. It is of prime importance and must be monitored to make sure that they are not falling behind in the salary market.
It has been said that one of the most motivating factors in business or in life for that matter is to tell someone that something they have done is really appreciated. Indeed expand it to include everything that they do and think of someone you know to whom this apples.
- Listened to
One of the things that I have learned over the years of being chair of Vistage peer groups is that we become professional listeners. People want to feel that their opinions and thoughts matter and to propound them to someone who is genuinely interested and demonstrates it by listening is again motivational. It indicates that their opinions matter.
Again this is not always the case. While we all have people in the business who want to know what their career path looks like, implying what are the possibilities of promotion, some people much prefer to do a great job and leave it at that, happy in what they are achieving without the ambition to change. We need to cultivate both types.
- Involved in decisions
Just ask yourself, how can people grow in stature in the business if all decisions are taken at the top and then merely passed down to them for action? Decision-making should be encouraged at every level throughout the business and even if one or two go awry it is not a matter for concern but should be looked upon as an opportunity to learn.
This is possibly the most important factor. One of the leader’s primary functions is that of coach and this applies particularly where an entrepreneur has started the business. I have heard so often the cry that “they don’t seem to understand what is needed” when what is needed is great one-to-one communication. Rid yourself of the “Do you understand?” syndrome and try the trick of paraphrasing instead. It really does work.
If the leader finds that people don’t seem to understand then it is up to the leader to coach and mentor them to help them to learn and grow.
On the face of it this is a surprising factor. We find in Vistage that our members actively want to be challenged and can lose interest if they aren’t. Obviously challenge needs to be effected positively rather than negatively and with the right people just watch them blossom. It demands a level of imagination and that is a compliment to the challenged.
These are simple criteria and taken as a total package can result in great, enthusiastic and motivated people who want to stay in the business because the like being in the business. Make them an important part of the values of the business.
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