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As we approach an employment market where some of our most talented and experienced workers will retire, it will become even more crucial to attract and retain talented staff. So how attractive does your company rate? Do your leaders live up to the promises made during the recruiting and hiring process? Let’s examine how leaders can become talent magnets for your organization.
Promises Made, Promises Broken?
Many larger organizations spend a great deal of time and money recruiting new employees. With fancy brochures, lists of benefits and promises of flexibility and advancement, there is often a setting of expectations during the hiring process that leads to a disappointing let down in the future. You can probably recall a time in your career when what you expected from your job or employer was different than what you actually experienced.
So when your organization gets ready to fight over scarce talented employees in the future, will your leaders be able to cash the check that your recruiters are writing?
How Some Managers Repel Talented Employees
– Not clearly communicating what is expected in a personal one on one conversation– Not providing corrective feedback that would help the talented employee increase in value– Not addressing performance issues with marginal or poor performers – which causes resentment for the talented employee who no longer respects their leader– Not providing praise, encouragement and recognition of the achievements and success demonstrated by the talented employee– Not communicating the information that employees need to know to perform their jobs to the highest possible level– Not fighting for and justifying adequate resources so talented employees can maximize performance– Not supporting teamwork by treating people inequitably and unfairly
How to Get Managers to Be Talent Magnets
Make sure that your managers are up to the task – It is likely no surprise that 10-20% of your managers and supervisors are not well suited to the position of leader. You know who they are and yet the organization puts up with their poor leadership behaviors. Get your senior leadership team together and do what the largest corporations do – sit around the table and talk about the people you entrust leadership to at the middle and front line of your organization.Confront, correct, develop or terminate the marginal leaders. Swallow the severence costs knowing it it the right thing to do.
Make Managers Accountable for Their Leadership Behaviors – If your managers are only rewarded or promoted based on financial measures, it is quite likely that they will interpret the intent as, “Just get the numbers, no matter how you treat people!” Some progressive organizations have built into their performance management systems and reward systems, a way to identify managers who do not live the organization’s values and put talent management as one of their priorities. If a manager realizes that their job performance and bonus rests upon achieving business results while exhibiting leadership behaviours, they will adapt and change.
Take Succession Planning Seriously – Many organizations have identified succession planning as a significant need and yet have made little progress. One way to jump start the process is to make each manager accountable for developing at least two of their employees into candidates for their job. If the manager does not have two people capable of taking over their job, then the manager is penalized in terms of their performance review and bonus.
Develop Solid Leadership Behaviors – Call them competencies or other fancy names if you like. Basically, you need to spell out clearly what behaviors are considered acceptable and which are not. Then provide the opportunity to develop the missing skill set by scheduling some leadership development sessions.
Ask Your Employees – Your employees know the difference between an effective leader and an ineffective one. And while you might think that employees would favor an easy going boss over a tough task master, in truth most prefer a leader who sets ambitious goals, energizes the work group and empowers talented employees to take action.
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