Time and time again I work with talented, forward thinking ambitious leaders, who already have a track record of success. One of the questions that comes up time and time again, How do I ensure my team are loyal and committed?
The reality is, it’s tough and only the best leaders every really achieve this. It’s true; the demand for high performers is competitive, more competitive than I have ever known in over a decade of talent management and coaching. Organisations are required to do more, with less and far quicker than ever before. We all know that having the right people in place is what gives you that competitive edge.
There’s no question about it, the right people in the right roles who have great leaders increase performance and ultimately profits.
There’s no luck involved!
It’s a fact, engaged employees are passionate about their work and the organisation they belong to as a result they are willing to put more effort in. They are committed to the long-term success of the business and are advocates for the organisation. Your high performers are so committed to your organisation, they are happy to speak out and recommend the organisation as a place to work, to their high performing friends. You couldn’t adopt a better recruitment process if you tried!
Committed employees are engaged and engaged employees positively impact business outcomes, including profitability Employee engagement is a big deal to companies these days, heck I don’t need to tell you this, you already know, in fact I can pretty much guess that your organisation spend a lot of time and money working hard to improve this!
I am passionate about developing people and their talents, so let me really spell this out. When your employees are engaged, they do their best work, they have a significant impact on your business, your business gains a competitive advantage and your profits increase.
Engaging employees deserves your time and energy.
As an ambitious leader, I know you know this, but even after 10 years in this industry, I am still astonished how little development and time is spent creating engaged, loyal and committed employees. Here’s 7 tips, pointers, bit of advice, best practice, call them what you will, just make sure you are doing them! (of course if you want to remain uncompetitive with unproductive and uncommitted staff I would go find something else to read)
Ensure your team are learning
We live in an age where employees have had enough of being told what to do, people are eager to learn and want to remain relevant with up-to-date, sought after skills. Leaders who inflict fear (do this or else) are not inspiring. Employees want continuous coaching and regular objective feedback to allow them to grow as individuals.
Ensure as a leader, you are providing opportunities to learn (and I am not just talking about the standard training courses your HR team allow your employees to go on)
Allow employees to lead challenging projects or high visibility teams and give them an opportunity to be involved in efforts that are central to the mission of the organisation.
Develop your future leaders
The greatest leaders are not those threatened by other people’s talents! Great leaders don’t feel inferior when someone in the team is “better than them” In fact; great leaders proactively recruit talent that is better than them, they what they are skilled and and then they recruit talent that compliments that and if they can’t recruit them, they develop them.
As a leader, your role is not just to manage the day to day running of the team, as a leader you have been given a great deal of responsibility (not all managers can handle this responsibility) and are tasked with nurturing that individual, their talent and their career, because lets face it if you don’t nurture that talent, you can be sure your competition will!
Bring high potentials together to discuss their experiences and share lessons learned, give them more decision-making authority, increase their responsibility on assignments and give them a change to make important decisions. Allow them to develop other people; they have the experience and success that make them perfect people managers and mentors. Individuals are more satisfied and engaged in the organisations success when they’re involved in building talent
Give high performers more feedback on their performance and spell out their career growth opportunities and provide constructive as well as positive feedback frequently. If you don’t develop your future leaders, I can guarantee they won’t be leading your company in the future; they will be leading your competition!
Create a blame free culture
Work is not the playground, although sometimes in some organisations it’s hard to tell the difference. Great organisations and great leaders don’t have a blame culture. Ask yourself, honestly, what value does a blame culture bring, who does it help? Has it ever advanced your career? Blame helps nobody, it just stagnates growth, quashes ideas before they have even been explored and ensures everyone spends their lunch break gossiping in Pret.
Eliminating a blame culture means adopting a policy of open communication and creating an environment were mistakes are encouraged. Notice how I didn’t say allowed, I said encouraged! Yes that’s right, ensure your team know that you want them to be confident enough to try something out and if a mistake happens, well you will be there in support and lessons can be learned. In reality what happens when we work in an environment where there is no fear, great things occur and amazing discoveries are made. Great products are created, lessons in great customer service are realised, and profits are increased. (The list is endless)
In a blame culture, the opposite happens. People play it safe, why wouldn’t you? If you get it wrong your head will be on the chopping block!
Create a culture where your team feel at ease expressing ideas, of course not every idea will be a winning idea or even used, but you only need a few great ideas to revolutionise your business, so break down the barriers and build trust amongst your team. I can assure you, great ideas will follow!
Regular subscribers to my blog will already know that I am passionate about all things leadership and team development and I regularly work with ambitious managers focusing on creating highly engaged and committed teams.
It makes no difference if you own your own company, manage a small group or head up a multinational team, the facts remain the same; organisations needs to ensure that managers are held accountably for engaging their high potential employees.
Organisations need to encourage leaders to set stretch goals for these individuals, challenging them and set out assignments that will engage them in the business producing loyal and committed employees.
Great leaders never forget how important coaching, mentoring and support is for high potentials to feel set up for success This should be a priority for all organisations, big or small!