Is keeping a team together the newest top competency in these times? We think so.
"An excerpt from The #1 Challenge Facing Leaders Today: “... get the talent. Get the people who can get the job done. You will save yourself endless time and grief if you get the talent.”
But you’re only half way there! You must hold on to this talent when others come for them! SEG customers say retention is their greatest business challenge, and a strongly desired outcome of their leadership development investment.
So how do you keep high performing team members from leaving for new opportunities? It starts at the beginning. When managers move to leadership positions, they often seek counsel from the sea of guidance outside of their company, from iconic business leaders, HBJ articles, and business schools. Its good guidance, but the keys to your success lie within you and your company, not outside. You easily remember favorite leaders and describe them as smart and inspiring people of integrity who were committed to your success. That’s the person you want to be. This leader led a team of amazing outputs:
- Objectives regularly achieved – performance-minded
- Working together to address challenges – problem solvers
- Efficient - the team worked in unison and shared commitment
And when that team works together for years – Gold! Continuity of such a team is not the norm today. Why? Because top leaders view the above successes as the end-state or tactical pursuit vs. the outputs of a committed team. This feels like a chicken and egg dynamic but it’s not. Retaining talent is a commitment. At SEG, we know leaders that build lasting and high-performing teams are intentionally operating with a balance of Form (skill) and Essence (character). What do we mean by Form and Essence?
- Form: Your skills – what you do – delegate, communicate, coach, problem solve.
- Essence: Your character – who you are - your sense of purpose and beliefs that create or undermine your desired culture. Essence is often seen as innate, yet it can be intentionally unlocked and demonstrated - you know these people - and it must be unlocked in order to retain talent.
What happens when one is lacking?
- If Form is low and Essence high: High performers leave for a less frustrating day-to-day experience.
- If Form is high and Essence low: High performers leave for a better culture and leader example.
I love this list of Super-effective Motivators from Peter Economy, The Leadership Guy. I’ve complimented his list with Form and Essence in action.
Retention is possible by achieving each of these steps – not just improving one or two - and it takes leadership commitment. If these concepts strike a chord with you, and if retention issues disrupt your ability to grow and sustain growth, SEG can show you how to build skills and character.