There may be ‘50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,’ but there is only a handful of ways that employees will leave you. The biggest is that they don’t feel the ‘love.’
Sure, some articles will say that the reasons employees leave you are they don’t feel challenged, boredom, relationship with their co-workers, lack of contribution or growth opportunities, autonomy, culture, and recognition, (note, salary is not on the list). I believe, however, that if team members felt ‘the LOVE,’ from their leader and your business, all other problems can be overcome and people would stay.
I am not talking about romantic love. I am talking about LOVE that is an acronym for what engages and keeps employees… it’s an employee retention strategy, that works!
Love is no longer a dirty word in business. It is NOT a sign of weak leaders. My model for LOVE is the key way that leaders can engage and retain a team. Showing people that they are valued, respected, appreciated and cared for and about, is the way that your team will return the love to customers. “What comes around, goes around” is the saying. Strategies will get delivered. Productivity will increase. Revenue will grow. Costs will be minimized. Profits will be greater than the organizations led by dinosaur management.
“L” is for leadership. There are people that have ‘Leader’ as a title and then there are those that lead. Those that lead, set a clear and compelling vision for what ‘good looks like.’ They have an equally clear and compelling purpose or ‘why,’ the vision is important. They have a clear plan for how they are going to get there and finally, what role and responsibility each team member has in order to deliver on the vision.
“O” is for Open. Trust in leadership is a key factor in employee engagement. When team members trust their leaders, they feel more secure and are traditionally willing to go the extra-mile and take more risks. How do you develop trust? Being open to the team in terms of what is going on in the business is a starting point. The key way to build trust though is having leadership that is open in terms of being vulnerable in front of the team – being open and honest about what they are weak at, what keeps them awake at night, etc. In short… being human.
“V” is for Values. We all have them. When you get more than one person together in an organization, the resulting culture is built on the values of those people. Dysfunction happens when the collective values in the culture compete. LOVE Leadership is all about bringing the organizations values to life every day and swiftly dealing with values violations that occur.
“E” is for Empower. When team members know the direction, why and how to deliver it, they need to be set free to deliver. Holding the reins too tight on team members by micromanaging them will disengage the team. Think of it as a professional coach of a world-class soccer or football team… The coach sets the strategy and game plan. The coach ensures the team has the skills needed. The coach then sets the team free when the starting whistle blows to deliver the plan. The coach cannot be on the field playing every position.
LOVE is the retention strategy needed everywhere in winning businesses these days. If you or your leadership team cannot, or will not, get on the ‘Love Train,’ employees will leave you.
Robert Murray is a Vancouver, BC based Business Strategy Consultant, #1 Best Selling Author, and International Keynote Speaker. For further advice, insight and inspiration on how to unlock your inner leader, follow Robert on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
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