Are You a Leader Who Inspires Loyalty?

How can leaders develop and inspire others on their teams?How can leaders develop and inspire others on their teams?

Whether it’s downsizing, reorganization, or employees choosing to leave, companies continue to get leaner and leaner. The workforce that remains faces an increased workload and fewer resources to work with. If not addressed appropriately, this could lead to higher turnover. What can a leader do to develop and inspire loyalty?

According to statistics compiled by Americanprogress the cost to replace an employee can range from 11% of annual salary to over 21% and above, based on the complexity of the job. That cost can add up. How can your managers still inspire loyalty?

It has been said that people don’t leave jobs, they leave managers. So how do you become the manager/leader who inspires loyalty? One way is to invest in your people both formally and informally.

The formal investment is the development plan – The intentional, purposeful, and planned use of resources to develop your people.

This can look a variety of ways:

  •  Training – I’m speaking of the type of training that develops the whole person, not just a specific skill-set. It’s training that transcends the workplace and makes your people more effective outside of work as well as at work. This training makes your team overall better people. Better qualified to make the unique contributions that only they can make. When you have people working in their unique talent sphere, leveraging strengths and overcoming obstacles, they add exponentially more to the business than just a simple skill-set. Train your people to be the best they can be.

            “The only thing worse than training employees and losing them is to not train them and keep them.” ~ Zig Ziglar

  •  Opportunities – To keep your high performing people, provide them with multiple opportunities for doing interesting and challenging work, as well as increased responsibility. Opportunities motivate, engage, and retain your best people.
  • “White Space” – A friend of mine is a SVP of a top consulting firm. He made a decision at the beginning of this year to provide company funded “white space” time for his team. Time for his subordinate leaders “to reflect, to see around corners, and think,” while preventing capacity overload. He described this investment in people by saying, “It has a real ROI that is critical to running the business. Without it I am running blind at times.” Give your people a hall pass to recharge and think creatively about the business. They will have more to bring to the table as a result.

The informal investment is the relationship building. Three reasons for losing employees are a leader’s inability to communicate, show appreciation, and really know their people.

How do you invest informally?

  •  Communicate – As a leader it’s critical you’re communicating with your people. If you’re not telling them the real story, they will make one up of their own, and that’s never good. You must communicate and let them know what’s going on.
  •  Appreciate – show them appreciation in expected and unexpected hours. The expected hours come at the end of a job well done or annually at performance appraisal time. The unexpected hours are just that, unexpected. Unexpected recognition has even greater benefit because it shows that you appreciate their efforts all the time, not just annually.
  •  Know – How well do you really know your people? I did a seminar for a Fortune 250 company and one of the participants shared a story of a former boss and CEO of the company who knew his name and the names of each of his family members. His CEO boss knew about his family and asked about them. Many in the room nodded in agreement having had the same experience. All are still talking about him, years later. Know your people. It creates loyalty as you recognize their individuality.

Choose to be a leader that inspires loyalty by investing in and developing your people. An investment in your people will ALWAYS pay dividends and enable you to retain your top talent. In uncertain times, it’s a sure investment with sure returns – inspire loyalty.

Additional Resources:

  • See my workshopand assessmentpages for more on training options for individuals and corporations.
  • To learn more about WhiteSpace visit Juliet Funt’s webpage.
  • Gallup Business Journal article on Employee Engagement included this – “The 12 Elements of Great Managing.”

See you here next Money Monday where we will discuss what a great financial leader can do for your leadership team.

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