- Coaching & Consulting
By Doug Van Dyke, Leadership Simplified, www.leadershipsimplified.com
As the United States economy continues to pick up, many businesses will encounter an issue they have not thought about in a while: How to retain our best and brightest team members. It has been reasonably easy over the past few years to retain key employees, especially if your organization or industry has been stable. With economic growth, however, comes employment opportunity. And with that comes the threat of losing valuable talent. So aside from paying your best team members a king’s ransom, how the heck do we keep them? A salient question deserving of four actions that leaders can drive.
As you ponder various “hot buttons” for each generation you may conclude, for example, that Baby-Boomers are going to be more interested in communication. They will want to be kept in the information loop, and be lauded by positive feedback. Gen Xers, on the other hand, may place more value on being treated in a professional manner and knowing how they fit into the strategic direction of the organization. In contrast, the direct supervisor of each Millennial may serve as their lifeline to the company. If the manager of a Millennial leaves the company or moves to a different area, you may be at risk of losing a young, valued team member.
While these viewpoints may seem stereotyped, a savvy leader would be wise to consider generational viewpoints once in a while. Oh, and for The Greatest Generation (those team members over 66 years old), simply set clear expectations and help them cope with any technology challenges. They will take care of the rest.
Bottom Line: It has never been more important to reduce employee turnover and retain key team members. People drive our organizations. As the economy improves, there will be more outside influences that will be eying your best people. As such, build a retention wall around your top performers by communicating, coaching, and matching your leadership style to appropriate situations. The results will be a lower turnover rate, steady productivity, and less heartburn.
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