Excessive Employee Turnover Simply Means the Competition is Winning.
2 Types of Competitors:
1) Those with similar products who want to steal your customers. Most leaders take a proactive stance when dealing with these competitors. Most leaders are constantly trying to provide a better product or a better service. They are trying to win.
2) Those who need more or better team members who want to steal your people. They may or may not be in the same industry or selling similar products or services. Many leaders ignore these competitors and take a reactive stance by simply replacing the team members that leave. They are trying not to lose.
It’s obvious. Many leaders know how to effectively deal with competitors that are trying to steal their customers.
It’s also obvious. Only a few leaders know how to effectively deal with those who are trying to steal their people.
Later in this article, I’ll share a three part strategy for winning against those who want to steal your people. I’ll share a few resources to help leaders who want to proactively compete by intentionally engaging, attracting, and retaining top talent, regardless of their local unemployment rate, their location, their size, or their product or service.
But first, let’s consider employee turnover. When it comes to employee turnover, low impact leaders can always explain it effortlessly and perfectly:
- It’s hard to find good people these days. This is absolutely true relative to low impact leaders. For them, it’s not an excuse; it’s the truth. Good people don’t want to follow low impact leaders. Good people do their homework in advance and will seldom be found in an interview with a low impact leader. But, if they do make it to the interview, they are interviewing the leader as much or more than they are being interviewed by the leader. However, high impact leaders don’t have a problem finding good people these days. They have many great people waiting to join their team. People who are willing to transfer from other departments, other organizations, and even to relocate from many miles away.
- People aren’t loyal these days. This is absolutely true relative to low impact leaders. For them, it’s not an excuse; it’s the truth. Those who find themselves on the team of a low impact leader have the right to stop following their poor leader. When this happens, the employee exercises his/her right to terminate (fire) the boss. How do they do this? They leave and find a new boss in a different department, a different organization, or they become their own boss by starting their own business. High impact leaders have very loyal team members these days. However, they still experience turnover because they are growing and developing people. As a result, their team members are loyal and reluctant to leave even for a better opportunity. However, the high impact leader is always encouraging them to grow and go.
- People aren’t motivated these days. This is absolutely true relative to low impact leaders. For them, it’s not an excuse; it’s the truth. Low impact leaders don’t motivate and/or inspire their team. These leaders are low impact for a reason. They are not motivated or inspired themselves. They likely also report to a low impact leader. Who we are is who we attract. Low impact leaders attract and retain other low impact people with few options. High impact leaders are highly motivated and inspired. As a result, they are highly motivating and inspiring to others. High impact leaders attract and retain other high impact people who have many options.
- People aren’t engaged these days. This is absolutely true relative to low impact leaders. For them, it’s not an excuse; it’s the truth. Low impact leaders aren’t engaged leaders. Disengagement below is only a symptom of the root cause: disengagement above. Leaders who are there simply to get paid are surrounded by a team that is there simply to get paid. High impact leaders are intentionally highly engaged and have team members who are intentionally highly engaged.
Turnover has always happened, and it will always happen. The best led organizations also have turnover. However, they don’t experience excessive turnover. High impact leaders actually create much of the turnover in their organization because they are growing and developing people in an effort to help them climb to the next level and beyond, internally or externally. There is no question they value their team member’s growth, development, and success.
However, excessive turnover is always an indicator of poor, low impact leadership which also creates disengagement. Disengagement, like excessive turnover, is simply another symptom of low impact leadership. Low impact leaders focus on the symptoms: the people below the leaders. High impact leaders focus on the root cause: the leaders above the people.
Relative to John’s quote above, disengagement and turnover are a few “old problems” that many leaders have become “comfortable with.” There’s one thing I know about companies that have high turnover and low engagement: They have few, if any, high impact leaders at any level and many low impact leaders at every level.
The “new solution” to these two “old problems” is leadership development at all levels with all people. Leadership development isn’t truly a “new solution.” However, if leadership development is not being done from top to bottom at the moment within your organization, it will be seen as a “new solution.”
Leadership development with everyone at every level is exactly what the very best high impact leaders do to create the very best companies where turnover is always low and engagement is always high.
However, most leaders do nothing in this area beyond management classes disguised as Leadership Development. Why? Because the leaders don’t know what they don’t know.
Unfortunately, when there are no high impact leaders who truly know the difference between management and leadership, the leaders continue doing the same management things getting the same management results while doing what managers of people do: blame the people, the boss, the customers, the economy, the day of the week, the government, the unemployment rate, the weather, etc. for their lack of leadership ability.
3 Ways to Compete Effectively with those Who Want to Steal Your People
Note: The best led companies are already doing what I’m about to share. While low impact leaders say, “We can’t afford to do this.” high impact leaders are saying, “We can’t afford not to do this.” Their perspective is as different as the day is to the night. There’s also something else that’s very different: their character, their people and their results.
- DEVELOP the CHARACTER of ALL of the LEADERS. You will either invest in the character development and personal growth of high impact leaders who attract, develop, engage, and retain high impact team players, or you will lose to those who do. It’s that simple. You may remain in the battle, but you will lose the war. If you don’t know how to develop high impact character among the formal leaders in your organization, that means you haven’t developed it within yourself yet. That’s okay. Continuing that way is not okay…if you want to compete for the best people. Start researching. Start reading. Start changing. Start sacrificing. Start climbing the high impact leadership ladder. It’s not about you, but it starts with you. For those in blue-collar industries who want to develop high impact front line leaders who attract, engage, and retain top talent, help them to begin developing a high impact leadership mindset with Blue-Collar Leadership & Supervision: Unleash Your Team’s Potential (Click here for the white-collar version.)
- DEVELOP the CHARACTER of ALL of the PEOPLE. If you want to engage your workforce, you must begin by engaging their minds. Nearly all organizations develop the skillset and toolset of their front line, entry-level team members. Why? Because it’s required. However, only the best organizations intentionally develop their front line team member’s mindset. Why? Because it’s not required and only high impact leaders will do it. They know this truth, “None of us is as smart as all of us. None of is as creative as all of us. And, none of us is as strong as all of us.” I’ve created a very unique resource for engaging and developing those on the front lines. High impact leaders in blue-collar industries can engage their entry-level workforce by helping them learn to become high impact team players using Blue-Collar Leadership: Leading from the Front Lines. (Click here for the white-collar version.)
- FEED the HUNGRY. Engage the hungry leaders and the hungry people. This is where low impact leaders just starting down the leadership development path often drop the ball. When they introduce leadership development to the leaders and the people, some will buy-in quickly. These people will start developing themselves and often outgrow the leader who started the initiative. These people are hungry, regardless of their title or position. The most important thing a leader can do is be secure and feed these hungry people. Those hungry for leadership development will truly transform the organization and take it and the people within it to the next level. They will do it in your organization or someone else’s, but they will do it. However, it takes a high impact leader to know what to do with these people. A low impact leader won’t feed them fast enough, and they will leave and find another place to eat, leaving the organization as it was before the leadership development journey started. A high impact leader will engage them, use them, and leverage them to accelerate the growth and development of everyone else in the organization.
“Failing organizations are usually over-managed and under-led.” ~ Warren Bennis
What our clients are saying…
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