It’s been said employees do not leave companies, they leave leaders, supervisors and managers; A respected author, Fortune 500 CEO and Poet James Autry said that behind every termination there is a failure in leadership.
All leaders should add his books to their reading list. And, if you are fortunate to view his video and read his book: “Love & Profit: The Art of Caring Leadership” I would not be surprised if it brings tears to your eyes, while helping you to realize that true power and success come from the people that you are leading and from leading from your heart.
According to Autry, a good leader focuses on the people not just profits and leads with honesty, trust, special treatment, and courage. I would add that a good leader must also be compassionate, inspiring and have a sense of vision.
employeesIn this global world, heightened competition is resulting in the creation of leaders who manage through ego versus heart many times, producing an apathetic workplace, which often results in lower productivity, a tarnished reputation, unhappy customers, and reduced profits. The short-term solution of cutting expenses and people will only take a business so far. Unless there is an executable vision that includes a team of qualified people behind it, your business will stall or even fail. Hiring people for their strengths and allowing their strengths to become stronger is the key to employee engagement and retention.
Recognizing that the more you pile on yourself or your team, the lower the quality of the work being produced. Engage your team in the company’s vision and find out what team members enjoy doing most. If employees enjoy what they are doing, they will put more thought and effort behind it and everyone wins.
In addition, company polices are guidelines not law. Sometimes, it is appropriate to stretch the policy for an employee who has always given you their all, and now they are faced with a personal situation that requires them to take extra time off that according to policy they do not have. The caring leader will work with that employee and the other employees who will need to take on the extra workload during this employee’s absence.
Now I ask you, yes, you the CEO, President, COO, CFO, Executive, Manager or Supervisor…the following questions:
- When did you show some flexibility to accommodate the unique needs of a highly valued employee?
- When was the last time you brought laughter into your environment, or gave an employee an unexpected day off “just because”?
- When have you sponsored a team outing, recognizing and appreciating team efforts regardless of the team’s performance against arbitrary goals or your budget?
- How are you keeping your team motivated and engaged?
- What’s your turnover rate?
- When’s the last time you looked beyond the metrics and the numbers and made the decision to invest in your employees and your business, and save jobs not just money.
- What are you doing to inspire all levels of employees on your team to see their value and understand the corporate vision while feeling invested in the company’s accomplishments?
Yes, we all know that for-profit companies, private and public, are in business to make money and generate returns; however, how much money is enough and what are the costs to human beings who work for you and to human beings who buy your products or services.
Remember, happy employees, generate happy customers and happy customers continue to buy from you and refer other customers. This can result in higher returns which is supposedly the goal, right? Now I ask, do you deserve to be fired by your staff?
Grace Totoro is a Lead Coach for OI Global Partners in New Jersey. Her specialties include Coaching for Goal Clarity, LinkedIn Profile and Resume Preparation, Networking, LinkedIn Marketing, Interviewing, and Negotiating Skills.