— September 25, 2018
Here’s a not-so-secret fact about workplace teams: Employees don’t actually want to work for a pushover. They certainly don’t want to work for someone who lacks values or directions. No, employees crave structure, integrity, vision—in a word, what they want is leadership.
It stands to reason, then, that good leadership can actually help with retention. Indeed, if you want to keep your best people from jumping ship, one of the greatest things you can do is show them some strong leadership.
Sounds simple, but of course it isn’t! Great leadership isn’t something you can discover overnight, nor is it something that can be boiled down to five or even 10 easy steps.
With that said, I can offer you a few helpful goals—some things you can shoot for as you try to step up your leadership game and show employees that they have a captain at the ship.
Suggestions for Improving Your Leadership Ability
In no particular order:
- Start asking for ideas. Solicit feedback from your team members. Challenge yourself to actively seek out new perspectives at least once daily. You don’t have to act on every piece of feedback you receive; just let employees know that you hear them.
- Take a long, hard look at your company’s mission statement. Spend some time thinking about what it means to your practical, daily actions. Reiterate it to your employees. Ensure that your team shares a sense of mission.
- Look for ways you can give employees more responsibility. Give them autonomy, without micromanaging or looking over their shoulders.
- Invest in coaching—either by becoming a mentor, or by asking someone to be yours!
- Have a performance review! Ask some of your top employees for any suggestions they have, or any feedback concerning your leadership style.
- Focus on integrity. How well do your actions line up with your stated values? Give yourself an inventory, and appraise the ways in which you could put words to action a little better.
Of course, these are just preliminary steps—but by following them, you can show your employees that you’re proactively seeking to become a better and more improved leader. And that, in turn, can pay off in the form of heightened employee retention.