How Great Leaders Inspire Employee Retention

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Innovative retention strategies have long been a hot topic across all industries. 

In today’s candidate-driven market, where talent is increasingly hard to come by, this topic has gained even more traction and populates more headlines (see above) than ever before. 

Most of the attention on the topic, though, has consistently revolved around topics like developing and promoting a strong employer brand, constructing competitive benefits packages, offering trendy work perks, and, of course, pay.

While all of these components are certainly important in the effort to retain top performers, they don’t quite tell the whole story. 

Too often, organizations underestimate their leading team member’s influence on overall employee engagement, and, ultimately, their desire to keep coming and working for you every day. 

Typically, it can be more useful to explore the link between retention and leadership by looking at the effects of bad leaders. A Gallup study of more than 7,000 US adults found that 50% of people leave their job directly because of a bad manager/boss/supervisor. 

Most of the time, as the saying goes, people don’t quit their jobs, they quit their bosses. 

We’d like to redirect the narrative, though, and shed some light on all the positive ways in which good leaders can inspire greater employee retention. 

Good leaders value innovation & agility and keep their teams open, engaged, and united

Not all teams are natural fits; some require a little direction and encouragement before they can begin to gel and function optimally. Even for the ones that are natural fits, good leaders can still play a critical role in the overall cohesiveness and camaraderie present among employees. 

Average teams can become good teams, and good teams can become great teams when a great leader steps in and leads.

Regularly practicing and relying on transparency and open communications in their interactions with workers help to promote an environment where people feel engaged and involved in a group that’s larger than themselves. 

Make sure to evaluate if your leaders are champions of communication and collaboration, or if they instead assume that those traits will manifest themselves without their influence. 

Good leaders build healthy relationships with (and among) employees

This may seem too obvious to include, but we can’t overstate how valuable this is. 

When workers feel they have a healthy rapport with leaders, they are far more likely to be content with their work environment. Effective leaders take time to cultivate their relationships with individual team members, and, even more importantly, help facilitate relationships between other employees. 

Not to be confused with micromanaging, this level of internal networking helps employees feel valued within a company. And an employee who feels valued is far less likely to look for greener pastures elsewhere. 

Good leaders help employees achieve their goals 

One of the most common reasons people cite for moving on from a company is that they felt there was not a path to advance their career, or management wasn’t supportive in helping them to develop themselves professionally. 

Great leaders help employees identify their goals and develop a plan that will help them to achieve those goals. Whether that’s helping them find a mentor, providing training opportunities, or even just meeting with them monthly or quarterly to talk about what they want to accomplish long-term—all of this helps promote a sense of value among workers and encourages employees to visualize their future at their organization. 

While a workplace will always need to have a cohesive company culture and offer competitive benefits and pay, it’s crucial for an organization to have the right leaders in place to encourage employees to stick around for the long haul. 

Huffman Associates

Looking to find your next retention-inspiring, productivity-boosting leader? Huffman Associates is here to help. 
Our 50 years’ experience in executive search consultancy allows our team of veteran recruiters to consistently identify and attract top leaders across multiple practice areas. Call us today to learn how we can do it for you.

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