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Your Bad Leaders Are Driving Away Good Employees

StrategyDriven Talent Management Article | Employee Retention | Management and LeadershipThese days, it’s hard to keep a good employee in your ranks. Messages across the web tell young workers that the only way to get ahead is to hop positions frequently, even as much as once per year. In the modern job market, frequent relocations seems to be how employees get the titles, responsibilities and perks they crave.

So, employees are already poised to leave — and they will flee your offices even faster if your leadership isn’t up to snuff. Here are a few ways bad leaders negatively impact your employee retention and what you can do to stop it.

Poor Communication

Good communication is the number-one requirement for a leader. After all, it’s impossible to lead if you don’t know how to use words to direct your workforce. Still, many poor communicators make it to leadership positions, and from there, they wreak all sorts of havoc. Poor communication can take many forms:

  • Over-inflated — using too much jargon, too many big words or overly convoluted sentence structure
  • Non-specific — failing to provide clear instructions or guidelines for a project or situation
  • Abrasive — communicating with aggressive language and/or with anger
  • Selfish — communicating only to seek personal benefits, ignoring others’ needs or desires
  • Wrong method — employing an inappropriate means of communication

Fortunately, communication is a skill like any other, which means it is possible to retrain these leaders to improve their performance. It might be wise to encourage leaders to develop their communication through advanced education, like an MBA program, or else through mentorship or coaching.

Criticism

There is a fine line between healthy feedback and destructive criticism — and many leaders stray to the wrong side too often. Leaders are meant to coach, helping employees improve their skills and thus develop their careers. Bad leaders will nit-pick, taking every chance to degrade employees and make them feel ineffective and worthless.

Many employees become so downtrodden by the constant criticism that they do not report the bad behavior to HR or higher bosses, which means it is often difficult to identify overly critical leaders. If you receive any reports of an unsympathetic, judgmental leader, you should take them seriously and take steps to effect change.

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to retrain leaders who develop this habit. Often, it is a clear and simple sign that someone is poorly suited to leadership and should be removed to a different role. However, you might also need to undo the damage of these leaders by being overly appreciative of employee contributions, perhaps even handing out employee awards to raise general self-esteem.

StrategyDriven Talent Management Article | Employee Retention | Your Bad Leaders Are Driving Away Good Employees | Office Politics | Business PoliticsOffice Politics

Office politics is an unavoidable power and social networking system that develops in any organization, big or small. The manipulation of office politics by some employees is inevitable — but that doesn’t mean it’s okay for leaders to take advantage of the political atmosphere of an office. An overly political office often breeds fear amongst the workforce; fear causes employees to resent their employer, which drives up staff turnover.

Leaders might try to leverage office politics to encourage employees to work harder — but there is a delicate balance between positive and negative outcomes from political maneuvering. Plus, office politics always comes with ethical concerns, which certainly won’t boost your brand perception. It’s much safer to discourage leaders from inciting a political atmosphere in your workplace.

Dirty Laundry

Work only amounts to so much of a person’s life, and while it’s fine (even encouraged!) to share a bit of your home life with your coworkers, no one should be divulging unseemly personal drama in the workplace. Dirty laundry, much like office politics, breeds discomfort amongst your workforce; a proliferation of dirty laundry encourages people to spread rumors, with can reduce interpersonal trust and send employees looking for less threatening work.

Leaders need to find a balance between humanizing themselves with personal details and airing dirty laundry. Human resources can help train leaders who struggle to set boundaries. It’s also wise to build a workplace culture that allows for personal bonds between workers, so information about anyone’s personal life doesn’t seem quite so salacious.

Fear, discomfort, distrust — these are things that bad leaders can breed amongst your workforce, virtually guaranteeing that no good employee stays for longer than a few months. Your business can’t grow unless your workforce is stable and capable, which means you might need to take steps to change your leadership, stat.

3 steps to creating a culture that retains your best employees

StrategyDriven Customer Relationship Management Article | Corporate Culture | 3 steps to creating a culture that retains your best employeesEmployees can do the minimum, or go the extra mile, and the difference between these two levels of performance, multiplied by the number of employees, can make or break a company. And when your employees are going the extra mile, it means they are engaged, and engaged employees don’t leave.

Losing employees is costly, especially if they are your best ones. Not only do they take specialist know-how and client relationships with them, but often straight to one of your competitors. And if you are operating in a context of skills shortages, which many companies are, you simply can’t afford to lose those skills you know are going to be impossible to replace.

The key to overcoming all of the above issues is culture, because as Peter Drucker famously said: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”. Making sure your company culture is one that engages and retains your best employees is an ongoing endeavour, and there are three proactive steps you can take to build it:

1.Turn your company into a cause

Make sure you have a vision that is ambitious enough and inspirational enough to become a cause that employees rally around and makes them want to go the extra mile. Engagement for engagement sake will only ever bring short-term results; engagement around a cause, however, will keep your employees motivated for years.

Most companies have a vision, but with confusion rife around what a vision actually is, rarely do we find one with that essential emotional ingredient that makes employees put aside personal agendas for a collective one that appears much more attractive.

2. Set a minimum standard for people management

“People don’t quit companies, they quit their bosses”. How often have you heard this said? And how often on exit interviews do we find it to be true! This simple fact, disheartening as it might seem, is exactly the information we need to change our company culture.

By focusing on our people managers, and equipping them with the skills to better manage their relationships with their subordinates, we can minimise the loss of good employees because of bad management.

Giving feedback, for example, in a way that motivates rather than demotivates employees, is a skill in short supply among today’s line managers, but is something that can be easily taught and quickly put into practice.

3. Make Confidence a daily discussion

Confidence is discussed regularly in sports, because the sporting world knows that it is critical – that difference that makes a difference when athletes and sports people need to find that elusive next level of performance.

Confidence is multi-faceted and often misunderstood, but when discussed and worked on regularly, will make a huge difference not only to your employees’ performance but also their motivation. When employees are engaged, they will stay with your company, but you don’t just want them to stay, you want them to offer you their best performance possible. Confidence is the thing that moves them from commitment to action and gets them through turbulent times.

Creating a culture takes time, but results in a workplace where employees can give their best, making them feel good, and benefiting the company bottom line.

When you focus purely on Engagement, the tendency is to look to extrinsic and largely superficial motivations, such as gym memberships, extra holiday and shopping discounts, which only drive short-term results.

Investing in culture, however, addresses the more long-term and intrinsic drivers of human motivation – the need to grow as a person and make a difference – and sustainable Engagement, and employee retention, is the return that investment brings!


About the Author

StrategyDriven Corporate Cultures Article | 3 steps to creating a culture that retains your best employeesKaren J. Hewitt, author of Employee Confidence: The New Rules of Engagement, is an Engagement and Culture Change specialist who is fluent in five languages. Her book is a finalist in the Leadership category of the Business Book Awards 2019.

For information, please visit this link

The grass is always greener on the other side of the job. Or is it?

Hate your job? Things at work not going your way? Productivity down? Not earning enough? Thinking of leaving? Here are some job realities you may want to consider before flying to another light-bulb.

First figure out the WHOLE why. You need to take a deep look into the situation before you decide to move. What is causing these feelings of unrest, distrust or unhappiness?

Here’s a list of reasons – BUT, don’t just read them. If you’re unhappy at work, list the ones that apply to you and write a “why” sentence next to it. Don’t just confirm the reason in your mind, go deeper to discover the “reason behind the reason.”

Here’s your self “why” test:

  • Belief system failing in product – you don’t think your product is really better than the competition’s.
  • Belief system failing in company – you’ve lost faith in the company’s ability to perform.
  • Poor service after you sell it – continuing complaint calls are lowering your morale.
  • Boss is a jerk – for one reason or another he or she hasn’t earned your respect.
  • Poor management – acting in their own self interest, can’t sell better than you.
  • Conflicts with coworkers or management – too much who-struck-John. Politics.
  • Poor training – you aren’t getting adequately prepared to sell.
  • High turnover – many good people leaving.
  • Too much work – you work too hard, and you don’t want to put forth the effort.
  • Poor pay – low pay for your effort.
  • Poor working conditions – lack of sales support.
  • Business hurting – the economy and sales are less prevalent or slower.
  • No upward opportunity – you’re stuck in non-growth mode.

And of course the one reason you may have omitted is – it may be you.

Self-test for these:

  • Your poor attitude
  • Home life problems
  • Money problems
  • Drinking or other self-abuse stupidity
  • Your poor sales skills
  • Your poor work habits
  • Poor performance on your part
  • Placing blame rather than taking responsibility
  • Stress (caused by one or many of the above)

Well, that’s an “ouch” test, huh? Did you find your “thorn?” Did you discover “why?” – or did you already know, and I just confirmed it. So now that your skin is itching with the reality, what are you going to do about it?

Well, not so fast there, Sparky.

I’d like you to consider some deeper reflection first.

DO THIS: When you find your biggest reason(s), ask yourself “why?” four times to get to the bottom of the reason. That would be the REAL reason.

Let’s say you selected the reason: My boss is a jerk – OK, why? “Well, for one thing, he’s constantly on me to produce.” OK, why? “Well, because he says I’m not seeing enough people, nor am I closing enough deals.” OK why? “Because it’s harder to make sales. People aren’t buying.”

Sounds like it ain’t the boss after all – it’s you.
That’s not a boss issue. That’s a training, sales skills and intensity issue.

All salespeople suffer from two incurable diseases:
1. The grass-is-always-greener syndrome
2. The moth-to-a-light-bulb syndrome

ASK YOURSELF FIRST:
What are you really looking for?
If you’re going to switch, will this move you up or forward?
Can you fix what you have?
What would you really like to be doing?
If you leave here where will you go?
What risks do you take by leaving this job?
How will a new job get you closer to your real career goals?
How will a new job get you closer to your real monetary goals?

If you decide to leave, don’t leave for the wrong reasons, and don’t leave the wrong way. I have just given you the “why” formula. That will get you to an understanding of your self-thinking. Then there’s the “how you will leave” part.

2.5 more rules apply:
1. Leave professionally. Give notice. Tell the truth.
2. Leave ethically. Give back everything. Don’t “take” anything with you. Especially customer lists or any trade secrets.
2.5 Leave positively. No bad words or lawsuits. Just peacefully go. Leave with your reputation in tact. Leave with a reference.

To leave or not to leave? That is the question. Your job is to find the answer. Your own answer. It’s a big decision. A career decision. An advancement decision. And yes, a money decision.

My advice is: make sure you know the REAL reason. And make sure you do it in a way that would make your mother proud.

If you’re one of the fortunate few who LOVE their job, please pass this on to someone whining about how green the grass might be someplace else.

FREE GitBit. I have one more piece of advice about your job. Something to think about everyday. Go to www.gitomer.com, enter JOB in the GitBit box.

Reprinted with permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer.


About the Author

Jeffrey GitomerJeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website, www.gitomer.com, will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email him personally at [email protected].

Leaving for greener pastures? Do you know why? Are you sure they’re green?

Why do salespeople quit their job?

More money?
Better job opportunity?
Don’t like what they are doing?
Don’t like their boss?
Don’t like their corporate politics?
Don’t like how you’re being treated as a person?
Don’t feel the company is supporting you as a salesperson?
Just had their commissions cut?
Company going back on their word about paying or deal structure?
Not paid what you felt you were owed?
Just lost their best customer to the competition?

Answer: some or all of the above.

Salespeople seem to hopscotch jobs as moths flutter from one light bulb to the next, trying to find the brightest one. I don’t think the question is just, “reason for leaving.” I think it goes deeper. I think it’s “cause and effect,” and even deeper, “motive.” Motive being a short word for motivation.

This issue is further complicated by the fact that most people, when they do leave a job, won’t tell the boss their real reason for leaving. Oh, they give a stated reason like better opportunity, more money, but there’s always an underlying motive. An unspoken reason. Like, “I hate you.”

And then there’s the boss, who has to tell his other people why the salesperson quit. Standard reasons, better opportunity or more money.

It’s interesting to note that more than 74% of people who quit their job do so because of bad boss or bad company policies. Yet, no boss that I have ever spoken to ever told me: my best salesperson quit and it’s all my fault.

NOTE WELL: The departing salesperson will soon become the scapegoat for everything bad that’s ever happened in the history of the company within one week of their departure.

If you’re the boss, and you throw the person who quit under the bus and back up, it sends a message to every other person on the team that you’re going to do the same thing to them if they leave. Not a real boost to moral. If you’re the salesperson and you don’t have the guts to tell the boss the real reason why you’re leaving then you’re going to have to be willing to accept your fate with respect to the trashing that you’re going to take.

There’s no easy answers here. Some industries are more incestuous than others. Banking, personnel, accounting, and advertising seem to have an excessive amount of job hop scotching going on.

The subject is WHY are you quitting and what can you do to build your career, rather than having to start it over?

I get a minimum of ten requests a week from salespeople wanting to quit their job and asking for advice. What I tell them is what I’m going to tell you:

1. List the real reasons that you dislike what you’re currently doing.

2. Now, list the reasons that you like what you’re doing.

3. Add a one sentence description to both the dislike and the like column to give yourself further insight as to “why.”

4. Ask yourself which one of the bad things will be eliminated at the new job and which one of the good things will continue at the new job. This way you give yourself an evaluation before you enter your new position.

5. Call people at the place you want to work or that you’ve just been hired to work at and find out what they like and dislike.

6. Write down what you feel you gain (other than money) at your new position and ask yourself could you have gained the same thing at your old position?

NOTE WELL: As you know, if you read my column, we’re about to get to the .5. You will not like the .5. The .5 will make you grimace but the .5 will show you the real reality of where you are and where you seek to grow.

6.5 Become the number one salesperson at your existing company, then quit. If you’re thinking about leaving your job and you are not the number one salesperson, it is likely that you will not be the number one salesperson at your next job, and it is even more likely that you will bring half your disgruntlement to your next job. If you stay at your present job until you become the number one salesperson no boss will be able to throw you under the bus, you leave a hero of the company, you leave with pride, you leave with self-respect, and you leave with the attitude of a winner, not a whiner.

See? I told you you’d hate it.

So here’s your opportunity: quit complaining, quit whining about your job or your circumstance, quit trashing other people to make yourself look good, and just dig in. If you really consider yourself great at sales, then attaining the number one position shouldn’t be much of a problem. Heck, you’re always bragging about how great you are, prove it!

There’s rewards for being number one. People will be nicer to you in your company. You may even earn some degree of respect, your value in the marketplace will increase, you’ll have choices, genuine choices, and you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that you’ve done it for the right reasons, not the negative reasons.

BOSSES BEWARE: If you’re salespeople are leaving you at a rate of greater than 20% per year, look in the mirror. If you “can’t find any good people out there” let me give you a big clue; there’s plenty of good people out there, they’re just not working for you.

SALESPEOPLE BE AWARE: Your next boss may be no better than your previous boss. He or she just may be sweeter in the interview process than in the day to day battle. You’re best tactical and strategic advantage is to arrive on the scene as the number one salesperson from your previous job rather than the number one whiner about your previous job.

If you do this you have set the stage for sales success. Your sales success.

Reprinted with permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer.


About the Author

Jeffrey GitomerJeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website, www.gitomer.com, will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email him personally at [email protected].

The Four Vs of Employee Motivation: Velocity, Visibility, Value, and Valor

A recent Gallup poll revealed that only 30 percent of employees are actively engaged at work, and 18 percent are actually actively disengaged. Disengaged and distracted employees cost businesses money as they ‘sleepwalk’ through their workday, bringing little energy or passion to the table. Making matters worse, actively disengaged employees are more than unhappy at work—they act out their unhappiness by undermining what their engaged colleagues accomplish on a daily basis. For businesses that want to continually innovate and grow, engaged employees who work with passion and feel a profound connection to their company are required.

According to Gallup’s 2013 State of the American Workplace report, “engagement makes a difference to the bottom line,” which can have an impact on productivity, profitability, customer service, turnover, and absenteeism. Incentivizing can also make a big difference, according to a study by the International Society of Performance Improvement. The study showed a 27 percent performance increase when an incentive was offered for persistence toward a company goal.

Not all encouragement, engagement and incentive programs are created equal, however. It’s important to utilize whichever approach is best for driving your desired action. By 2001, the Incentive Federation’s biannual study found prepaid cards to be the most popular rewards for employees, consumers, and partners (dealers), but there’s more to an incentive program than just finding the right reward. Try sticking with the 4 Vs of employee engagement when you implement an employee recognition and motivation program.


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About the Author

David Jones currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of CardLab, a pioneer in the prepaid industry. The first to offer businesses the ability to customize a Visa Incentive Card with a company logo, the Dallas based company was founded in 2004. Visa Incentive Card is issued by The Bancorp Bank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used wherever Visa debit cards are accepted. The Bancorp Bank; Member FDIC.