Optimizing Your Organization with Jason Buchanan
Previous discussions concerning leadership and organizational effectiveness have centered around a recurring theme: How does a company value their employees? Leadership is not done in a vacuum. Good leaders are mentors, coaches, psychologists, and counselors usually all in the same day! But why is that, and moreover, is it really necessary?
Unfortunately, in some of the companies I have consulted with over the past few years, employee retention has degenerated into the land of “be happy you have a job!” Now I will give the devil his due, that is a true statement in some cases, but what will happen to those employees (and specifically their companies) when “just having a job” is no longer the standard? Statistics from the Bureau of Labor tell us that a college graduate will have 7 jobs in their first 15 years out of college. Gone are the days of 40 years with the same company and the gold watch upon retirement. That level of commitment has vanished from the perspectives of both the company and the employee.
In this day of “what’s in it for me,” organizations are focusing on attracting the best and brightest in the industry. Good leadership will keep them there! What better retention tool to have than a positive, empowering leader, grooming their employees to someday take over their jobs? Besides, having a motivated employee that already knows what I need to make my job easier also makes my life easier! It’s a win-win scenario! Unfortunately, a majority of leaders and managers do not feel this way and “fief-doms” are created where knowledge is power and the more my employee knows, the greater a threat they are to me. Nothing good comes of this silo-leadership model! Productivity decreases, morale decreases, profit decreases, and employee turnover increases. We have now created the perfect storm of the downward spiral.
Alright already…let’s end this article on a happy note: how do we avoid this? In a word: training! A magical little word that fixes SO many problems! After all, poor leaders are typically not poor leaders by choice; they are poor leaders due to ignorance. And ignorance is curable! How might you ask…? By training! Teaching managers to know their people, be empathetic, and not to overlook the obvious but how to train their own people. Some leaders are poor trainers because they just do not know how to train. Many organizations have found it cost-effective to outsource training and development to firms specializing in such matters. This saves time for the organizations, and brings a wealth of expertise to the table for a comparatively low price – all things considered. Take a look at your training programs for mid-level managers. Does it convey what your company values in their employees? Does it align with the mission, vision, and core competencies of the organization?
Do a little “self-audit” and see what you find!!
For more information, please visit Jason's TNNWC Bio.
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