Make my development the reason I stay. So says the title of chapter 25 of Gallup’s bestseller, It’s the Manager which was released earlier this year. And Gallup isn’t talking about the shiny new, off-the-rack, latest and greatest training fad that will use up every dollar you have.
Their research has confirmed what we have known intuitively: If we want people to stay and thrive, we need to create the conditions that allow that to occur. We need to create Magnetic Workplaces that draw people in and keep them there.
It’s a simple formula really – create a magnetic work environment and as Ray from The Field of Dreams was told, if you build it, they will come. Well, maybe he didn’t say it just like that, but the sentiment was there.
What Gallup has confirmed is that people on the front lines – particularly Millennials – want work that matters; they’re looking for opportunities to learn and grow. More importantly, they are leaving employers who don’t understand that in record numbers.
It’s really that simple … AND … that difficult.
For many managers – particularly Baby Boomers and Generation Xs – this focus on relationships is the antithesis of their previous training. For the most part, their focus has been on task completion – meet the deadline, hit the quota, manage the quality, measure against the benchmark – and rightly so. Their jobs depended on that focus.
Today, we understand that success depends on addressing both the organization’s tasks and the relationships that exist amongst those charged with completing those tasks. In addition, the relationship between workers, their co-workers and their managers is critical to long term job satisfaction, productivity and profitability.
All of these important business results are dependent upon one thing: employee input. Team leaders, managers and others with decision-making power need to allow for meaningful input – and I don’t mean asking whether the lunch break should start at 11:30 or noon.
Today’s workers are looking for meaningful consultation on processes and policies that affect them on a daily basis. And if they don’t get it from you, they’re perfectly happy to take their talents elsewhere … and they do … in ever-increasing numbers.
Leaders that understand this phenomenon ask questions – questions that they do not know the answers to. They’re curious about the possibilities from another person’s perspective, recognizing that there are multiple, equally valid viewpoints on most subjects.
They recognize that in today’s fast-paced, extraordinarily competitive, highly charged, constantly changing global environment, their true competitive advantage is their people. They know how to engage their people. They know how to build meaningful relationships and get the job done.
Let us show you how this could works! (Names, as always, changed to protect the privacy of those involved.)
How this applies to you
Jessica recently completed some training. She was really excited to take the course as it was right up her alley. Jessica’s now been working for the last three weeks to apply and integrate what she’s learned with the realities of her caseload, but she’s frustrated. It’s not that she doesn’t understand how things should fit together - that’s not it at all - she just hasn’t yet had the experience to pull it all together.
Davinder, her boss, has noticed that she’s been struggling and had been coaching her along. But it wasn’t working as effectively as he’d like. During his weekly mentorship call, he asked me how to help Jessica realize the potential he knew was there. I had been working with him on how to craft juicy questions and with some fundamental principles in mind, Davinder crafted these questions to ask Jessica.
Here’s my challenge to you: Use these questions with your people before the day is out and let us know how they reacted to your interest.