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This event will allow Alumni to connect with their fellow Alumni, discover ways to find Alumni mentors, gain access to new tools and practices to reinforce their servant leadership learning journey and how they can become a member of the group and attend an upcoming Alumni workshop.
In September, 2019, Cortex Leadership Consulting conducted Team Engagement Pulse Survey (TEPS) for 6 different organizations. In the research, Cortex focused on smaller teams of less than 15 within bigger organizations measuring engagement levels for the 8 statements that Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall highlight in their research published in their book Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader’s Guide to the Real World said were the most important in determining a team member’s engagement levels.
A high mark in the research that was conducted about engagement at Earth Environmental was how highly the team members scored in areas that other firms sometimes struggle with. It’s not easy to ensure that your managers and the leadership of your company make the time to recognize each team member when they do excellent work. It requires a dedication to noticing what’s going right. From the results you see above, Earth hit the high mark on that one!
Take these results for instance in a recent TEPS at Earth, administered through our proprietary, interactive texting platform.
These were the results when the core civil engineering team at Earth was asked to rank the statement from 1 being strongly DISagree to 7 strongly AGREE, “My teammates have my back”.
Earth Environment measures their team engagement each and every month so we’ll see how they do when the September results come in. For now, though, Earth turned in the top performance against all other teams we ranked in September, 2019.
The survey was sent to the Earth Environmental Civil Engineering team members on September 6, 2019.
About a year ago I got a call from someone who was struggling
to keep one of their best employees from leaving their organization. “Lynda,”
he said, “we really want to keep Sarah – she has some killer skills and a great
attitude. She works really hard. She just got a job offer that will pay her more
than we are able to match right now. She’s been flexible and adaptive, learned
on her feet, and was really dedicated to the organization, and not just to a
given role she was in so it’s going to be really hard to replace her. What should we do to try and keep her?”
The short answer is you most likely can’t. Matching the money probably won’t do it because employees quit months before they actually quit and sometimes when you are the perfect employer the result is your best employees leave anyway. The problem isn’t always about whether some of your best employees are leaving as much as it is why aren’t you constantly cultivating more of them?
Why You Are Losing Your Best Employees – The Reality of Constant Recruiting
According to Gallup research, 51% of all employees are
actively looking for another job.
The average worker, according to the Bureau of Labor
Statistics, currently holds 10 different jobs before age forty, and this number
is projected to grow. Forrester Research predicts that today’s youngest workers
will hold 12-15 jobs in their lifetime. That means that before someone is 40
they are likely to change jobs every couple of years.
Business people tend to quote this statistic in a negative way and blame workers for “constantly changing jobs” which is why they fear investing in developing their skillsets. They argue, “why would I invest money in someone’s development when they are probably going to leave in the next couple of years”. Indeed, that is clearly one way to look at it. Another way to look at it is this way: If you don’t invest in your team member’s growth and development you are surely going to lose them because 45% of young professionals (don’t call them millennials – they hate that and will hate you for using that stereotyped word… especially if they are smart and hard working) say that it is “very important” to them that they take a job that accelerates their professional or career development.
ABC’s are now the ABR’s of Recruiting
There was an acronym made famous in a crude speech given by
a foul talking, brutal sales manager in Glengarry, Glen Ross, from a 1992 film
that was ABC… “Always Be Closing”. If you were on his sales team and weren’t
following that rule, the results would be dire.
For today’s leaders when it comes to getting and retaining
the highest potential employees, that slogan may be “Always be Recruiting.” If
you’re not, the results could be dire indeed to the future growth of your
With a national unemployment average hovering at or below
4%, your best employees will leave and you need to be constantly thinking about
how you will replace them, the same way you think about always attracting new
customers or clients. As the baby boomers leave the workforce and there are
less Gen Xers to replace them, you are going to be creating a work environment
that young professionals feel like they can grow within. As long as they’re
growing, your high potentials are more likely to stick with the organization. When
there are no positions for them to move up and into or their pay is capped,
they feel they have no choice except to leave. To fight the current reality of
today’s workforce will result in your organization not effectively planning for
Your job, as an organization, then becomes coaching your best employees to discover their professional potential and work with them to develop their skills and abilities to get them there, whether they stay with you or not.
The Good News About Losing Your Best Employee
There’s some really good news to come from all of this so
stay with me for another couple of minutes. As a leader in authority, you still
have the power. You are not being held hostage by social media or Glassdoor®
ratings. If you accept the current reality of today’s workforce and proactively
plan for constant shifts in your own, you can create a place where the best
people want to work and refer their high potential friends to work for, too. Your
best employees can help you find their replacements.
It is happening in companies right now. Here’s an excerpt
from a current employee at a company called Fast Enterprises that my daughter
Melody went to work for because of the reviews posted on their Glassdoor®
account like this one:
I have been working at Fast Enterprises full-time (More
than 5 years)
even at the 1000+ size it is, still cares deeply about each and every employee.
Their benefits, even the way they help people move, the way they bring
individuals AND their spouses/families into the culture, it super impressive
and I love that about Fast. The work we do is serious in terms of being
important work – our clients are generally very positive to work with and
welcoming, so it is a pleasant place to work.
Any con I can think of is also a pro depending on how you look
at it. Occasional relocation is also an opportunity to experience a new place
and city. Occasional overtime is also an opportunity to make $.
Advice to Management
Employees love the partner interaction – everyone enjoys having
a partner on their project or visiting their project. Keep that up!!
Stop thinking the workforce is going to change and start changing the way you go about retaining and recruiting them. Many of the best HR professionals today know what needs to be done and many times are not given the support and resources to execute the most contemporary methods.
Leaders like you have the authority and ability to create the future workforce at your organization that will propel you to 2025 and beyond. Antiquated want ads will not attract star players that desire to be on your team. Realizing that star players are being recruited by great companies and can choose to work anywhere they want to right now, will. Update the recruitment ads to attract star players so they will want to choose your company to work for. Use social media and YouTube to tell your story and connect with people regardless of where they currently work or are living. The new tactics are actually much cheaper than the old ones. The real question is, are you ready to use them?
Create a place people love to come to work to each day. Allow us to help you. firstname.lastname@example.org
We are finding that leadership training can become too theoretical in nature. We go into a classroom, learn the models, perhaps see a few examples, and then go back to a workplace in which not everyone is in training. When you’re under pressure in a real-world environment, it’s difficult to remember the models you’ve learned and not react like you normally would.
For that reason, we are training leaders in our programs based on the challenges they are facing in their workplaces right now. We’re finding that leaders quickly problem solve using new tools they’ve learned in Cortex’s servant leadership programs as soon as the connection between the communication challenges in their workplace and what they are learning in the classroom.
With that in mind, here’s a scenario for you to consider. It will help you decide what tools you’ve mastered in our leadership program or others that would help solve this situation.
Here’s the work scenario:
You work on a team with 7 great people. They are hard working and have high standards. Everyone seems to look forward to coming to work every day. Lately, though your boss, seems to be experiencing high levels of stress. He’s usually a pretty good guy who is supportive and can even be inspiring. Right now, though, he seems anxious and has a quick temper. He’s mentioned how exhausted he is from a tough work schedule this year. The real problem is that it’s hard to interact with him because he’s emotionally inconsistent. He has also said some things to team members that you are sure he will eventually regret. The person everyone looks to that usually leads them appears to need some support himself.
Here are a few of the best responses we received from reader’s:
“I would ask for a coffee or lunch meeting off-site, away from the office. The fact that the boss is such a supportive and inspiring guy indicates he cares about his team and fostering positive relationships. Appeal to that and let him know how much the team has always appreciated his positive and encouraging support. Ask if he is aware that there are some hurt feelings and let him know that the team is concerned about him. Offer to brainstorm with him ways that the team can be more supportive of him, or that certain responsibilities could be delegated differently in order to relieve some of his pressure.
For the boss’ part, it would be prudent to follow it up with a team meeting and be honest about his fatigue, apologize for hurtful words and actions, thank the team for their hard work and support, and then bring them in on any action plan that may have arisen from the brainstorming and ask their input as well.”
Tracy Altizer Chief Development Officer
“Right would look like my boss getting feedback and being able to become more self-aware of how he is showing up….maybe even recognize it for himself. I would go look at his DISC style to see his Style and Motivators- while not the end all be all- it would help me understand more about him and how he wants to be approached, or not be approached as issues arise. Then, I would have to have a sweaty conversation with him and talk through what is really going on.
I would try to understand from his perspective what’s changed and offer insights that I am seeing myself (because I care and want him to be successful). What I think my boss should do- is to seek a thinking partner/ coach that he can trust to help navigate the issues and find solutions so he can get back to leading and inspiring our team.”
Emily Smith, PHR, SHRM-CP Human Resource Manager
“I would steer work-related items into quality-of-life items in conversation with the leader. They may coincide, however everyone needs some time away to decompress and remember the big picture of life. To help others and to boost morale, within the workplace, is not only a leadership trait; instead it is a trait of the entire workforce.
When others are down, and out of character, we should always look for areas of common ground to relate to in human terms and understanding from what we believe to be their perspective. In the context of work, try to be a friend.”
During a change management process at work, there tends to be two type of people. The thermostats and the thermometers. Knowing which one you are and how to handle the other can be helpful reaching the desired outcome you want to achieve.
Thermometers take the temperature at work and may be quick to give you their observations. It doesn’t take much effort to tell others what you think. Nope. Thermometers are the type at work who are quick to tell you why what ever new idea or innovation won’t work. Thermometers think they are helping by consistently pointing out the problems and rarely offering any solutions. They react to what is happening outside of themselves.
Thermostats are different. A thermostat sets the temperature of the room or building. Being a thermostat that sets the focus and response at work to one of positive, forward motion isn’t easy. It’s actually a pretty tough job. Thermostats have to think ahead and the good ones are strategic. Thermostats hold themselves accountable and in a leadership position, create a culture of accountability. What they do doesn’t always happen immediately so they have to be a patient. Sometimes the thermostat in the room heats things up to pull things out that need to be discussed or noticed in order to deal with the current reality of a situation and change course to a more prosperous outcome.
Do you want to be a thermostat leader or a thermometer?
Here are 5 ways to be more like a thermostat:
Have realistic expectations. You are not going to point things out that others don’t want to face, develop ideas that require your team or organization to change, or even suggest a sweaty conversation (the kind of conversation no one wants to have, is tough, but must happen to move forward) without causing some waves. An experienced business colleague of mine told me once, “Lynda, if you aren’t leaving a wake, you’re not moving forward with a speed that leads to momentum.”
Thermostats can bring thermometers value. It’s easy for the thermostat to think that the people pushing back are just lazy or ill-informed. Perhaps. It is more true, from my experience, that they might move at a different pace then you, be focused on something you aren’t, and may be reluctant to change. Their point of view may be valuable if they feel safe enough with you to share it. It is likely that the thermostat “naysayers” actually have valuable information that you need to know to create or implement that great idea or proceed with the next innovation that is necessary for the organization to stay alive and profitable. Stop arguing and telling them and start being curious and asking open ended questions. After all, your point of view is your point of view. You have blind spots in your thinking. We all do. You need others with a completely different perspective to give you feedback so that you can execute effectively.