5. Trust and Rapport.More than 80% of those who quit their jobs, in good times and bad, say that the main reason they are leaving is that they “hate their boss!” We have written before in this blog about the importance of building trust in all your work relationships and there is not enough space here to repeat all our advice in this area. And, if you will really ask yourself “how can I be a better leader and demonstrate my involvement with people?” you will find the answers. Spend time with people. Keep your door open. Show you care about them.Take an interest in their families, their hobbies, their development. Help them grow. Show them the way. Talk less, listen more. Coach them. Be a partner instead of a “lord.” Treat people with courtesy and respect. And so on. Of course this is not an “instant fix”—-it takes time and effort to build rapport with people. And it is worth the investment: because when times are tough people are far more likely to stay on the job if they trust and respect their boss.
Some of these strategies of course require cash, they are not free. But if you are not going to give the annual “cost of living’ increase, you can at least allocate 25% of that amount and use the cash to demonstrate in concrete ways that the company appreciates its’ people. Do you agree? If you are honest you will agree that “something greater than zero” is possible to do within the budget.
Final Words.In times of recession and economic downturn, it is only strong leadership that gives you a competitive advantage in retaining top talent. Yes, it is ‘the soft skills that cut diamonds’ that can save you. Sure, some people may leave for a few dollars more. But if they find that the new environment is harsh or toxic, the perceived value of a few extra dollars will soon fade. Human Beings need Acknowledgement, Certainty, Variety, Love, Growth, and Fun in order to thrive. What are you doing, as a leader, to ensure these human needs are being met? If you think that people work only for money, you should think again. Your role as a leader is to be someone worthy of employee’s trust and respect, showing tangibly that you care about them as people…not merely because they perform ‘tasks.’