As a business leader or owner do you find that your best people are always leaving? Just when you feel settled you are back on that roller coaster of recruiting and training, taking time away from growing your business.
Here are some tips to help retain those great staff and stop the cycle.
Successful people usually follow a similar theme – they genuinely enjoy learning new things and like to challenge themselves to grow and develop. No matter where they are in their career they are always looking for areas they can improve or new skills to learn.
Therefore if constant learning and success are linked, is continuous improvement and training a priority to you as a business leader and if so are you passing this on to your employees? If not, then your best staff may get bored and start to look elsewhere for new challenges.
Never too old to learn – we strongly believe that you are never too old or experienced to learn. The best leaders and managers are always looking, reading or researching ways to improve both their own performance as well as their businesses. It is no coincidence that these people usually lead high-performing businesses, no matter how small or large. And if you are committed to your own learning, and value the improvement that makes to your business, then generally your entire workforce would benefit from this as well.
As leaders it is your job to model the behaviour you would like your staff to embrace, continuous learning should be a priority for everyone. In business you and your managers should not see learning and development as purely an overhead, instead see it as a long term investment in yourself, your staff and your business.
Here are three ideas we read recently on Linked In that resonated with us to take on board and help make people managers model life long learning in a way that will help you to retain your best staff:
Be more self aware: step back and self-evaluate – are you or your people managers committed to learning or is there more that they could be doing? This could be attending a training course, a networking event or even just spending 20 minutes reading an online article. Are you pushing yourself outside your comfort zone or can you identify a skills gap you can look to improve? If, as a manager you value your own learning you are not only giving your own performance and business a boost but also setting a great example.
Actions speak louder than words: We all know how important it is to role model, your people managers need to openly communicate their own commitment to learning, showing their staff that no matter how busy or experienced they might be that constant learning is vital. The alternative is quite frankly either an expression of giving up or communicates the impression that one has reached perfection – neither of which are acceptable or admirable in business leadership.
It can be extremely motivating for an employee to see their manager working on their own professional development, it shows that the business understands and demonstrates that it is not just themselves that needs to improve – even the boss does.
Remember there are many opportunities to improve and encourage your team (and yourself!) to find time in their schedule to learn where possible, whether it is attending an industry conference, listening to podcasts in a break or reading an article on their commute to work. Offer choice and let your people managers and staff choose a path that fits best for them.
Failure is ok, as long as it comes with learning: In order to stay competitive, we are all striving for innovation, a point of difference and growth and that just cannot happen without occasional failure. So in the new learning culture of your business, let you people managers know that failure is OK so long as it is realised quickly and they have learned from the situation and taken something away to use for positive in the future. Treat it as a learning experience.
So next time you are inclined to reject an opportunity to learn something new, because you think you are too busy or already know better, grab it with both hands. Find time to develop yourself and learn new things in a way that works for you and your business. Your staff will definitely notice this change and respect you for giving it a go – more importantly when it is time for them to learn they will be inspired to follow in your path, leading to their own feelings of growth and success. So continual professional development not only introduces new skills to improve how your business runs, it also makes staff feel inspired, increases their personal challenge as well as making them feel valued. This in turn improves loyalty and reduces turnover.