It’s said that people don’t leave jobs; they leave managers. In a climate of increasingly rapid change and a growing number of skilled employment opportunities, what does it take to attract and retain the right talent?
Lead from within
"A good leader leads the people from above them. A great leader leads the people from within them.” – M.D. Arnold
Setting a great example is harder than it sounds. The idea is easy. The work to continuously inspire ourselves, and (hopefully) others, requires an intentional and consistent demonstration of the behaviors we expect from those around us. This part isn’t always so easy.
To earn the privilege of expecting others to meet our expectations, we should first prove that our expectations are possible to reach. This is best done by modeling our own behaviors after the same rules we want others to follow.
Take care of your space
“We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn
As we set goals and work to reach them, what most impacts our ability to achieve, if not exceed, these goals are the inputs from which we accept the most influence. We have a responsibility to ourselves to learn, grow, and move in the direction of who it is we choose to become.
From research to conversations and internal dialogue, we become the things we read and the people with whom we spend the most time. Acknowledging the inputs we consistently allow into our space helps us understand the way we’re affected by what goes on around us.
Ask yourself a few questions:
- If you scroll through your Facebook feed on a quick break from work, does it positively or negatively impact your mood?
- How does your interaction with your co-workers affect your productivity or overall work quality?
- Does your communication appear to cause a good or bad reaction from the team?
While we can’t control or fix everything, the parts that we can affect we should handle with purpose.
“Determine what behaviors and beliefs you value as a company, and have everyone live true to them. These behaviors and beliefs should be so essential to your core, that you don’t even think of it as culture.” – Brittany Forsyth
In gardening, when we want to grow good things, we turn the soil, water the seeds, and reap amazing rewards as a result of that care. Along the way, we realize we’ve overcome any number of unplanned obstacles. In the same way, it is not enough to put lovely words on a wall and consider our work to cultivate culture complete.
Each of us has a responsibility to do our best to uphold this culture, each and every day. Our own individual inputs become the inner voice of our organization. If we truly care for the direction of our ship, as we navigate our work and interactions between our co-workers or with our clients, steering in the right direction makes all the difference on where we arrive in the end.
Company culture is the average of all the people with whom we work; and, a great company culture is led from within.
If you want to attract and retain a team that gets behind your goals and pulls together to make them happen:
- Find passionate people who would do what you ask of them because it is what they love.
- Attract innovators who keep an eye to the horizon and who are excited to find creative ways to solve never-before-experienced problems.
- Hire with input from the team, because this illustrates to the team that there is trust in those who are already with you. It also gives the team more reason to work for the success of its newest member.
- Keep to the details and be accountable to continuously foster an environment of openness and respect.
Cultivating culture is so much more than giving our employees rewarding work that is fulfilling and challenging, as we work to exceeding our clients’ expectations. Our responsibility, as an organization, is to take care of the culture we desire to create and maintain because we are that culture.