Securing a team of talented people who are equipped and motivated to achieve a clear vision is fundamental to effective leadership.
Whether or not an organisation is able to recruit, develop and hold on to great people may be the difference between flourishing or floundering. Studies show that employee engagement – bringing one’s best and full self to work – is not just a ‘nice-to-have’. It is a business imperative, linked not only to retention levels, but to a number of performance outcomes including productivity, profitability and customer satisfaction.
Sadly, however, national research shows that 56% of new employees are disengaged after just six months in their job. By not having the appropriate culture, the bright, lively new employee is being turned off in the workplace.
So, what does it take for leaders to retain talent?
Employees respond positively to more responsibility and authority in their daily tasks and often prefer autonomy. In other words, people generally do well when they are empowered to make choices and decisions for themselves.
Sandwiched between senior management and the wider staff, ‘middle leaders’ play a crucial role in the success of any organisation. That’s why we created LEADlight. It’s designed for the middle leaders of businesses from any sector, size or type of organisation; from family firms to scaling small and mid-sized companies and not-for-profits. Its aim is to help middle leaders to develop their skills and awareness, to improve their performance and get better results from their teams. Fully engaged middle leaders are well placed to engage others, creating a ripple effect throughout the organisation.
There’s a compelling business case for investing in organisational development. Statistics suggest that the cost of recruitment is £36,000 which includes advertising, fees and the lower productivity for the first six months as someone gets up to speed. Imagine a 30-person business with 20% turnover of staff, that’s six people per year, costing £216,000. Imagine introducing greater engagement with staff and development opportunities, aiming to halve churn to 10%. That would save over £100k which would go straight to the bottom-line.
As business leaders consider their plans for 2020, they need to take note and invest in their own leadership, as well as creating a culture in which personal development is encouraged company wide.
This article was first published in our ‘Spotlight on Leaders’ feature in Business & Innovation Magazine in January, 2020.