EP: 2 – Retain Employees: Make the Most of Your Team Now

“It’s Important to Know the Different Interaction Styles.”
— Cindy Hunt (06:34-06:37)

Leaders and innovators are in a tight modern job market, seeking to hang on to their best employees and bring new hires up to speed. In this week's episode, Cindy Hunt and Pam Baker talks about Retaining Employees — Make the Most of Your Team.

Part One of ‘Retain Employees:
Make the Most of Your Team Now’

How can you make the most of the folks that are on your team? It's interesting to think about how you can retain employees. How do you make sure you're creating an environment that engages all the people on your team? It's a topic that's worth addressing during such a tight labor market and is dear to everybody's heart. There's nothing that bothers us more, as a leader, team member or colleague, when someone great decides to leave.

“We tend to lead how we want to be led.”
– Cindy Hunt (03:44-03:51)

We've all had to make difficult transitional decisions. So, it's exciting to think about things that should be done differently. It's uncomfortable to work with leaders that are intentionally trying to change the systems. Sometimes leaders focus so much on others that they don't take time to know themselves. We tend to hire certain people to work with us and lead how we want to be led. We set up our environment how we like it to be. That fills our bucket. We resolve conflicts the way that we prefer to resolve a dispute, even if it isn't applicable across the entire population of our employees. It's interesting because there's so much recent discussion around diversity and inclusion. We tend to think of diversity in terms of race, gender, sexual orientation, and background. But this is a slightly different view of diversity.

For example, you may prefer to be led in a democratic environment where we all provide input, and then somebody else decides. But we know that there's only 35% of the population that prefers to be led that way. So, if you make every decision and go through that democratic interaction style, you're very likely not going to get the other group engaged. Potentially, they might want to look for a different kind of leader to work for. We all know that everybody loves to work for great leaders. But what is a great leader?

A great leader is someone that knows themselves well enough that they can take time to know their employees and change.

We all have our own leadership style, and some leaders prefer democratic. They want to have their voice heard and assume everybody else wants their voice heard. Some people are looking for a different leadership style. One of the leadership styles that has a somewhat bad reputation is the autocratic style. It's very action-oriented and wants to get it done.

That's why it's essential to know the different ways to interact. Know yourself, which way are you leading? You're probably leading how you prefer to be led, and varying it by the group. If you know your team well, you can vary person by person. If you're in a team environment, you want to make sure that you're changing up your leadership style.

Part Two of ‘Retain Employees:
Make the Most of Your Team Now’

If you're leading a team, people will want different leadership styles. If you have an hour-long team meeting, how do you negotiate the varying needs of folks on the team? It's a common question. All functional groups have a remarkable diversity in terms of how they process information and how they want to be led. The most important thing is that the team knows when you are going to be democratic, and when you are going to be autocratic. To move forward on a decision, I need to know that everybody feels okay.

Everybody may not agree, but if everybody feels okay with the process, we're going to move forward together. Changing up the leadership style and giving people different environments goes a long way because we don't always have to work in one form. We should all be happy to work with other people's styles and not just stick to one type of leadership. It drains us, as a matter of fact, the best of us, and at that point, we become disengaged, some looking for other leaders to work for.

“People get more engaged when motivated.” 
– Cindy Hunt (10:29-10:36)

The big mistake is not being able to hear and see what we call the doorway of distress. That very first level of stress and the ability to address it. Why do people want to go elsewhere? Why do we lose employees? Their needs aren't being met, whether professional growth, psychological or they are motivated to look elsewhere. You know the beginning signs of stress in your team or another employee in your company. Stress is a modern reality. If you're doing business in the world, you're going to have stress.

Employees need to know what makes them the best they can be. If they are not at their best, they're just inviting others into what we call distress. Others aren't going to be their best. So, it's knowing yourself well enough so that you can motivate yourself. You can start by looking out at the people that you've worked with.

Take the time to listen to what's being said. Shut out that stress as much as you can. You tend to put your mask on when you are in distress, and that mask can cause people to look for other jobs. If you're in a stressful position, you're very likely going to be putting your mask on and off all day. We want to make sure that you're pulling it off more frequently than you're putting it on. We can't avoid it 100%, but when you make an effort to work with your employees and keep them around, they're going to be happier. If you can take your mask off more frequently, you can help your employees be the best they can be. If they feel exceptional, valued, and motivated, they have no reason to look elsewhere. When the whole team knows themselves well and can articulate their ideas to the group, that's when the magic happens.

How to Get Involved:
Today's workplace has diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and skills which can catapult creative problem-solving. This may result in communication challenges and conflicts that derail a company's fast-paced progress.

Adaptive communication enables people to understand one another and quickly resolve conflict—regardless of background, demographics, age, or educational level. Employees gain the tools to lead innovation, generate support for ideas, and reduce communication breakdowns.

Want to increase your organization's productivity, increase collaboration, and communicate so your message is heard? Learn more here: https://www.journeous.com/business/

Learn more about Pam Baker and Cindy Hunt:

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