At the core of every successful business are reliable products or services and an effective team of employees. Unfortunately, the latter is where many business owners and executive leadership struggle.
Without exceptional employees, your business won’t operate smoothly. It will always be halting and grinding, stumbling and starting as you pursue new talent, onboard them, and train them, only to lose them and start all over again.
In short, it’s an exhausting process that drains resources and keeps businesses in a perpetual downturn.
Some businesses and organizations may consider high turnover rates or problems maintaining top talent as an unavoidable aspect of “normal” business. They take it on the chin as part of the job. But it doesn’t need to be that way.
High turnover rates usually indicate deeper problems within the business—red flags that there are core issues driving employees to leave at a high rate. Rather than relying on new talent recruitment to somehow fix this problem, your goal should be to create an environment that encourages employees to stay for as long as it’s practical for them and you, the employer.
You can solve these talent strategy issues—and more—through leadership coaching that takes a talent-centric approach. You won’t have to spin your wheels regularly looking for recruits. Instead, you can focus on your people and grow your business.
Defining the Problem: Why Employees Leave
To resolve high employee turnover, you need to determine why you have the problem in the first place. Getting to the root of the issue can fix it more efficiently than putting on a Band-Aid.
One of the main reasons employees leave is because company leadership isn’t aligned with one another. When leaders don’t have a firm grasp on the company’s culture, high employee turnover becomes inevitable. Everyone in a leadership role must be on the same page to promote continuity. A lack of leadership alignment, conflicting expectations, and poor messaging only push employees to leave.
Another reason employees leave is that their skills are a poor match. An effective interview process aims to weed out candidates whose skills don’t align with the job requirements and company strategy. However, an interviewer won’t catch a candidate’s mismatched skill set unless there is a robust competency discovery process.
It’s not easy to discover how and why one candidate is less qualified than another, especially if interviewers are unsure of what makes a good fit for the business. To make matters worse, sometimes candidates aren’t upfront about their skills—or lack thereof—and that causes problems. These uncertain candidates can become uncertain employees.
Remember that your employees are people with emotions who will respond emotionally to the surrounding environment. If your culture promotes a positive, healthy workspace, your employees will be more likely to stick around. This may require higher levels of executive coaching to ensure that corporate leadership exudes respect, openness, gratitude, value, and alignment.
Finding the Solution: Leadership Alignment
When your leadership is aligned, your employees will be, too. It’s one thing when employees perform the work they’re hired for and do it well, but it’s entirely different when they do their jobs with a sense of purpose and mission. Employees who have adopted the company’s mission will be driven by something more than just a paycheck.
By aligning your employees with the leadership’s vision, mission, goals, and strategy, your business and entire work environment will reap the benefits. Leadership alignment will:
1. Solidify the Company Vision and Mission
Sometimes a business may not be clear on what its vision is. Maybe the vision is vague or undefined. By emphasizing alignment, leaders will be forced to reassess the company’s vision and strategy. Reviewing the business’s goals will strengthen and solidify them. Vague or undefined areas will be found and cleared up promptly.
2. Strengthen and Redefine Your Culture
Focusing on leadership alignment can help you create a culture of feedback. An open culture is vital for ensuring your employees are content and business operations keep humming along smoothly. Employees need to know their concerns and criticisms are valid. Leadership can advocate for this by allowing an open environment that solicits feedback.
Your employees are humans with real emotions who will thrive when they can healthily express those emotions. Realizing this, and using it as a foundational strategy, will also help you attract and retain new employees who contribute positively to your workforce.
3. Help Build a Cohesive Team
Alignment within your leadership will bring everyone onto the same page. As employees embrace the leadership vision and business strategy, they’ll develop shared goals and work toward the same ideals. Your leadership vision will be solidified as employees get on board and make it their own. They’ll carry the company mission forward as part of their own mission.
4. Resolve the Core Problem of High Employee Turnover
Leadership alignment is the answer to high turnover rates. With alignment, you can dial down your talent recruitment strategy and reduce your spending on recruiting. By resolving the core problems of why employees leave, you’re fostering more reasons for employees to stay.
Implementing the Strategy
How do you implement a talent strategy that makes leadership alignment front and center? Some businesses start with leadership development and executive coaching. While this is helpful, it’s not the end game. A business needs both leadership development and a talent-centric strategy. However, it must always start at the top with leadership alignment. A strategy formulated at the top level, where the executives are, will be the most successful.