This is the first blog in a series of five.
In January I heard a keynote by Jamie Taets of Keystone Group International about going “beyond the paycheck.” Her talk focused on helping us, as leaders in our organizations, understand that paying people well is not enough. To retain top talent, we need to do more. What most resonated with me were her five reasons why people leave their jobs (her information came from the American Progress Organization). The reasons were all spot on and I have seen each and every one of them in action. Using her talk as inspiration, I’ve decided to write a blog series on those five reasons and how you, as a business owner, can address them.
This week we’ll be addressing the lack of organizational and personal clarity.
It’s important that organizational clarity and personal clarity be taken together because there can be no personal clarity without organizational clarity. If the company as a whole doesn’t know where it’s going then neither can the employee.
People leave jobs when they do not feel a sense of purpose or fulfillment. If they can’t see how their day-to-day connects to the bigger picture or the greater good, they may check out. Now you might say: “But we’re a for profit company, there is no ‘greater good’.” But there is always a greater good, the greater good of the company or even just their team. Most people don’t want to live in a silo and only act for themselves. They want to know that they are contributing to something bigger. Your job, as a leader, is to help them see how what they are doing every day contributes to and impacts those around them. How it contributes to the company’s success. We call it “line of sight”. Can they see a direct line from their role to the end goal, product, or service? Some people can find this connection on their own, but most will need your help to understand their true purpose at work.
In order to be able to give each employee that “line of sight”, organizational clarity has to exist. You can’t connect someone to the bigger picture if the bigger picture has never been illustrated. Does everyone understand what your organization stands for and where you’re headed? Are your Core Values clear? Just having them written down isn’t enough. They need to be lived, every day, by every employee. Is the mission and focus of your company clear? Can you connect the dots from someone’s personal performance to the success of the company?
Taking the time to make sure every employee knows that the role they play is important and showing them how exactly they impact your company every day will give them a purpose and a reason to come in to work every day. Everyone wants to be a part of a winning team. Show them how.