Trust Me? It’s the Key to Retaining Top Talent
Business success requires hiring and retaining top talent. This proves a challenge, considering a recent survey conducted by Opinion Research Corporation found that 80% of employees would consider leaving their current job if presented with other opportunities. In light of these findings, it’s more important than ever to retain your top employees.
Most companies try to increase their retention rates on strategies such as training and recognition. This article focuses on one of the biggest retention issues that no one wants to talk about – building trust. An employee’s relationship with his or her supervisor is one of the most critical factors in creating a work environment that encourages productivity, employee engagement and company loyalty. Without a strong sense of mutual respect, the people you lead will always be looking for other opportunities. So how do you open up the lines of communication and start the process of building trust?
I have found that trust is the foundation for building a great team. Trust isn’t just your feeling of assurance that someone will do a task correctly or will behave in a certain way. The type of trust needed within a team is the type of trust that starts with vulnerability. Being vulnerable comes from being open and transparent. This type of honesty isn’t easy to develop, but it starts with the leader. You can’t just announce tomorrow that you and your team are going to trust one another; it takes time and must be genuine. When a leader allows himself to become vulnerable, then he can confidently ask others to do the same. One of my favorite quotes by Patrick Lencioni is: “At the heart of vulnerability lies the willingness of people to abandon their pride and their fear, to sacrifice their egos for the collective good of the team.” When a leader fosters this type of trust, the process of opening the lines of communication will begin. As a leader, it’s easy to mistakenly believe that all your actions are noticed, so don’t get discouraged when you try to become vulnerable. It often takes some intentional exercises to start the process.
As an example, there are a couple of exercises you can do as part of a new initiative or the start of a new group project that will help foster this type of trust. Here are two examples:
1.) Take 15 minutes and have everyone that is part of the team tell something about their lives. Structure it with a few questions that allow people to say something about themselves. The key is for each person, though, to state something about themselves or their family that others may not know and then something that they struggle with.
2.) Use some type of profiling tool to help your team discover their strengths and understand their weaknesses. I personally like to use strengthstest.com. This site has a quick 20 min evaluation that you can purchase for each person that will find their top 5 strengths. Have each person discuss their top strength and how they use it in their job every day.
With the high costs of hiring and training, along with lost productivity, turnover costs billions of dollars each year. If you’re facing the possibility of attrition in your company, start making changes by developing trust as a leader. This will be the foundation for creating a team that can handle conflict, keep commitments, hold each other accountable and reach goals. This type of a team will create job satisfaction and employee engagement, resulting in retention of the top talent at your company.
This article is written by Mike Heffner, the owner of the local Greenwood Express Employment Professionals franchise. Contact Mike at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @IndySouthMike.