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Why Investing in Leadership Helps with Employee Retention

Why is it so hard to retain people once they had been hired? Who is it to blame for employees quitting their jobs? Several surveys and researches point out to the management’s fault.

I have recently read about a US workplace study where participants were asked what one thing they wished they could change about their manager, and whether they would still be in the same job if they had to repeat the experience.

If you had to do it over again, would you say yes to working for your current manager?

The majority said a definitive ‘no’ and wanted their current manager to quit. Think about it for a moment. Would your answer be different? Would you say a resolute ‘yes’ to your manager?

For recruiters and employers, these studies are minegold. They show one of the many reasons employees choose to quit their jobs, if not THE main reason. If it’s not about the work itself and the company, then it’s about the people in charge.

This fact is even more evident when employees choose to leave a job after changes in management and leadership, such as having a new manager to respond to, who affects the entire dynamics of the existing team.

When good people leave because of bad management, the company pays the ultimate price. Employee retention in business is about knowing what people want, and the answer is simple: they want a leader who appreciates their contribution and inspires them.

Most companies spend most of their human resources money and energy on work perks and initiatives trying to retain people when they should work on the key role of moulding a good manager and leader in the organisation.

Often the cost of hiring and training good people’s managers in the long-term comes at a much better value than the costs supported by the company every time people leave.

Companies willing to increase employee retention should invest their resources in leadership initiatives, training and coaching. Invest in leaders, and ensure they have access to HR training and coaching to be able to handle any employee situation.

When recruiting for managerial and leadership positions, or promoting an employee in a managerial role, ensure the candidate understands what the leadership role entails and wants those responsibilities in the new role.

Think of it this way: employees will not want to work for a manager who does not enjoy his role or is not willing to work with the people. Invest in your leadership to minimise disruptive behaviours and ultimately curb employee turnover.

Professional Sourcing is a top-tier South African-based recruitment agency operating internationally, IPM accredited, LEVEL 2 BEE RATED and 51% Black-Owned.

Our agency specialises in professional placements (senior and specialist talent) and exclusive skills recruitment to a wide range of industries, including JSE’s top 100 companies, SMEs and the Public Sector.

Our agency specialises in professional placements (senior and specialist talent) and exclusive skills recruitment to a wide range of industries, including JSE’s top 100 companies, SMEs and the Public Sector. -- Patricia Koekemoer

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