The Leadership Truth of Turnover

A friend of mine posted this blurb on Facebook from an audio book he was listening to (note: I don’t know the name of said audio book):

“Numerous studies have shown us that those given authority are more likely to lie, cheat and steal, while also being harsher in their judgments of others for doing these same things. Science tells us people with power feel less compassion for the suffering of others.

Previous experiments also show us that those who are obedient to authority are capable of the worst forms of murder, and tolerant of the worst forms of abuse. They will even chastise those of us who resist corrupt authority. They become facilitators of evil, believing that obedience to authority absolves them of personal responsibility. “

This blurb above is an explanation of today’s cesspool management and hierarchy that permanently resides in many companies. Although we speak very seriously and regularly about the importance of leadership development as HR practitioners, the truth is very rarely are managers chosen with care. In fact, I have personally observed companies who promote people to management or leadership roles based on their ability to be obedient and play the game.

What happens is the road to leadership then becomes a chess match played by cheaters. The rules are not static, but changed on an as-needed basis to suit the players. People like myself and my colleagues never stand a chance in being promoted or even surviving as an employee, because we live and work by a code of conduct. The code of conduct isn’t some arbitrary manifesto we write down to make people believe we are responsible, discerning, fair individuals; but a construct that guides our work and how we treat others in and out of business.

When we say that employees don’t leave jobs they leave bosses- we really mean they leave regimes.  Within the companies of some of your most beloved brands and products lies a regime that takes pride in beating its talent to a pulp daily with unkind words, unreasonable expectations and in some cases bullying- just because they can.

Recently, I read an article of the CEO of a company I used to work for. The article interviewed him about how he runs this large conglomerate and of course highlighted all of the philanthropic work he does for the community. Great article, nice man, toxic company.  It’s his job to speak highly of his business, but what I know after working there in HR is that the leadership from HR to the actual facilities (in many cases) are toxic and a good 3/4 of the employees are disgusted; but remain there out of necessity.

Turnover is directly linked to these toxic environments. The age of obedience and subservience is dead. People want meaningful work and positive work environments. If they remain in your employ, it is purely out of necessity. Necessity breeds a paycheck- which also means that they couldn’t care less about the success of the company.

I’m not sure when it became cool to lead from a place of pure malice and fear, but it needs to stop. If the ultimate goal of talent management is to retain the right talent in organizations, it’s time we (HR and everyone else) took personal responsibility to be ethical, fair, equitable, and provide a workplace free of toxic leadership. That may mean getting rid of a manager that has high turnover even in light of his or her considerable contributions to the company. It could mean reprimanding a manager for being a jerk, even if he or she is your happy hour cohort.

A lack of personal responsibility, the inability to tell and own the truth; as well as unethical behavior are among the many reasons why your turnover may be high. Pay attention to your workforce. Don’t look the other way and cover your ears when it matters the most. Your talent is your brand. Treat them with the same respect and humility you would want for yourself.

How are you being more intentional about being better leader?

Contact us to help you build a strategy for developing positive leadership.

Five Things Your Company Needs To Brand Responsibly

As I take a deep dive into consulting life, I am finding that businesses both big and small are pouring major dollars into digital marketing, social media and branding. The one puzzling thing is when I have conversations with these companies about their business needs for these things all they seem to know is they want and need to be doing it. The issue is the want and need to get involved with these mediums doesn’t always begin with the necessary basics of knowing what your brand is.

You can’t interest people in patronizing your business when you don’t know what you stand for. Why should they support you? What do you offer? More importantly, what is your value proposition?  These are not questions you ask yourself after you launch a social media presence.

People need to understand clearly and quickly what you are about and what the call to action is. You may be successful in business, but being able to articulate your value and purpose in this digital age is paramount.

Before you take that directive to engage your audience online-think about the following:

1) What is the brand? In considering what your brand is- think about your niche-what makes you unique in the marketplace. What is your product or service and how does it solve a problem for your customers. These are just some starters to get your branding juices flowing.

2) What resources will you have available to support your digital presence? This means considering who will need to manage this. Will it be managed in-house or do you need to outsource it? You will also need to consider what your budget is.

3) Do your research. It’s imperative that you understand how your target market searches and makes purchasing decisions on products/services like yours. Doing this allows you to meet your consumers where they are and in a way that is most meaningful for them.

4) Once you are clear on one and two, you will need to consider your strategy. Start small and measure the results of your campaigns to gauge what works for you and what doesn’t.

5) Keep it real, engage, and be consistent with how you portray your company on and offline. Any crack or inconsistency in any of these facets of digital marketing and your reputation could suffer.

Here’s another consideration: when customers take to your social accounts to resolve an issue with your product or service- how will you respond? Since transparency is a top concern for most businesses you will have to decide how transparent and actionable you are willing to be to resolve a customer complaint.

Setting out to get involved in social media and branding your company without any idea about why you are there and who you are is like driving a car with faulty brakes- you are bound to crash and burn. Take the time to seriously evaluate the above-mentioned considerations and set yourself up for success rather than failure.

Want more on how you can set your brand up to succeed? Contact us.




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