Success Strategies for The Confused Leader
Allan Murry, in his most recent newsletter, captured challenges from other great leaders about running a business today. One thing is clear, CEOs are confused in “how” to create sustainable futures with regard employee retention and remains the biggest risk for businesses today.
My most recent conversation I had with a highly respected private investor around hiring new employees, shared with candor, “I do not really care what they need, it is about doing the job you have agreed to do, showing up, and giving your best. This is the sentiment of many CEOs I speak to everyday. This is reality. I am just being truthful.”
“We are all trying to figure out what people want. They want something different. And we think choice equates to happiness, happiness equates to better work, and that that phenomenon is not going away."
- Tim Ryan, U.S. chair, PwC.
People are unclear about exactly what they want and need from their employer or manager. Many fear that they will risk losing their job, create micro-aggressive behaviors towards them, underserved biases, or get managed out. Asking for what you want is stressful and many employees are looking for a process to create the confidence for asking for what they want and need. Many will choose to walkway without a middle manager or outside facilitator, a coach, to help them become confident communicators.
“Did we collaborate at the right level or innovate at the right level?”
- Paul Hudson, CEO, Sanofi
Create small diverse groups of six and create platforms for “thinking differently.” These safe spaces create new neuroplasticity’s and strategies for solving business critical problems. The issues have always been reserved for top execs. That old, antiquated way of thinking is over. If you want to destroy culture, then continue this process. By extending this throughout the multiple levels within your organization, you will retain key talent, because you are aligning purpose to value. Employees perceived value come from their participation in creating great companies.
“Does new remote work find employees frustrated by the limits it created in their career options, feeling less networked and connected than other employees who returned to the office? "
- Kathy Warden, CEO, Northrop Grumman
Globally creating small diverse groups creates the web of connection. Solving business critical questions with diverse minds and innovative experiences will resolve the feeling of being less connected. CEO’s and top managers must offer to all employees this type of connection and hiring an outside facilitator coach who is an expert at this type of work.
What about purpose driven hiring? Employees may have a purpose, and yet, will the company support their purpose and their reason for coming to work? Do employers really understand what employees need to come to work, virtually or showing up in a brick and mortar?
Hire the person to fit the job. Inquire about their mission, vision, and purpose for the open role. Their purpose must align to the purpose of the company. If they are willing to learn, committed to the company and the impact they can make, this will give hiring managers a much higher probability they will stay. If you rely on assessments only, then you are setting yourself up for failure, and you may miss hiring a rockstar that could be a terrific addition to your company.
"Leaders are now being asked to be more inclusive and empathetic, to be coaches, to lead virtually, to lead in these very uncertain environments. And one thing that is loud and clear is they are not sure how to do it.”
- Stephen Bailey, CEO, ExecOnline
Hire the right expert that can drive employee satisfaction, engagement, which aligns strategy with purpose. Choose an expert facilitator that can engage at deep levels of thinking in small diverse groups designed for safe conversation and robust ideas that can manage tables of senior execs all the way down to the new hires. Every human deserves the right to be heard and to come to the table with their needs, ideas for change, and ways to make the company a much better place for employees to thrive. Expert facilitators are talented people and are the glue that holds companies together so senior leaders that have other talents can stay in the lane they excel at. Expert facilitators can also coach senior execs around the social and emotional intelligence needed for the new leaders for today’s business.
Many leaders do not have the time, energy, or talent to manage employee engagement, many lack the process. You must strategically plan for what you cannot do well. The Great Resignation should be a signal, old ways are not working. It is time to find new ways to drive employee satisfaction and give employees “a reason to stay.”
Dina Readinger is an expert facilitator for transformation change and strategic thinking, solving business critical problems through diverse groups of employees. Her signature Diversity Leadership Development program creates strong confident leaders and culture where people are inspired to stay. Her new book “Thinking Differently” is set for release summer of 2022.