Recent world events have many business leaders struggling to hire enough employees to keep going. Finding managers and other key people is even more of a challenge. The world has become highly anxious and your existing employees may be resistant to change, which can make life hard for your new hires.
1. Humility Is Key
New leaders coming onto the team have to understand that they don’t have all the answers. Humility in leaders has nothing to do with self-deprecation, though a sense of humor will help. Humble leaders know what they don’t know. They are aware of what they’re not good at and strive to hire to fill in their gaps.
2. Hire The Competition
If you have lost employees to a particular company, it may be time to consider hiring the competition. Getting an honest diagnosis of who you’re losing and what they have found elsewhere can be painful. If you haven’t gotten the information you need from exit interviews, hiring a manager away from your competition can teach you a great deal and help you target your improvements.
3. Communicate Excessively
Share what you know about changes, both within your industry and within your organization. If you have long had a “top down” informational focus that only told people what you thought they needed to know, you may have given the gossips in your business a great deal of power. To take that back, you must share information.
4. Grow Your Own Talent
Every industry has certifications, degrees and benchmarks that must be met. While you may not be able to foster the best hire through an entire degree, you can help them work through the training and certification testing to rise through the ranks of your organization. If you don’t have an internship program, it’s time to start one.
5. Get Help
Carefully review the offerings provided by corporate recruiters for new hires that could be a benefit both to your business and your community. If you are moving in professionals from out of state, carefully review your policies in terms of reimbursement and compensation for those who need to relocate to join your organization.
Make sure that any relocating executive with a family gets full consideration. Share information on
- local schools
- family-friendly amenities
- restaurants and fun destinations
As possible and necessary, offer assistance to a relocating spouse who needs to change employers as well.
6. Develop Your Own Multiple Perspectives
Whether you’ve lost people, added business, or both, the stress of these changes will have an impact on you as well as your employees. Carefully check your own perspective. Stress makes us all resistant to change. If you notice that your staff has lost flexibility or that the level of frustration around the office has gone up, your own blinders may also be getting in your way. It’s time to seek out perspectives of folks who see the world differently from you.
If you’re a leadership baby boomer, talk to a millennial about how they manage stress. Grab a cup of coffee with a Gen-Xer to enjoy a bit of humorous grumbling. Stay flexible and loose as you take in their perspective on the best way to manage tough times. Learn what you can and share if you’re asked. Let these folks know that this is off the record; talking to a business leader as an underling can be scary.
7. Foster A Growth Mindset
The world has become a frightening place for many people. If you notice that nobody ever speaks up in meetings, you may be dealing with a group bunker mindset. This may have nothing to do with your leadership or your business; it’s simply a function of the times.
To break away from this mindset, consider having small meetings to reduce the intimidation factor. Take no notes. Be as casual as possible to get people to relax and get ideas bouncing around on ways to improve the general work environment. Some may be silly, some may be pie in the sky, but many may be quite effective in building a positive culture and retaining the employees you have.
When a trained employee walks out the door, the loss can be immeasurable. Finding a replacement will be impossible, but finding the right team member can add a great deal to your organization. Stay flexible.