Liz's Leadership Insights Blog
Refining processes and developing the next generation of leaders are fundamental to succession planning. I’ve worked with my clients on these key succession planning and talent development steps for years. However, during a coaching call with an executive this past week, I learned a valuable insight into HOW I need to guide my succession planning clients going forward. The leaders need to plan for succession as if THEY were going to return to the company.
This past week validated that regardless of what you say you want your company culture to be, what it actually IS is dependent upon you, the leader.
I try to notice trends in what my clients are facing. Last week presented a trend I couldn’t help but notice: Three of my clients were tired, frustrated, and struggling to please customers’ shifting and very challenging demands. My clients weren’t happy. Their team members weren’t happy. Their customers weren’t happy. No matter what my clients tried to do to please their challenging customers, it wasn’t enough. My clients’ team members were burning out. Team members were starting to quit – and leave without notice! My clients were getting desperate.
I recently came across a 2018 report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that noted companies with fewer than 100 employees, on average, spent only 12 minutes of dedicated training time per employee – during the employee’s entire tenure with them! As pathetic as that is, it’s even more depressing because it dropped from a whopping 13.4 minutes of dedicated training time per employee in 1995. The 2018 report also noted that companies with 100-500 employees invested less than 6 minutes of dedicated training time per employee.
Every one of my clients is experiencing the same thing: It’s almost impossible to recruit and hire strong team members. Because of this, retaining strong team members has become critical to enable on-going operations. So what can a leader do to not only retain, but excite strong team members? Listen to them.