To attract and retain the right talent you need the right culture and the right leadership.
Do you have The Right Stuff?
If you want to attract the best talent you need substantive measurable and tangible evidence that your organisation is the right place for them. If you want to retain your talent, then you need that glue to hold them in place that directly and implicitly assures them of their value.
Platitudes and good intentions are not enough today to attract and hold talent. Expectations are high and employees want evidence and assurances of your promises.
The challenge for organisations today is not just to be attractive but to remain attractive. And this not only requires a careful and thought through strategy but the right type of leader and leadership.
Modernisation today often means spending lots of money on upgrading technology, brand livery, offices and employee handbooks, for example, but more often than not, leadership remains stuck with the same thinking and does not get “upgraded” or modernised.
Why is this? The simple answer is that most organisation fail to understand the direct link between culture, leadership and employee value proposition (the home of talent attraction and talent retention). The more complex answer is – that they either don’t care or leadership is untouchable in those organisations. The top leader rules and no one has the courage to approach him/her about how they need to change.
If this sounds familiar to your company then I can imagine the challenges you have had in culture change.
Your life doesnt get better by chance it gets better by CHANGE.
Culture is Dynamic not Static
Spending time, energy and money coming up with magic models for Talent Attraction and Talent Retention without changing your company culture and modernising your leadership will eventually erode any progress made through initiatives.
Your culture needs to validate your attraction and retention approaches. Consistency is important as you will only raise false expectations through disparate intervention programmes and your talent will leave and your brand will suffer.
Similarly, a strong employee value proposition is important (with all the benefits and goodies that your offer on show) but that too has to be in the context of the culture for as we know that satisfaction with anything has a saturation point.
This means that the organisation has to always remain current, relevant and fresh because its built around human expectations which can be fickle and transitory.
If you don’t evolve you wither. This 2021 Talent Attraction and Retention Survey makes interesting reading.
Leadership is the talisman that keeps culture on a positive course and the beacon in the darkness that provides constant light for clarity.
The Modern Leader
Modern leadership is more about character and less about skill. People want inspiring, value based and positive leaders who find a way to care for each employee. They want leaders who are hungry to do good rather than driven to hoard power, position and money. They want leaders who use their heart rather than their ego to lead.
Why is this important to employee attraction and retention? As a top leader your reputation is everything and that reputation is based on the consistency of how you live out your values and beliefs in an open and transparent manner. It takes confidence and courage to do this and it is a true super power. Ostensibly, you are the brand. For employees in the company, they need to know that your have their backs and that you care for them as individuals and not resources. Again, this requires tremendous character. On of sacrifice and servanthood on your part as a leader. But if you live your leadership through character rather than personality you will have people who want to follow you because they see something in you that they want to aspire to be. It is said that people buy people and I can assure you that character trumps personality all day and everyday when it comes to followers.
Here is another example of the ramification of archaic leadership in “modern” organisations: Women are quitting leadership roles faster than ever.
If culture matters to you then you, as a leader, need to ensure that you (not a programme or one of your departments) is the talisman and the beacon for others to follow.
Management requires skills development and Leadership requires character development. You cannot use management training to deliver leadership development. This is a deeper, more important level.
Making Your Move?
If you are looking to move to another company or if you are looking to stay with your current company you will need to be scrupulous in your assessment and analysis of your future by trying to get past to the “real” organisation – the deeper culture or hidden culture.
Some of the key issues for you to consider on that journey (this list is not exhaustive):
- Is there a clear career progression for me here?
- Who will I be reporting to and what is their track record in being an effective leader?
- What or who could get in the way of my future success?
- Why do people leave this organisation?
- Is there demonstrable evidence that this organisation cares for its employees?
- What are the opportunity costs for me to join/leave?
- Would the person I love the most in the world feel “safe” and cared for working here?
- Are my values congruent with the organisation’s values?
- Is the top leader a role model who inspires and cares deeply for employees?
Get attractive, fast.
If you are a leader who wants to better understand the relationship between character and a successful organisation culture, then reach out and I may be able to give you a fresh perspective on how to be more powerful and influential so not what you do matters but who you are matters more.