Retaining talent in an award winning workplace

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Retaining talent in an award winning workplace – culture becomes the most effective tool in retaining talented individuals.

It’s increasingly the modern way to work, away from the office, working from home instead. With this change in dynamics and the lack of daily face-to-face interaction, being a leader can become increasingly challenging. The modern leader must adapt to be able to re-create essential working relationships of trust, empowerment and ownership. To be able to maintain this, a leader must be an ever-present voice in a business, eager to offer support and guidance when called upon.

 A business leader’s priority remains focused on running the business effectively, but it’s not necessary to crack the whip with staff to achieve this. It is simply about making the individual feel valued, something not easily achieved outside of the traditional office set-up.

 The right culture becomes the most effective tool in retaining talented individuals. A culture that promotes ownership of workload, empowerment to make decisions and consideration of boundaries when making decisions, will result in greater acceptance of unpopular decisions made by a modern leader.

 At ICON Training, we empower our entire workforce to make decisions and to take ownership of their own work set against agreed targets and timescales. To support this, we encourage certain cultural traits in the workplace to ensure a dynamic, proactive and progressive environment.

 As a leader:

 1. You Should Deliver on Your Promises

Building relationships is key to any goals you wish to reach in the future. If you say one thing to an employee but then do the opposite behind their back, discontent will quickly spread throughout your company. The best leaders remain genuine, keeping the best interests of both their staff and customers at the forefront of their minds. They don’t look to cut corners to make cheap deals with suppliers or clients but value the expertise of their most talented workers. After you put in the time, effort and investment to hire the best employees possible, you need to retain that talent. 

 2. Be Consistent with Your Actions

A leader who hops about from one foot to the next, never making the same decision twice, will not command respect. Employees take their cue from the actions of those in charge. If they are left unsure of their superior’s motives, then they won’t be able to do their job to the expected level. Inconsistency in management leads to inconsistency across the entire workplace, which is why you can’t afford to get complacent. Employees who lack direction are likely to look for stronger management elsewhere. In many cases, these members of staff could be vital to your company’s success. However, without assurances that their hard work will be put to good use, they’ll soon become disillusioned with their job.

 3. Don’t Continually Stamp Your Superiority

No one appreciates narcissism, especially employees with exceptional talent. If you want these people to respect you as a leader, then you need to show them that you are more than just their manager. Whilst it’s no mean feat to have reached the position you’re in, reminding everyone about it constantly won’t encourage respect and success. It can be easy to try to take too much control over your staff, but at the end of the day, you need talented staff just as much as they need you. A strong leader serves the needs of the many and puts others before themselves. The easier you make a staff member’s working life, the more likely they are to stick around. In the long run, this mutual consideration will pay off for everyone, making your job far easier.

 4. Show Guts When Making Decisions

A true leader confronts each new problem with the same determination, regardless of what’s at stake. Being a crowd-pleaser only works if you’re the ringleader at a local circus. In every other workplace, you will be admired for sticking to your morals at every turn. Talented workers will expect their leaders to fight their corner against ill-judged business decisions. You don’t have to be a militant all the time, but if you turn your back on your employees too often, they will do the same to you permanently. Credibility is an admirable trait in a leader and you should always put the needs of your staff and customers above all else.

 5. Pay Personal Attention to Individual Employees

Employees crave nothing more than frank and open discussion. They want to know that you are listening to their concerns and making serious moves to deal with them. Leaders, who remain candid, even in difficult times, will command the constant respect and attention of their workers. If you leave employees to completely deal with problems on their own, then you set a precedent for incompetency. Even talented employees need time to get used to the way your operation runs and you should be there to support them every step of the way. Never differentiate between staff, either. If you lean too heavily towards your golden boy or girl, then you risk losing the interest of others. Whilst junior staff might not hit the heights immediately, you never know where they’ll end up in the future. 

 6. Always Work Towards the Bigger Picture

One of the main reasons staff move on from a company is because they can feel themselves stagnating. With nothing to strive towards except the exit, it’s only a matter of time before you see your innovators make a swift getaway. Creativity needs an environment that allows for expression and vision and, if you can’t provide this as a leader, then you are taking your staff on a pointless journey. Without passion or ambition, your company cannot hope to deliver on employee satisfaction. Being able to leave their mark on something bigger than their desk is the reason why top talent takes on a project. They can be perfectly willing to accept that success isn’t instantaneous, but you also need to be consistently taking them in the right direction. Capitalising on the big moments and crediting your employees for their contribution to your company’s progression will ultimately provide meaning for their work.

 ICON Training is continually looking for talented individuals who want to be part of a high functioning, dynamic and exciting work culture. We are strong believers that it is all about our learners and ensuring that they receive the highest quality training possible, leading to long and sustainable careers. Our staff all buy into this culture and are the biggest part of what makes this a great place to work. If you fancy taking ownership of your own workload, testing your decision-making skills by being empowered to make your own decisions, or you simply want to work in a professional culture built around trust, then get in touch with me, it takes 30 seconds to type me a message that could change your life.


Gary Denton