The Corporate Shift – A Leadership Issue?

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More and more full time employees are becoming disenfranchised with corporate cultures and feeling abused by their leaders are heading out on their own, to create the lifestyle they truly desire.  At least that’s how one Gen X’er referred to it recently when he shared with me that he started a side business.

As poor leadership, high demands and long hours become the norm, many are waking up to the realization, “I don’t need this abuse” “I want to work to live, not live to work” and “I’m driving two hours a day, to and from a job I hate!” And “The Sunday Night Blues is a real serious issue!”   “I find that I live for the weekends!”

Leaders: Attention!  This is a rally cry that must not be ignored! If you want to attract and retain top talent, start examining your current level of turnover.  Conduct exit interviews and stay interviews.  Exit Interviews are an opportunity once an employee announces their planned departure to find out why they are leaving and whether consistent reasons are causing employees to turnover.

Conversely, Stay Interviews ask current employees what they enjoy about their jobs and the company and what could be done to ensure the employee is retained.

Both are powerful tools if conducted consistently and with appropriate examination of correlations and trends in turnover.  Why measure if you don’t plan to use the data?

The resulting examination amongst and across leaders is designed to facilitate an authentic conversation about what the company and it’s leaders are doing well and can improve.

However, recognize too that weak leaders; those insecure in their abilities, who operate from ego making personality-based decisions, will likely feel threatened by anything perceived as an examination of their performance.

Authentic leaders, however, will cherish the experience, wanting to know what employees want and what will help them do their jobs better.  They will recognize others who try to derail the conversation with distraction and seek to create leadership alignment through uniform understanding of the company purpose.  Great leaders are adept in drawing their followers back to the core purpose when misalignment becomes evident.

Right now, more than ever, we need great leaders to rise up, shaking off the authoritarian models they experienced and adopt a servant leadership approach to manage the complexities of a multi-generational workforce.  We can see Boomers and Gen X becoming disenfranchised with command and control leadership and company cultures.  One can easily see too that, Millennial talent will be even more reticent to enter a workforce where they do not have equal respect and consideration, flexibility and opportunities for new experiences commonly lacking in authoritarian leadership models and cultures.

Considering, by 2020, less than 4 years away, 2/3 of our workforce will be Millennials it isobviously in the best interest of leaders and company cultures to consider a new approach to leadership that secures your best talent, rather than have it running out the door.





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