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Performance Standards Drive Recruiting and Retention Excellence

July 2022
William Brewer, CCP
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Professionals often tout things like driving engagement, conducting team-building exercises, and hiring the right people as great ways to boost retention. And the truth is, these are all excellent retention tips. They can help a CHRO looking to build a solid team that can operate at peak productivity and efficiency over the long term.

However, there’s one critical factor that can undermine even the best retention strategy: poor leadership.

If you want your talent management efforts to pay off, you need to have the right team in place to guide your employee recruitment and development strategy.

Connecting Leadership and Talent Management

Employees quit managers, not businesses. While the old adage isn’t universally true, there’s truth in the fact that workers consistently switch employment because of their bosses. They leave due to poor leadership, aggravating interactions, and even a lack of engagement from the managers themselves.

According to a Gallup poll, 50% of Americans have departed from an employer in the past due to the desire to escape a manager. Let’s look at it another way: via the impact that workplace culture (which a manager embodies) has had on retention. 

According to SHRM, toxic workplace cultures led one in five Americans to professionally relocate between 2014 and 2019. While the damage of all of that turnover is difficult to estimate, the HR professionals behind the report put a guestimate on the size of the damage: $223 billion. 

It’s easy to point to the negative effects of these trends, but we’re here today to look at the cup as half full. So let’s phrase this a different way: leaders are the engine that drives retention. To draw a corollary from the previously stated axiom, when they don’t quit, employees stay loyal to a manager, not a job.

The point here? We live in an era where workers come at a premium. The Great Resignation has shifted the momentum, and employers are scrambling to keep up with the change.

If companies want to manage their talent well (i.e. recruit and develop their teams for the long term) they must start at the top. You can only create a team of employees that will perform as well as those who lead them.

4 Tips to Develop a Strong Managerial Team

It’s fairly easy to make the case that good management leads to better retention. However, that doesn’t answer the question of how to put a good managerial team in place. 

If you see a problem in your organization’s upper echelons, but you aren’t sure how to address it, here are a few tips to help you get started.

1. Set Standards and Assess Often

It’s difficult to guide your managerial staff if you don’t know where you’re going. Make sure you have a clear set of standards in place for your leaders to adhere to. 

Draw on things like your company’s vision and values to create a set of guiding principles that you can orient toward your leaders. Once this is in place, take the time to assess how well your team is sticking to your leadership parameters.

2. Assess Current Management

Improving your managerial talent starts with your existing hires. Are your current managers doing their jobs well? 

There are ways to assess this. Look for signs, like overly reckless or conservative leadership, inflexibility, or tone-deafness.

3. Don’t Stop With Mediocrity

You may find that your current managers are doing an adequate job. Just to be painfully clear: that is not an acceptable answer. A leader doesn’t have to be toxic to be part of the problem.

As you assess your managerial talent, consider how each member is trying to improve themselves. Are they striving to empower others and use active listening? What steps — like leadership training or feedback sessions — can you take to help them improve their management style more?

4. Add to Your Team Thoughtfully

Finally, make new leadership hires carefully and thoughtfully. How does each candidate meet your company’s standards? How will they help with retention and talent management?

The need to be thoughtful with each hire can take time. If you want to boost your speed-to-hire rate you can tap the network and experience of an executive search firm to help. Speeding up the process is more than a nifty perk. It can be a critical step in accessing quality talent in a competitive market.

“If you want to boost your speed-to-hire rate, you can tap the network and experience of an executive search firm to help.”

Stanton Chase Los Angeles has extensive experience that can streamline the recruitment process. Expediting the hire of top-performing executive managers creates immediate traction within a business.

A rigorous set of performance standards outlined in detailed recruitment profiles will assure the addition of quality members to your management team every time you make a hire. Not only that. By extension, you’re improving your talent management and the long-term health and productivity of your business, as well.

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