There is a beautiful excitement in a couple when they realize they are pregnant with a child. Most focus on the birth and whether or not they will be good parents. Friends and family surround them as the baby is about to arrive. There are gifts, pictures, and cuteness that parents want to hold on to. But they don’t think about the circle of life. Just as they were once babies, grew up, left their parents, and became independent individuals, many parents find it offensive to picture their child(ren) doing as they did. It’s very much the same in our organizations and businesses.
Between July and November 2022, 4 million people quit their job each month. Why? Because leaders don’t respect their people. Respect is the difference between children who leave their homes in rebellion and those who leave building the family legacy. Respect is the difference between those who quit their jobs and those who are released into bigger, better opportunities. Regardless, the kids are leaving home.
Just as a family’s future is in how our children operate as adults and grow their own families, the future of business is in how we nurture, cherish, and equip those people in our organization.
Frequently, we like to make our organizations feel like a family, so why not have the same perspective on those we hire? What if we were to raise good employees by being the kind of bosses that allow employees to grow into who they are supposed to be and then encourage them to be precisely that?
It’s not easy for parents to let their children go, nor will it be easy to encourage a good employee that you have invested in to go. But that’s the only way you can truly build a legacy. Not by latching on but by letting go. Here are some ways to do that:
- Best Over Average – Would you rather: have a stellar employee for a year or an average employee for three years? What if you were always attracting the best talent, even though they eventually leave, instead of wading through mediocrity trying to find the diamond in the rough, only to disappoint yourself? The first thing organizations need to do is shift their mentality. Don’t convince them to stay. Convince them you’re the best. Whether they stay or go, the best attract the best. If you are the best, and you bring in the best, the best will make you better.
- Encourage Education – Employees, like kids, will leave. But encourage them to leave for the right reasons. Education is one of the greatest. Undergrad, Graduate, and Doctoral programs funded by your organization are great ways to invest in those who will eventually leave while creating incentives to give back to those who invested in them.
- Build Partnerships – No one develops business alone. We all need people to help funnel our business. Suppose a person will leave; why not direct them to someone affiliated with or deeply connected to your organization? We don’t want good talent running to competitors, so develop partnerships with like-minded people. Generally, the law of reciprocation kicks in, and it comes back to you.
- Develop an Outward Growth Program – Instead of your people leaving to go anywhere, help direct them to their next opportunity inside or outside your organization by developing a program that fuels their dreams. Which educational programs can you align with? Which partnership can you leverage that could seem larger than life to an employee? What if what makes you attractive as an organization isn’t just what you do but the vast number of opportunities you can offer?
The future of leadership isn’t dependent on how to keep the best talent for the longest. Instead, it’s about how to maximize the talent you have to grow your organization and others. Legacy isn’t what you do; it’s what others do because of you. Give your people the feedback they need. Good parents are evidenced by what their children grow up to do outside the home. Be a good parent and raise your talent to be great beyond your organization.