Norton: Improve retention with persistent consistency
As we continue to talk about hiring and keeping a productive and performance-driven team, we must include “consistency,” in our 5 C’s for Retaining Top Talent. This is the fourth column in a five-part series, and we will conclude next week with “culture,” and how to develop that winning culture where people are not only eager to join us but will also want to stay with us.
And thank you all for the emails, your feedback is always appreciated. Many of you have mentioned a few other C’s that should have been included, and yes, I could have easily made this a 10-part series by adding communication, creativity, cross-training, compelling, caring, compensation and many others that many of you had suggested. All great words for sure, and I will do my best to incorporate them in a future column.
When I settled on the 5 C’s, consistency was important because when we reviewed data and survey results for the reasons people were leaving their position, a “lack of consistency” was sighted as one of the challenges they faced. When I asked for some more detail about that lack of consistency, there were a few areas worth mentioning to help us as business owners and leaders to avoid the same mistakes associated with inconsistencies.
The biggest area of concern was around the lack of consistency in what is sai, written on the walls, and published on the company website when it comes to mission, vision, purpose and values. Many exiting employees felt like these words were nothing more than a sales pitch to attract people, appease current employees and create a public image that sounds good. Sadly, they reported that what was publicly stated was often not lived out by senior leadership, management or owners of the company.
The second challenge with inconsistency had to do with fairness. We all know by now that no matter how hard we try, there are no secrets anymore. Seems that regardless of sensitivity, personal information such as compensation, consequences, promotions, extra perks, the overall treatment of team members, the perception is that relationships and unique one-off situations create an environment for team members to question fairness.
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The third issue raised by a lack of consistency surrounds goals and objectives. Not only were the goals and objectives constantly changing, but the messaging around expectations was also seen as inconsistent. When we can’t communicate clearly defined goals and objectives, set proper expectations and then inspect what we expect, it is easy to see why our team members get frustrated enough to leave.
Top performing organizations and businesses of all sizes who make the mission, vision, purpose and values abundantly clear and then make sure they are lived out, will have a much greater chance of keeping personnel at every level. When we live and work by our values, being fair becomes so much easier. There are times when difficult decisions must be made, and there are times when we need to be firm as leaders, and when we can demonstrate consistency in being firm but fair, this will also help us retain top talent.
We are living in times of incredible change and uncertainty. This means we must be consistent and clear in articulating expectations and how what we all do, every role in the business, works toward the overall objectives of the company. In times of change, goals may shift, and that’s OK if we consistently let everyone know the “why” behind the change and how that changes the expectations of each team member.
If we want to attract and keep amazing people, let’s remember what author and motivational speaking legend Zig Ziglar said when he shared that the secret to success is, “Ppersistent consistency.”
How would your team rate your business when it comes to consistency in living out the mission and vision, treating everyone fairly, and when setting objectives? I would love to hear your story at firstname.lastname@example.org and when we can live and work with persistent consistency, it really will be a better than good year.
Michael Norton is the grateful CEO of Tramazing.com, a personal and professional coach, and a consultant, trainer, encourager, and motivator to businesses of all sizes.