5 REASONS GOOD PEOPLE WON’T STAY ON YOUR TEAM
Good people are hard to come by. It is even harder to hold on to them. It takes a special leader to keep high achievers on his team, performing to their highest potential. If you are a leader who has a hard time recruiting or keep quality people, it may be due to the following reasons:
1. If your attitude is unattractive. Most people make the mistake of thinking vision is what attracts people to a team. It is not—at least not at first. What initially attracts people is the leader. As John Maxwell has said, “People buy into the leader first and then they buy into the leader’s vision.” If your attitude is positive, optimistic, and inspiring, people will be attracted to you. But if you are a complainer, pessimistic and discouraged, people will see you as toxic and, for their own peace of mind, separate from you.
2. If your team lacks vision. Vision is the ability to see. For the leader, it is the ability to see into the future. The leader’s vision must be so compelling that people see it for themselves, take ownership of it, and invest themselves in it personally. For such “buy in” to occur, leaders need to communicate vision in a way that each person sees the significant role they have on the team and how their contribution is crucial to its success.
3. If your people are not motivated. Every worker needs to be paid, even volunteers. For the volunteer, however, their payment is not through extrinsic monetary means, it’s intrinsic. Volunteers are motivated by something internal. They are looking for a deeper sense of personal fulfillment, that’s why they show up and sacrifice their time and energy, because the vision resonates with them personally. For the leader, this is key. He or she must keep their people connected to the vision by validating that sense of significance they are looking for. Verbal affirmation, public recognition, personal acknowledgement all become key motivators to empower people with an inner sense of significance rising out of their performance on the team.
4. If your management skills are lacking. Good leaders attract good people. Attracting good people, however, is one thing; keeping them is another thing entirely. Sometimes leaders complain about their team. They complain about being criticized or challenged or disrespected. What they often fail to realize is that the problem is not always with their people. More often, the problem is with the leaders. If you have good people on your team, they will be your greatest asset—if you are a good leader. If you are a bad leader, unable to establish goals, allocate resources, make decisions, assign targets and hold people accountable—these good people will become your worst nightmare. Not because they don’t “like” you, but because they understand good leadership and effective management and your deficiencies are frustrating them.
5. If your performance standards are too low. Another reason why good people leave teams is because poor performance on the part of their underachieving coworkers is tolerated as an acceptable norm. Leaders have the responsibility of determining culture. The behaviors the leader allows or disallows set the tone of the environment. Lateness, disrespect, complaining, sloppy work or unprofessionalism can be very frustrating for people who become personally invested in the vision. Overtime, good people will not want to be affiliated with a shoddy team nor will they feel satisfied investing themselves in it.