Leadership: The Importance of Keeping the Right People

In a previous article earlier this year, I talked about the importance of training your team. I’ll build on that subject in this article as it relates to leadership and motivation, something to keep in mind when you’re considering new ideas for 2018 or beyond.

While leadership is a very broad topic, namely because of the varieties of styles employed, understanding what works for your team is just as important. One of the key elements of leadership is to create an atmosphere that motivates employees to not only do a good job but to also look deeper at your business as a career path for them to consider.

After all, employee longevity is a vital factor to the success of your business. It not only provides continuity for your operations, but more importantly for your customers, and they like that because it builds trust.

So what is motivation, and how can it be employed?

“One of the key elements of leadership is to create an atmosphere that motivates employees to not only do a good job but to also look deeper at your business as a career path for them to consider.

It’s that inner-something that drives us to take action. Since everyone is unique, so is the motivation to do things — and do them well. While volumes have been written about the topic, a few factors remain at the core of the subject. Providing employees opportunities for growth and development is high on the list. Empowering them to take charge of tasks assigned lets them know you trust their judgment, and recognizing success on a regular basis reinforces a job well done.

Much of this begins with a framework that showcases a trajectory of upward opportunity. Throughout one’s life experiences, people tend to circle back on three big questions: Where am I now? Where am I going? How do I get there?

Most, if not all, of your employees ask themselves these questions periodically. Providing a concrete path forward — answers to those questions — by emphasizing important milestones along the way, assures employees they are on the track to success.

Showcasing the idea of a career path as an important and necessary step-by-step process to higher achievement allows new hires to imagine their trajectory within an organization. It gets the wheels spinning for those employees who set their sights on that target and for having the patience and dedication to learn all the elements needed to get to the next stage.

It will motivate those who align themselves with the plan. By doing so, they will meet your desired objectives. Supporting this through regular interviews reinforces the reality of achievement. It also will confirm the plan for them to climb the ladder.

Using the term “career path” not only underscores the value you assign each position and stage within, it allows you to better gauge to what degree employees will embody the idea of “the path.” This sheds light on those individuals who regard it as only a job; more are likely to be in it for the short-term. Not that this is a bad thing, but it is nice to know where their intentions lie.

If you create an environment where employees see a future, chances are strong their future will be longer with your organization. So create the path, put them on it, and guide them along the way and remember to celebrate each rung of the ladder. It’s the best way for them to reach where they are going.

Tony Sims

Tony Sims is a supplier side veteran with 20 years of experience and vice president of Marketing for automotive aftermarket supplier Service Champ. If you are interested in discussing the details of the column, contact him via email at: tsims@servicechamp.com