The job market is going through one of the most significant imbalances in history. Companies are facing the “Great Resignation” with many openings and a dwindling pool of top talent. As a business leader, how do you navigate these unprecedented times and build a winning team?
There are three crucial steps to navigating the 2022 War for Talent.
1. Have an End Goal. The first of these is to start with the end in mind. How do you want your team to look? What roles do you need to fill? A great exercise is The People Analyzer, a tool developed by Entrepreneurial Operating System that uses a simple three-point scale to rate how well your
employees align with your company’s top values. This exercise helps you determine the cultural fit of each person. If someone does not fit within your culture, they shouldn’t be part of the team.
The People Analyzer also helps determine if each person is sitting in the right seat. To do this, you need to assess if the person “Gets it,” “Wants it,” and has the capacity to fulfill the role they’re serving. If someone is in the wrong position, you need to move them to the right spot. If that spot doesn’t exist or someone else is in it, you need to figure out a course of action to reorg, create a new position or let someone go.
2. Refocus Company Culture on People. Your second step is building a company that attracts top talent. This is challenging and too often overlooked. Great teams begin with excellent leadership, which means starting at the C-level and working your way through the entire organization, ensuring that managers genuinely care for their direct reports. Caring for people begins by listening to their goals and aligning current responsibilities with future growth.
Monthly check-ins with each direct report is a best practice. Each meeting needs to be hyper-focused with tools to track progress and milestones. These 30- to 60-minute sessions are essential opportunities for managers to listen, understand challenges and successes, and exercise empathy. It’s essential to come prepared and ask open-ended questions, dig deep, and assess where skills fall short or when someone is under-resourced to execute his or her role and responsibilities successfully. Monthly check-ins help improve employee satisfaction, productivity, and wellness. They also help avoid “surprise” setbacks, roadblocks, and delays.
3. Communicate Mission and Vision. Creating a company that attracts and retains top talent requires transparency and clear communication. Your team needs to know your vision to understand where the company is going and where each person fits in, to share the excitement, creativity, and camaraderie. Winning teams want to evolve, grow, and achieve more. They need to know the organization's top values and goals. Each team within the company needs a weekly sync meeting, generally 60 to 90 minutes, to discuss top priorities, challenges and milestones. A core aspect of winning teams is celebrating each person’s achievements, capacity, attitude, and contributions. Winning teams celebrate victories together and work collectively toward continuous improvement and growth.
Leaders embody company culture through their actions more than words. They listen, encourage open conversation, embrace ideas for improvement, and foster a spirit of unity during the most challenging times and the most celebratory moments.
The novelty of hybrid teams brought about by the pandemic is forcing leaders to adopt more virtual communications and processes while rebuilding and maintaining invaluable in-person connections. But ultimately, whether online or in-person, weekly team syncs, monthly management one-to-ones and quarterly CEO town-halls are essential practices. The key is cultivating empathetic managers who support individual growth and take every possible moment to celebrate everyone throughout the entire organization.