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Are you feeling swamped with paperwork? Overwhelmed by the metrics, clients and deliverables that you’re responsible for? With so much else going on, it’s easy to forget that your team needs strong, consistent leadership to function at their best. Or to decide that they can function just fine on their own.

However, companies are the reason employees accept a position, and leaders are the reason they leave. Without frequent, effective management, your top talent can feel neglected, insecure in their positions and may choose to look for greener pastures.

In a recent Forbes article, the author used David Rock’s SCARF model to evaluate the impact management/management styles have on employees. The SCARF model (Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness, Fairness) is a brain-based model that is used for collaborating with and influencing others. This model is very helpful when trying to gauge and avoid fear and dysfunction on your team.

Here are five ways the model dictates you will initiate (or avoid) losing top talent:

  1. Compromise their sense of status. In the workplace, status plays an important role in how an employee perceives themselves, as well as how others around them view them. It can drive your employees to consistently look for ways to improve and innovate, or it can cause them languish in their current role and look for new job.
    While it is commonly thought of as an ego-driven trait, status is largely dictated by not only the employee, but their superiors. If they feel support, respect, and attention from their manager, it will ignite their passion to continue to better themselves in their job. However, if they feel that you do not respect their ideas or suggestions, ignore them, or do not allow them the freedom to make their own decisions, your top talent will walk out the door.
  2. Cause unnecessary concern. The workplace and your talent’s roles are constantly evolving. This natural progression is expected and most employees take change in stride without it negatively impacting their ability to perform. If management continually shift goals, are unpredictable in their decisions, and keep your employees in the dark with little communication, this can cause a sense of uncertainty. A constant sense of uncertainty in the workplace can cause unnecessary fear and anxiety.  If your management style is one that does not address these uncertainties that have been created in the workplace, your star employees will start looking for a position that is sounder.
  3. Limit decision making abilities. You hire top talent because they are the best in the pool of candidates and have the ability to do great things in the position and your company. Some leaders are hesitant to allow employees the leeway to make decisions and instead give them false autonomy or remove decision making completely from their staff. But if your star employees are not given the freedom to make decisions and prove themselves, this can greatly limit company growth as well as employee satisfaction.
  4. Limit social touchpoints. Humans are social creatures. We work best when we have ‘social interaction’ opportunities. Collaboration with peers can spark innovative ideas and push employees to continually better themselves in their position. So if management restricts the opportunities for their staff to work with each other on projects or even deny them occasions for informal social interaction, it will produce a less cohesive team. This ultimately results in talent not feeling a connection to their co-workers and management, making them likely to look for a professional opening that will encourage collaboration opportunities.
  5. Compromise business practices and ethics. One of the quickest ways to spark employee bitterness and resentment towards the company, management, or their co-workers is through unfair business practices. If decisions or actions are made that lack integrity, ignore ethics, mistreat employees, or uphold a double standard, this is detrimental to productivity and degrades morale.

These five things will not only create fear and dysfunction on your team, it is a sure-fire way to make top talent walk. Conversely, if you want create a workplace in which top talent performs and thrives – simply do the opposite of everything described above. For more recruiting and management tips, contact the staffing specialists at Smith Hanley today!


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