Can leadership be a retention tool?

Effective leadership is a pillar of success for any company. The quality and effectiveness of leadership determines whether that pillar will sustain the company or whether it will contribute to its failure. Below are five features on a continuum that are displayed based on the leadership patterns expressed within a company:

Effective Ineffective

1 Transparency Secretiveness

2 Enhanced productivity Significant level of HR Grievances

3 Collaboration Silos

4 Trust Distracting Rumors

5 Workforce stability (retention) Significant turnover

A healthy company culture is transparent in its communications and strategy and results in a workforce that is secure, allowing the workforce to focus on the work. This increases productivity and fosters an environment of collaboration because there is an underlying feeling of trust.

Conversely, a company in which employees do not know what the strategy is, may not have a context for the policies, procedures and expectations of the company. This may result in a sense of disorientation. Additionally, there may be a level of secretiveness that fuels distrust and ultimately results in discontent and conflicts that end up with Human Resources. The distrust promotes silos rather than collaboration. As humans, we seek to understand so that we can predict because prediction gives us a sense of security. In an environment that is not easy to understand, rumors may surface as an attempt to organize information. A healthy company culture is a magnet for retention because employees can use their energy to produce and work together, while employees will leave an unhealthy work environment due to the stress that is innately adverse.

The expression of leadership can be constant throughout all levels of a company because the model is demonstrated at the highest level. However, in most companies there will be a combination of organizations or teams with effective leadership and others with ineffective leadership patterns.

Which side of the continuum best describes the behaviors in your company? What is your company doing to develop effective leadership?

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