Aug 13, 2016 • 27M

LA 038: Why Talent Leaves (and Other Leadership Lessons from BREXIT)

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Dr John Kenworthy
Helping marketplace leaders #UnStuck their true potential to thrive in life and leadership to build a successful, sustainable business with collaborative, high performance teams and Joy@Work with practical, neuroscience-based AdvantEdge Guides and coaching.
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So the UK is getting divorced from Europe. Rather surprising with the way different age groups voted. Or rather, not surprising. Baby boomers and older and the older Gen X voting to leave, with the youngsters voting to remain. Not only has the vote divided the country in two about Europe, it's divided along generational lines too. Not another idiotic pundit spouting nonsense about maybe this or maybe that, but lets' bring this back to leadership and what it means for you in business? Back in 1975, even I was too young to vote. But, to me, it was pretty clear that the UK never really committed to the relationship with Europe because it kept sovereignty over its banking and currency. When one party is picking and choosing which parts of the full agreement it wants to keep, then there's going to be trouble ahead. The idea of a united Europe is bold. The intentions behind it are laudable and expectations were high that not only would this mean peace throughout Europe, it would be greater prosperity for all. Expectations rise in the negotiation between talent and their prospective employer too The same is true in business. When we hire people, we establish their expectations for the future and both the candidate and employer are "selling" themselves to the other party. Candidates promise sincerely that they have those incredible skills as shown on their CV. Employers might wonder how someone so young had such incredible experience and might question why someone with so much responsibility would want to leave their current position. Employers too, promise great things. The benefits and hours and career progression, training, mentoring and oh such a bright future. There's a little dance as the two playfully seriously negotiate the agreement and eventually the promise to be diligent in making the relationship work, happily ever after. And then reality comes back in to play. One day, the candidate, now staff, seems to have forgotten a particular skillset. Their vast experience of similar problems appears to have been forgotten. Their tremendous leadership capability and excellent people skills have apparently abandoned them and performance takes a swan dive. Their manager did mentor them for a few minutes, and there was a discussion about promotion but the truth was that they wasn't a suitable position and recent cutbacks meant that it would be a while before any new training would be held. What causes talent to leave? Talent expects to be paid a fair amount and equitable with what they can get outside. Well it's not the money. But it is the money! Wait a moment, so is it the money. So many respondents in surveys by the likes of HBR, Forbes and so on would make you believe that talent does not put money in their top five reasons for leaving. And that's true when I've done survey's too. But then you ask some headhunters and you find that the single most powerful thing they do to sway talent away from one company to another is the money involved. Money shows respect like nothing else. But it certainly isn’t the only thing, unless you are seriously under-paying your talent. More importantly for many, there needs to be evidence of equity and fairness in compensation and opportunities. Nothing riles us more than seeing someone else getting preferential treatment. Or someone getting something that they've done nothing deserving. Talent expects you to coach and mentor them as you promised When interviewed on exit, talent mention coaching, mentoring and training as their top reason for wanting to move on to greener pastures. Everyone is promised a personalised and structured career development plan when they join a company with a mentoring and or coaching culture to support it and plenty of training opportunities. The reality is a lot different. So they get sold the same promise down the road and quit, only of course, to find out in a while that they too don’t follow through on that promised plan and support. Talent wants to be working with th