Looking to Win the Talent Battle? Try the “Great Boss Strategy”

July 18, 2017
| ByMike Ryan

The biggest priority across any c-suite is addressing the talent gap. Business leaders need to attract and retain good people in a labor marketplace that’s become insanely competitive.

How focused are CEOs on that challenge? 87% of them say finding solutions that address employee retention is a “critical priority.”

As the nature of work changes, companies are struggling to fill the skilled-position needs they have (at the rate they have them). More than three quarters of CEOs are concerned that their inability to find and keep talented employees will restrict business growth. They worry that any failure to secure capable and committed employees will hinder their long-term growth plans.

The battle for talent isn’t just being fought in the U.S. CEOs worldwide also face labor force deficits. In other words, the talent war is a world war. Many global leaders view the acquisition and retention of qualified personnel as their number one priority. 46% of them say they are struggling to fill positions in what they categorize as a “high demand pool.”

So what’s the best strategy for coming out ahead? You can initiate programs designed to lure labor. You can create interest through advertising. You can become more active on social media. You can experiment with referral programs. You can hire the best (and by that I mean the most expensive) agencies to handle the search, recruiting and screening of new employees. You can do all of those things, of course, but you won’t be distinguishing yourself in the process. In the meantime, the costs of talent acquisition keep going up. Depending on the exact role being filled, the cost of finding or replacing a highly skilled worker can easily exceed 200% of that person’s annual salary.

Organizations need to do better. They need to get a handle on recruitment and replacement costs and they need to separate themselves from rivals in the process. One of most effective ways to do just that is to create a company known for its great bosses.

Great bosses create loyalty

Ask any employee what they think about their job and their opinions (positive or negative) will center on what they think about their boss. The old saying that people leave managers (and not companies) is true. Management and supervisors have a direct and immediate influence on their employees.

High employee turnover occurs where there are management issues. Great managers foster loyalty. Bad bosses make employees run for the exits.

Great manager do many things right. They stay positive and they remain focused. They are empathetic leaders and humble stewards of the company’s culture. Above all, they are supportive and appreciative of the people who work on their teams. They are big believers (and users) of employee recognition. Employees are 71% more likely to feel engaged when their managers can cite their strengths. Recognition translates to a more loyal, productive and committed talent base.

Great bosses also attract top talent

Increasingly, job seekers are doing more and more online research before they make employment decisions. Great bosses not only foster better working environments for existing employees, they help companies build better reputations out across the external talent pool.

Top talent flocks to companies that have good manager-to-employee reputations. No one wants to work for a bad boss. They want to work where they will be given meaningful work and where their contributions will be respected and appreciated. Your company’s reputation for having great managers will help it come out ahead in what’s bound to be a very long talent war.

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