The Importance of Showing Up for your Team

As a leader, do you really show up for your team?

People don’t quit their job they quit their manager; we have heard this saying many times but is it true … there are many trails of thought on this topic, here is mine:

People will of course leave their job if they have a weak manager but there also other influencers that really impact an employee’s decision to jump ship.

The reality is people rarely ‘suddenly’ leave a company. They have probably gone back and forth for months and months trying to improve their situation and deliberating before handing in their notice and making that decision to resign. Resigning from a role that you at some point loved is not an easy or whimsical decision to make. As leaders we need to take the responsibility of our team’s engagement and contentment very seriously, its detrimental to our business success and bottom line.

Retention starts the minute someone joins your company, not the minute they express unhappiness. If someone is at the stage where they’re ready to leave sadly its too late and that horse has bolted.

Employers should stop waiting until a valued employee resigns to:

1. Pay people what they deserve,

2. Show people you appreciate their work,

3. Pay attention to their career wishes their personal development plan,

4. Build a culture people want to be a part of,

5. Enrol them in skill up-skilling courses, projects and really advocate their development.

Meaningful relationships

As a leader it is vital you form meaningful relationships with your team members so that they are honest with you and willing to be transparent should they start to feel dissatisfied at work.

It should never be a surprise to you that your team members and direct reports expresses dissatisfaction or intent to leave their current role. A harsh reality check here is that if this happens to you and you are blind sighted by the fact a valued member of your team resigns somewhere along the road you have failed as their leader.

During my career there were 2 very memorable situations when I found myself in the situation where I lost 2 very valuable team members but worse than their decision to leave, I was completely unaware of their intention to resign. I took this personally and reflected on both occasions why this happened. I thought to myself I am having 121 meetings with my team members each month and regular check ins, I told myself, I am approachable, but why are they not telling me how they really feel. At this moment I learned a valid lesson. Whist I was having 121 meetings with my team. These meetings were transactional, I was often too busy to really be present. I was showing up to these 121 meetings often late due to the pressures of the day, I was there in body but not in mind. I was letting my team down because I was not present for them.

Quality of the relationships

Really showing up for your team is imperative to the quality of the relationships you build with your team. It is not enough to be transactional with your performance meetings.  Often my clients want to understand why they are not forming fulfilling and meaningful relationships with their team members. We start exploring this topic together by asking some self-reflective questions,

1, do you respect your meeting time with your team members, do you arrive on time,

2, do you allow time in the agenda for your team members to bring forward agenda items they want to explore and do you respect the agenda,

3, are you really present in the meetings, i.e., are you grounded or are you often stressed or in a bad mood coming from a previous meeting,

4, do you advocate physiological safety in the meetings, i.e. respect confidentiality and don’t talk about peers,

5, do you allow space for vulnerability in your meetings or are your meetings hard wired to only look at outcomes and results.

These self-reflective questions bring many realisations the most profound often being that 121 meetings are a tick the box exercise and not often viewed as a safe space to explore confidential topics. Then the penny drops, how can we as leaders expect our team to communicate openly and transparently with their boss if their boss is not creating a confidential forum for these conversation dialogues to occur.

Resignations of our team members will always come as a surprise unless we as leaders really show up physically and mentally at the times we are meant to. We have all been there when we are due to attend a 121 with our manager and we want to discuss an important topic to us only to find when we arrive our manager is stressed and overwhelmed from the previous meeting they attended. The moment is ruined and we did not feel comfortable to  discuss the topic on our mind.

As leaders it’s our job not just to show up but to really show up, our team members deserve it.

I love supporting wonderful leaders just like you form meaningful relationships with their team.

Contact me today for a free discovery call

Lets see if we are a good fit to work together

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