Over the course of my career, I’ve worked for great staffing leaders. They’ve helped grow my career and supported my aspirations to move up the ladder.
I’ve also had the occasional bad boss. Bosses who are disengaged, threatened, or treat employees as a commodity. The kind of bosses it was hard to admire even if I learned from them.
As a staffing industry consultant and coach, I’ve seen good and bad bosses from the outside. Because leaders typically call consultants in to help them fix a problem, such as high internal turnover, there have been times I’ve had tell owners and executives that their leadership style is a key reason.
Great leaders have many admirable traits, but when I really consider the commonalities among the best of the best through my own experience and that of my clients, there are five behaviors that stand out.
A great staffing leader says please and thank you. Bad bosses issue directives with the mindset that employees are being paid to do a job. While that’s true, great bosses connect the dots between employees who feel appreciated and their level of investment in their work. These leaders punctuate their asks with please and thank you even if their request is “just part of the job.” It seems so obvious to be polite, but for some it’s not.
A great staffing leader shares the numbers. Have you ever worked for someone and been left to wonder how the business is performing because nothing is shared? These are bosses who either think their team shouldn’t be privy to the organization’s financials or aren’t sophisticated enough to get it. But how much more motivated were you when you worked for a better boss who kept you informed to help turn things around or to celebrate and sustain the momentum?
A great staffing leader celebrates wins big and small. Great bosses don’t adopt a “why should I praise you for doing your job?” mindset. They look for reasons to praise their employees both privately and publicly, and they take the time to celebrate progress as well as achievements. They understand that to be fully engaged in the company’s mission, their employees need to feel success.
A great staffing leader stays mindful of their employees’ lives outside of work. Bad bosses tend to see their employees as a means to an end – getting the job done no matter what. Great bosses accept that work is just one facet of their employees’ lives. They don’t just assume their team can come in early or work late without considering their outside commitments. And when employees do put in that extra time, great leaders express their gratitude.
A great staffing leader creates leaders. Have you ever worked for a boss who intentionally and strategically groomed you for a bigger job? That’s no accident. Great bosses approach every conversation as a teaching conversation. They’re invested in the long-term careers of their people. They leverage their employees’ strengths and teach them how to develop their weaknesses. They inspire their people to want more – whether that’s a leadership role or a completely different job. And when their employees are ready for the next step, they don’t hold them back – they cheer them on.
For years, exit interview show that people don’t leave bad jobs, they leave bad managers.
The best way to retain your loyal staffing team is simply to be great.