The End of Revolving-Door Leadership
Let’s say that your organization has just finished up its most successful fundraising year ever. You’ve hit on the perfect donor-relationship strategy and donors are practically beating down the doors to give. Things are looking great. So what’s there to worry about?
Well, frankly, you’re a little nervous that today’s success is only as good as your current line-up of leaders. As today’s leadership team gives way to tomorrow’s, how can you make sure the momentum you’ve gained doesn’t fizzle out?
The answer is to focus on developing consistently excellent leadership — not leaders, but leadership.
Leaders will always come and go. That’s just a fact of life. But too often when a key leader walks out the door, the success a company enjoyed under his or her leadership disappears, too. The key is to standardize proven leadership practices that will survive in your organization longer than any individual leader or team.
In other words, organizations should shy away from “cult of personality” approaches and institute proven, across-the-board behaviors that don’t depend on particular leaders. Commonsense as this idea may sound, very few companies practice it. Those that do, however, enjoy amazing results.
Here are just a few tactics to try:
1. Re-recruit new employees with 30- and 90-day meetings.
We all know that employee turnover is expensive. But did you know that more than 25 percent of employees who leave positions do so in the first 90 days of employment? To retain a new team member, the leader needs to build a relationship. Studer Group has found that scheduling two one-on-one meetings, the first at 30 days and the second at 90 days, has an enormous impact on retention that directly turns into savings for your organization.
If these meetings are handled successfully, new-employee turnover is reduced by 66 percent. Use a structured list of questions to discover not only what’s not going well, but also what is going well. You can be certain that your new employee is comparing her first few weeks of work with your organization to her last week at her previous job — which was filled with well wishes, tearful good-byes and probably a going-away party. Clearly, your organization will get the short end of an unfavorable comparison. These meetings will help you shore up an otherwise tenuous relationship.