“Everyone wants to make a difference. We all want to feel loved and that we matter. As the cost of finding and replacing talent continues to rocket, doesn’t it make sense to nurture and grow the talent you have?”
Andy Loveless, quoted in People Management
Anyone who’s ever managed a team of people will know they’re not always easy to love, but Andy Loveless is absolutely right when he urges us to nurture and grow the talent we have. After all, we did hire these people, didn’t we? So, if Step 1 is about hiring the talent you want, then Step 2 has to be about hanging on to them and ensuring they develop in line with the company’s aims and needs… right?
In today’s knowledge-based economy, dependent as it is on increasingly specialised knowledge, skills and people, it’s a simple enough equation – lose your people, lose your edge. But it’s not just about hanging on to them – that’s such a soulless way to look at things – it’s about valuing people so much that they want to stay.
Let’s come back to that quote by Andy Loveless; “We all want to feel loved and that we matter”. So true. Call it what you like – coaching, leading, managing, facilitating – people who want to get the best out of others can’t hope to do the job properly unless they genuinely care about them and want to see them succeed. They genuinely have to want to spend time with people and share what they know; to mentor them, if you like.
The impact of people voluntarily sharing knowledge, skills and experience – giving of themselves – can be immense, not just in terms of what can be accomplished, but in terms of the enormous emotional goodwill that can be generated, too. Just think about what’s involved in such an exchange; generosity, nurturing, learning, trust, safety, reassurance, gratitude. What’s not to like?
But why the emphasis on nurturing and mentoring? Isn’t training enough? Well, no, to be honest, it isn’t. Because if one thing is clear in the world of business today, it’s that collaboration and the building of socially-minded relationships are critical to success, and the skills needed to do this won’t be developed by training alone. They need the life blood of a social context to make them truly come alive, and what better way to achieve this than for people at all levels of the organisation to mentor and nurture one another?
Creating an organisational or team culture that not only understands this but positively embraces and thrives on it depends absolutely on the extent to which leaders demonstrate collaboration and social-mindedness themselves. And to do this requires that they give of themselves, that they trust and share, advise and listen, challenge and test, and this won’t happen if concern for others’ welfare isn’t high on everyone’s agenda.
“Love Your Team” is about right.
This is why you might not love your job.