3 Ways Authentic Leaders Inspire and Retain Employees

This article comes from Entrepreneur.

3 Ways Authentic Leaders Inspire and Retain Employees

Embracing these fundamental principles will help develop the authentic leadership style your employees need:

1. Let them grow, even if they grow elsewhere.

When Robert Half and Enactus studied Generation Z, they found that 38 percent of respondents prioritized honesty and integrity above all else in a boss. However, “mentoring ability” came in second at 21 percent. Workers today don’t just want to work for straight shooters: They want to learn from people who are willing to help them grow.

Many times, that growth occurs entirely within the context of the company. A leader who helps an employee learn to be a better SaaS marketer has a strong chance of keeping that employee over the long haul. Some employees aspire to grow in directions that don’t match the company’s current vision for the future. However, what they bring to the table is no less valuable and will contribute to the broader skills and culture of the company. Truly authentic leaders assist in that development, too, even if it means an employee will eventually leave.

2. Don’t promote risks while punishing failure.

Nothing irks a talented employee like a reprimand for trying something new. As Steve Jobs said, “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do. We hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”

Most companies today claim to prioritize innovation, but in practice, few companies openly accept the trial and error that comes with the process. Leaders can tell employees to be creative, but when those same leaders punish people for failure (even indirectly), employees pick up on the hypocrisy and quit trying to change the status quo. The more stifled employees feel, the more likely they are to quit entirely.

3. Listen to criticism, provide feedback and make changes when necessary.

Employees know their bosses aren’t perfect, and they want to help. When workers provide thoughtful and constructive feedback about what the company or a direct supervisor could do better, don’t take it personally or sweep it under the rug. It’s not meant to be personal, so don’t take it that way. Instead, address the issue head-on with useful solutions. This is an example of embracing professional growth, and it shows employees that their opinions are valuable.

Solicit feedback through private channels so employees don’t feel the pressure of their peers watching them. If the feedback is accurate, act on it. If it doesn’t feel accurate or fair, ask the employee to clarify the comments without fear of retribution. Leaders who let employees challenge the status quo to demonstrate to their teams that they understand their personal limitations and want to grow alongside their teams.

Click here to read the full article.