So you want to attract and keep great people. Who doesn’t?
Connexus, the church in which I serve, relies on hundreds of volunteers and several staff each week to do some incredibly demanding roles. How do you keep great people engaged?
Whether it’s staff or volunteers, you want to keep people engaged, motivated and committed to a common cause. While there are a variety of ways to do that, there’s one truth underneath it all that often gets missed.
Here’s how I believe people behave:
People gravitate to where they are valued most.
Think about it. You behave this way.
Your best friends are the people who make you feel valued.
The family members you talk to most regularly are the ones who make you feel most valued.
You’ve left jobs because you didn’t feel like you were valued.
You willingly give your time to organizations or causes where you feel like you are appreciated and making a contribution.
If you do this, why would your team be any different?
So as a leader, how can you make sure you are adequately valuing people?
You might think the key is to say thanks a lot or simply pay people. Well, maybe not.
Thanks. I believe that saying thanks should be the daily currency of every leader. Never underestimate the power of a hand-written thank you note or the power of looking someone in the eye and commending them for something specific they’ve done. Do it daily. But people still walk away from their jobs and roles after being thanked for what they’ve done. So thank people, but don’t stop there.
Money. Even for paid employees, once you reach a certain salary level, money alone is not a motivator. If your entire strategy is based on compensation, you will not make people feel valued. Many well-paid people hate their jobs. And it’s of zero help when dealing with volunteers.
So how do you really value people?
I think there are at least five things leaders can do to help people feel like they are valued. And they’re free. All they require is your attitude and heart as a leader.
Five Non-Financial Ways to Value Leaders
Here are five non-financial keys to attracting and keeping great leaders:
Everyone wants to be heard. One of the best ways you can value people is to listen.
Ask them questions. Don’t jump to conclusions. Look them in the eye. Maintain undistracted focus. Take notes. Use your ears far more than you use your mouth.
This can be a behavior you learn. I know because I’m a natural talker (plus I have convinced myself I can solve anyone’s problem in 20 seconds).
Practice the skill of listening. People will feel valued, because you actually are valuing them.