By Jay Mitchell, Executive Search Consultant, Vanderbloemen Search Group >>>
In our work as search consultants at Vanderbloemen Search Group, much of the focus of our job is identifying people who have the potential to be great long-term team members for our clients. Hiring great people is a great first step, but it’s just the beginning.
Once you have a great team member who is producing excellent work and serving effectively, the next – and more important – challenge will be retaining them for the long haul. In interviews, we always ask our candidates to talk about why they are leaving their current position or why they left a previous job. In many cases, their reasons for leaving are simply about readiness to take on a new and expanded role or a sense of calling to a new ministry. These are the good stories!
However, sometimes we hear about toxic staff environments, unhealthy leadership cultures, and lack of intentionality in support and development of the team and individual that have led a highly gifted leader to look for a healthier place to serve. The stories are remarkably consistent and instructive.
So if you want to lose a great staff member, here are some ways to do it:
- Don’t give them a voice in strategic direction. Talented people don’t need to have the final say on the direction of ministry, but they do need to be heard and have their ideas taken seriously. If you want to lose a great staff member, marginalize their opportunity to speak into your vision and direction.
- Don’t give them freedom to fail boldly. Great leaders aren’t afraid to attempt something bold to reach people for Jesus. Bold actions will sometimes fail, and the best leaders will learn more from that failure than they would have if they never tried. If your team members are afraid of failing because your culture doesn’t allow for it, they won’t take the risks necessary to accomplish a big vision.