Leadership skills to help you retain top performers in 2019

Leader, guide

Managing people is tough. It requires drive and an altruistic nature to be the kind of leader that makes a real impact. But sadly, it appears that not all leaders are making the impact their organizations need.

Research shows that as much as 89% of the global workforce is not engaged. In a separate study conducted by CGK, 47% of the respondent felt that their managers didn’t really care about them.

These two trends are causing organizations to lose their people. What’s more, it’s becoming increasingly clear that managers are at the center of it all, and that people don’t leave companies, they leave bad managers!

What can you do to stop top talent from leaving your team?

Here are six leadership skills that will help you create a more welcoming culture and improve your ability to retain top performing employees.

1. Develop your communication skills

According to a study conducted by the University of South Australia, when managers communicate in a clear way that inspires trust, employees are more open to committing to their organization.

Effective leaders rely on their ability to communicate clearly as they understand how critical the right message is to the success of their organization. And when they do so effectively, they are able to give staff the opportunity to do their best work.

Make it a point to focus on inspiring staff through positive language and clear terms when communicating with them.

2. Provide regular feedback

Feedback is a crucial component of employee growth and development. Without it, staff cannot meet organizational expectations and become disengaged.

Get into the habit of setting regular formal and informal feedback sessions. Doing so will enable you to provide guidance and engagement staff need.

If yours is like many organizations struggling to prioritize feedback because it can be hard to manage, using smart employee integration software, like vi’s real-time feedback solutions, helps track each employee’s development from the day they enter the building.

3. Always promote the big picture

Like feedback, vision is essential to helping employees feel comfortable in their roles. Knowing where the organization is going and why helps staff stay focused and committed to meeting their individual goals.

The best way to communicate your company’s vision is through regular feedback sessions. Share how an employee’s KPI attainment and performance is linked directly to both team and organizational goals.

4. Support skills development and career growth

Beyond feedback, every employee has the need to grow professionally. As a manager, employees generally look to you for guidance and support as they try to plot their career paths.

But sometimes managers fail to recognize how important it is to play an active role in staff development. Neglecting your employees’ need for growth can have repercussions. It can limit both the development of manager-employee relationships and their interest in the organization.

In fact, LinkedIn’s Why & How People Change Jobs report showed a lack of career advancement to be the top reason people leave jobs.

By engaging each staff member and finding out where their interests lie, you’ll help them identify skills development areas, thereby inspiring greater commitment to the organization and their work.

Do you need a way to create and manage staff skills development? Learn how vi helps organizations develop tailored career roadmaps.

5. Don’t miss an opportunity to reward

Employee recognition matters more than most staff members will let on. When rewards are part of a company culture, they inspire staff to go above and beyond the call of duty.

As a manager, your role in rewarding staff should not be underestimated, especially when it comes to selecting rewards. Employees expect to receive relevant and timely rewards, and as their manager, knowing what your staff find valuable will help you deliver on these expectations.

6. Be a positive influence

Toxic work environments cripple businesses, but most leaders are not aware that employees hold them responsible. In fact, research shows that different types of work environments are a product of leadership styles.

By adopting a consistently positive approach to work and challenges, staff will begin to mirror your behavior. And as they begin to adapt their behavior, you’ll notice that the right culture will begin to flourish and create the kind of environment people don’t want to leave.


Building and retaining effective teams isn’t easy, but with the right set of leadership skills, you can create the right environment to attract and hold onto the best talent in your industry.

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