The World According to Shane

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People don't leave jobs

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There's an interesting thought I've been having centred around the following statement:

People don't leave jobs, they leave managers.

With all the noise at the moment about a skills shortage, labour shortage and people shortage, and everyone experiencing the mining, resource and energy sector getting all the good workers, my though was are we focusing on the right areas to make a difference here?

We've been involved with a lot of employers and industry groups over the past few months, as well as a few NGO's and other enterprises that have been set up to address these issues. What surprises me is that everyone is looking at more recruitment, more advertising, more training and more money.

Obviously this is probably whats required at a sector level, but I don't think its the full answer, particularly when you get down your business level. I struggle to believe there are "that many more people" out there to fill the jobs, regardless of how much we invest in recruitment and training (not without reviewing our immigration policy anyway).

The fact of the matter is people generally don't leave jobs, they leave people. Its about the experience of the job, not the money or training that will drive their likely ongoing employment and certainly their engagement. More engaged people are less likely to leave, regardless of how much money is on offer by another competitor.

This is not just my view, but a direct finding by the Gallup organisation after 100's of focus groups and 1000's of interviews with employee across a range of sectors.

So if this is the case, my hypothesis is this:

We could fix the skills shortage (in our business at least), by becoming better leaders of people.

I believe 10 of the 12 questions in Gallops Employee Engagement survey are directly influenced by an employees direct manager, regardless of sector, role, skill level and budget constraints.

So if this is true, its leadership and engagement that will overcome (our businesses) skills shortage, not recruitment and training.

We are spending a fortune (or several fortunes perhaps) on training people with hard skills like trades qualifications, and yet I see almost nothing being spent upstream on the supervisory and management team to make them better leaders. Sure some companies are, but by and large the most are not.

Add to this the fact that in a lot of cases the people left to manage the team are the people who have been there the longest, not necessarily the most experienced or qualified and you have all the makings of a disengaged workforce.

Add to this the significant resources being spent by your competition (either for business or talent) telling your employees how much better off they would be working from them and you have all the makings of a labour shortage in your own environment.

Personally I believe in an abundance mentality. Whilst the energy sector boom is going to require however many people it requires, your business in only going to require a minuscule percentage of that. Even if you are growing at a rapid rate. So forget the press and focus on your team.

There are more than enough suitably skilled people available to fill all your roles. They're just already working for your competition. You just need to create an environment that promotes engagement. And thats done through genuine leadership.

Becoming an employer of choice is an over used cliche these days. Nearly every employer I meet with tells me they are and yet hardly any have a grasp of what it really means. (One manager recently spent 15 mins telling me how great his company was and how they were an EoC, then 20 mins later asked me to find him a new job???)

If your too busy fighting off crocodiles to drain the swamp, it might just be time to review your situation and see what you are doing to create an engaged workforce, (Tip: Its not about how much you pay). Gallups questions are a great place to start.

The World According to Shane: Becoming a "leader of choice" is the new frontier. Master leadership and you'll fix any skills shortage, maybe not in the entire sector, but certainly in your enterprise - and thats all that really counts right.

Shane Ridley

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Comments

Ryan Myler

Director/ Financial Planner

Optimas Financial Planning

Shane has provided me with invaluable advice, being that I am in start up phase with my business. His knowledge of business in general, along with his strong understanding of the current trend toward social media and it's influence, have provided me with insights on how to grow my company. I would strongly recommend Shane in a business mentoring role due to his depth knowledge and broad experience, along with his superior story telling ability to make the complex simple.


June 25, 2012

Indiana Forrest-Bisley

Business Development Manager Australian Exhibitions & Conferences

Shane exhibited with us at the 2012 Safety in Action trade show - Melbourne. I found him to be extremely professional and furthermore his pre employment training services were a hit at the show. We will see Shane return to the safety show Perth (August 7-9). If you're in need of ANY type of pre employment training
I would strongly reccommend OTrain to anyone within HR."


June 29, 2012