leadership brand

A strong, positive, encouraging leadership brand actively keeps your employees happy and heard. Turnover is a huge conundrum in the current workplace. Millions of employees have joined the Great Resignation, in the last year and a half. We do not have the answer as to why, but we can offer ways to attract and maintain employees. One of the best ways to do this is to build a leadership brand that does the work for you.

First, Let’s Talk Burnout

A 2020 Gallup report, Employee Burnout: Causes and Cures, found that 76% of employees sometimes experience burnout on the job, and 28% stated they feel burnout “often” or “always.” 

The modern workplace is not for the faint of heart. Until recently, it was considered a badge of honor or right of passage to work excessively. If you weren’t sacrificing yourself, you weren’t doing it right. However, this mindset is, thankfully, no longer the case. Burnout is more about how employees perceive their workload and experience than how much they actually work.

As the saying goes, there is “more than one way to crack an egg,” while you can easily bring employees down with relentless expectations, you can also build them up with positive leadership. Companies are responsible for the well-being of their employees, and eliminating burnout should be a top priority.

The Price of Hiring New Employees

The Society for Human Resource Management estimates it can cost six to nine months of an employee’s salary to replace them after consideration of headhunting, hiring, and training costs. Broken down, it cost around $30,000 to $45,000 to replace an employee making $60,000 a year. 

A positive workplace is essential for bringing in and retaining top talent. An employee leaving costs more than one might think. There is a massive loss in productivity, revenue, and workflow during hiring and training. It is paramount to maintain employees. The best way to do this is to create a leadership brand that makes employees want to stay.

What Makes a Company Worth Working For?

Your company should have strong core values that attract people that leave a positive imprint on your company. Every employee is a reflection of these values. Therefore, think about the longevity and effective leadership team that keeps employees coming back day after day. So, what makes a company worth working for? Keep reading. 

Appreciate and Adequately Compensate

In today’s modern workplace, many employees feel undervalued and underappreciated. TikTok has created a phenomenon where employees feel heard. The movements Quite Quitting” and “Act Your Wage” are about setting boundaries. The premise of both is to do nothing more than what is contractually required. 

Employees are acutely aware of their value to a company. Their wages should be worth the “sacrifice”; in other words, employees should feel there is a benefit to the work they are putting in. Time is our most valuable resource. Therefore you must pay employees what their time is worth. If you ask more, pay more.

Being able to afford the cost of living is also non-negotiable. U.S. MIT offers a living wage calculator to help estimate the cost of living in each state, city, or metro area.

Recognize Employee Accomplishments

Work doesn’t have to feel like work. Work and enjoyment can go together. Employees will likely stay if you create an environment that breeds creativity, expression, and belonging. Openly recognize employee accomplishments, and celebrate everything. This positive reinforcement shows the whole team that employees are valued. Remember to reward effort, not just success.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Research shows that companies benefit from the inclusion of a diverse workforce. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) initiatives and values are critical components for companies. Respect should be a core value of your company. Cultivating an environment that respects and values all races, backgrounds, genders, and sexual orientations will attract and retain more diverse and better talent. Belonging means that employees can be authentic without fear of treatment or punishment. 

Glassdoor states, “More than 3 out of 4 job seekers and employees (76%) report that a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers”.

Opportunity for Growth

Hiring and training a new employee is significantly more expensive than raising the wages of an existing employee. Your staff is your most valued resource, never underestimate their value. According to a survey by ClearCompany, 76% of employees report a desire for growth opportunities. When building your leadership brand, training your employees to live and value your core values will allow you to promote them easily when the time comes. The beauty of promoting your staff is that this person knows your core values from the ground up. They are genuinely invested because they feel appreciated and an integral part of the company. 

Work-Life Balance

Life should be celebrated. Employees are much happier when they feel valued. Companies show this by offering a work-life balance that includes flexibility, reduced hours, and encouraging time off. Remember, burnout comes more from employees feeling underappreciated than the actual number of hours worked.

Employees want to feel like they are part of a family. Creating events outside of work that employees want to be part of keeps them engaged. Every employee is different; they have different goals outside of work. Some may not want to give up their free time for work involvement; that is also ok. Never force employees to engage beyond the job you pay them for. Creating fun events, allows employees to feel appreciated, have fun, and get to know each other on a personal level.

Communicate and Collaborate

Give your employees a voice, then listen to their concerns. There is no better way to promote growth and change than from those who live in the environment day to day. Often, the upper half of management only sees a portion of the picture. Listening to those with boots on the ground gives an entirely different perspective and room for improvement. Presenting staff the opportunity to communicate and collaborate promotes a sense of belonging and keeps them engaged in the company’s well-being. Bonus, you are actively training future leaders.

Building a Leadership Brand

Teamwork, Dream Work

It may sound cheesy, but teamwork does make the dream work. When one feels appreciated and part of a team, one wants to do well for themselves and others. There are so many benefits to collaboration. One of the best ways to strategically manage workloads is to pair up the strengths and weaknesses of employees. You don’t need the same employee duplicated; instead, you want unique views that contribute to a more cohesive work environment. Collaboration increases bonds between employees, creating a better overall workplace culture. When coworkers feel like they are an integral part of a team, they work harder. They want to succeed for the betterment of the whole. 

Read More: How to Know What Your Dental Staff Values

Lead but Allow for Autonomy

A 2018 report on the Employee Experience by Udemy found nearly 50% of employees quit their job because of a bad manager.

The overall goal should be to be a coach, not a boss. How do you do this? 

      1. Get to know your employees
      2. Works to build their weakness while reinforcing their strengths 
      3. Listens with compassion 
      4. Guides but still allows employee autonomy 

Leadership Brand

Employees should feel like they can be their authentic selves while being part of a whole. The best leaders know how to hone and cultivate these skills. They recognize employees’ strengths and weaknesses. Companies should hire employees with the intention of promotion because they are vital assets with applicable skills. The best leaders lead not as aloof bosses but as comrades that promote a positive and encouraging work environment.

About the Author Ben Shaver

For over a decade, I've guided growing dental practices and groups on how to use leadership and communication to build referable teams and memorable brands.

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