246 - How To Keep Someone You Don’t Want To Lose - John Laurito

246 – How To Keep Someone You Don’t Want To Lose

You’ve listened to the 5 signs when someone in your organization is about to quit. Now, here’s how you may be able to keep them. In this episode, host John Laurito shares how you can keep someone from resigning, or maybe even from thinking about leaving in the first place. All you need to do is to communicate.

[0:00] Intro

[0:54] Understand why they are leaving

[3:01] Ask them

[7:56] Make them feel part of the community

[11:04] So, bottom line…

[13:28] Outro

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John Over the last two decades, I’ve been on an insatiable quest to learn everything I can about leadership, what makes the best leaders so good after running companies small and large over the last 20 years. Today, I speak on stages all across the world to audiences who are interested in that same question. My name’s John Laurito. I’m your host, and I invite you to join me on this journey as we explore this very topic and what makes the best leader so good. Welcome to tomorrow’s leader! 

John All right, welcome to today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader, where we dove deep on all things leader-related, related to leaving yourself and leading others. I’m John Laurito, your host with part two today of how we keep people who have resigned or who are resigning. 

John This is part two of the last episode where I talked about the five signs that somebody is leaving your organization, and I know there’s more signs I’d love to hear from you what you’ve seen in people, and how you’ve ultimately predicted that somebody might be on the verge of leaving. But I encourage you have those conversations with people. People will open up to you if you ask the right questions. Most of the times leaders just don’t ask either any questions or they don’t ask the right questions, and they ultimately don’t get that person talking at a time that they need to. 

John So let’s assume you’ve done that. Let’s assume that, you know now, hopefully, you know somebody is thinking about resigning, which is easier than if they’ve already resigned. But I’m going to approach this in both ways because I’ve dealt with those many, many times. Sometimes I have. I have successfully convinced somebody to stay that I wanted to. Other times I have not. You’re certainly not going to do that all the time, but there are times where you can and this stems from, and it really comes down to understanding why this person is leaving. It’s not rocket science, but that is absolutely essential. 

John You’ve got to understand sometimes you’re not going to get the accurate answer. They may not want to tell you, or they just don’t open up to you. But ask them, oftentimes you’ll get that answer. I’ve said this many, many times. The reason why A players leave an organization. It’s usually attributable to one of three things one of three categories that you have to have in place. You have to have these things going. Otherwise, it’s just a matter of time. Eventually, you’re going to lose your players because of one of these three, your eight players need to be growing. They need to feel like they’re getting better and better and not stagnating and plateauing. If that happens too long, they’re now going to look for opportunities where they feel they can grow faster and more significantly. 

John Secondly, they need to feel like they are making an impact. They’re making a difference. They are doing something to the end the greatest degree that they can, not just a little bit if they feel like they can make a lot and they’re not making enough. They’re just doing a little bit and they’re going to want to go somewhere or do something different that’s going to allow them to make a bigger impact. 

John And lastly, that they feel valued, they feel important, they feel respected. They feel like they are a critical part of your team. So just pause for a moment and think about that. Write down who are the top people who would be the most catastrophic person to leave your organization? Who is the most important person in your organization? Just think about that right now. Hey, if this person left, wow, this would be devastating. OK, and ask yourself those three areas. Are they growing? Are they truly? Do they feel like they’re making the biggest impact they possibly can? And do they feel valued? And guess what? You don’t even need to guess at this. 

John Just ask them in your next one-on-one or schedule a separate meeting just to talk about this. Hey, there’s your super important to me. You’re important to this. Not just me personally, but this organization. Let me ask you, do you feel like you are growing and what could we do to help you grow more? Do you feel like you’re making an impact? What can we do to help you make even more feel like you’re making more of an impact? And lastly, do you feel like you are valued and as important as we know you are? Do you realize that? Do you feel that way? These are great questions to ask. 

John Leaders that communicate and ask questions are the ones that really tap into the hearts and the minds of their people. They’re the ones that really connect with people. It’s not just a guessing game, you know, it’s not this big mystery, this unsolved mystery. We can actually get the answers to the things that were kind of scratching our head wondering, we just need to ask and we need to ask sometimes. Often we need to ask in the right way. So here’s a couple of things that I’ve done with people. There are people that have resigned. I remember one of my A players in one of the organizations I ran resigned. He was recruited over to another firm. And what it stemmed from was simply the first one. He knew that, well, the first two, he knew he could grow faster or felt like he could grow faster and could make a larger impact that this other organization. I just didn’t have him on the right path. And granted, that really was an eye-opener for me because I didn’t realize that I hadn’t asked the right questions. But after many conversations after that, I had convinced him and talked about the vision of our organization, where we’re going and where I saw him fitting in. And I gave him an opportunity to really grow faster, and it proved to be a fantastic decision for both him and the organization and, of course, myself, because he was part of that organization and led massive change in that organization. 

John I’m not a fan at all of people responding to try to keep people with just more income for a couple of reasons. One is, you don’t want people that are just wanting to stay for income or getting lured away for income. And I’m not saying that’s always the case, but usually, that’s the case. If that’s the sole reason, then that to me, is not somebody who necessarily is looking at things from a long-term perspective, if they’re getting the lured. Now, granted, you know, if I’m making 100000 and somebody offers me 500000 somewhere else, OK, you’d probably be crazy not to take it. But if you’re leaving for another, you know, five percent, 10 percent, there’s more to it than that. It’s not just the income they’re leaving for other reasons, trust me. So the key thing is if I am paying that person more to stay and I’m literally paying them to stay to retain them. I’m also that person that was set on sending a message in the organization. People now have the feeling, OK, well, if I want to raise, I just threaten to leave or I go somewhere else or get a job and then see the counteroffer. And that can be a really downward spiral. That’s a slippery slope. I’ve seen organizations get trapped in that. And then you have people playing each other against one another and they realize what, how much leverage they have. It’s an ugly game. 

John So bottom line is, it’s those three things. They had somebody else that did it, that was leaving the organization because they felt that they were not liked, I guess, is the best word. They felt like they were not. They didn’t have enough relationships in the organization. They didn’t feel like they were part of a community and part of a team. And that’s tough, right? I mean, if somebody feels like they’re on an island and they’re not, they don’t have good relationships with people. You know, we’ve all been on teams where we just we love. Hopefully, you’ve been on a team where you love these people so much. You love coming to work every day. You love starting your day. You love calls with them. You just feel good. You’ve just part of all this winning team. That’s unbelievable. 

John If you’re not and you’re really feeling like, you know, you’re kind of the redheaded stepchild, you’re out in the middle of nowhere and nobody’s interacting with you and nobody’s enjoying you or liking you or involving you and things or whatever the case is. If you don’t have relationships in the organization, it’s kind of tough. Eventually, sometimes people do leave, and that might be tough to keep that person. If that’s the case, it might be a little too late for this person. It was actually I had ended up losing that person, so realize that that from the start, when you bring somebody into an organization, realize how important that part is. That community aspect, that feeling of being part of something bigger than just themselves is really key. And nowadays, in this virtual world, it’s not as easy as you put somebody in a, you know, cubicle and they’re surrounded by a bunch of people and you know, they’re going to interact and make friends and everything like that. You know, listen, you bring people into an organization now in this virtual world, you have got to be very deliberate with connecting them with people. I mean, literally what you could have gotten away with with the accidental immersion in the culture and everything like that just doesn’t happen now. You literally have to be very deliberate by connecting people and bringing this person into the circle, having them be part of the environment, the culture. 

John Otherwise, eventually, they’re going to be like this, you know, and on this branch, this lonely branch that’s going to, you know, wither away and die. So bottom line is that is critical for a leader. So think about those three things. Am I growing? Am I making as big of an impact as possible? And am I being valued or do I feel valued? And ask someone, Listen, if you could… I’ve asked people this a lot. If you could recreate your role and responsibility, you know our organization, you know the our vision, you see the opportunities, the challenges that we have. If you could literally redesign your role, your position, knowing what you love to do, knowing what your strengths are, knowing our situation and our circumstances and opportunities, what would you do? What would be different? Would it be exactly this or would you change your role? That’s an interesting question, right? Asking that question brings out great conversation. If nothing else, it helps me understand this person’s vision and their goals and what they want to do from a career standpoint. Now, sometimes we may not be able to accommodate that, or that doesn’t line up with what we have in the organization. 

John OK, but again, nothing bad comes of that only good because now I’ve connected with this person, I understand them a little bit more, but many times that person might come up with an idea. They say You know what? I see us having challenges with this, and I’m really good at that and I’d love to do it. Nobody’s asked me to do it, but I really love to do that. Great. Phenomenal. Now that might not have happened had you, not as the leader had that conversation. So just ask your people that question every once in a while. Hey, if you could redesign your role, is there something else that you would be doing either in addition to what you’re doing or totally different that you think would help you grow more? Make a bigger impact to the organization? And also have you feel like you’re an important part of where we’re going? Is there something that you’d be doing that would be different? The answer might be no. I’m doing exactly what I want to be doing, and I feel like those three things are awesome. You know that you’ve now got that person in the right spot, right? But they may have something in mind, and it may be the thing that they’re thinking about it. Maybe the thing they’re talking to another company about or another organization about it may be something out there that’s, you know, tempting them and that question can get it out. 

John So bottom line is the key to keeping people. You’re not going to do this all the time. And unfortunately, when they’ve resigned, oftentimes it’s too late. But there are some cases where you can convince that person to stay, but for the right reasons. It’s not just talking and saying the right things, it’s truly doing the right things. It’s understanding what it is that they’re looking for. And why are they looking at leave and why are they thinking about going somewhere else? What is there that they don’t see is here? Are they running from something or are they running to something? Big difference, right? Is there a problem here that’s causing them to really not like what they’re doing? Or is it just that world somewhere else? 

John You know, I’ve heard of somebody, a colleague that I worked with for many years who was doing exceptionally well and very, very successful leader senior leader at a company well-respected, great trajectory in his career. I mean, he was really headed- I mean, many, many people thought- to the CEO role of this organization, and he left very suddenly. And what it turned out to be was something that was just it was something he couldn’t turn down. It was such a great opportunity as much as what he was doing was great. This other opportunity had to do with the nonprofit world, and really, really truly making an impact that he really wanted to make that he wasn’t able to do in his other role. It was just when people understood it and heard it, it was like, OK, yeah, can’t blame him. 

John That makes a lot of sense, right? It lines up with his personal goals and much better way clear way and gets in. There wasn’t that he was running away from anything. He loved what he was doing. He was in a great role. But this was just something that provided things that he was not going to have in his current role. OK. You know that’s going to happen. 

John So, the bottom line is communicate, communicate, communicate, ask questions, ask questions, ask questions again. Those three things are critical to keeping your players. They’ve got to be growing. They’ve got to be making a big impact and they’ve got to feel valued. If you’ve got those three things, your likelihood of keeping and attracting more players goes up significantly. So hope you enjoyed this. Hope this was helpful as always. Like, subscribe, share. Of course, I’m interested in your ideas for future content and guests. Go down below, give a five-star review. We’ll see you next time. Thanks, everybody. 

John Thanks for joining us on today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader for suggestions or inquiries about having me at your next event or personal coaching. Reach me at John@johnlaurito.com. Thanks. Lead on. 

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