Don't make the mistake of assuming your job as a CIO doesn't include salesmanship, because it absolutely does. As a CIO or IT executive, you need to sell your team on a common vision, both boosting their productivity and securing your talent retention. Your team members need to know not only is their work important, but also that their individual skill sets and accomplishments are valued. If you can't provide the meaning behind your employees’ objectives, you won't be able to keep them for long.
Is Your Operations Team Happy at Home?
A work relationship is just that– a relationship. When there are problems with your employees, look to their home. Is your operations team happy where they are? It isn't the responsibility of sales, marketing, or human resources to keep your team members happy; it's yours. You need to create a place where your team members feel valued and utilized to the fullest extent. Not only do you need to provide adequate motivation and reward, but you also need to give them challenges that will lead to a sense of accomplishment and pride in their work.
The Value of Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement– meaningful praise, conscientious support– will motivate your employees to truly give you the best of their work. Negative reinforcement only inclines your team to avoid you (or worse– avoid work). Remember, you aren't working against your team. Your goal is to get them to work with you.
Are You Retaining Your Talent?
Don't make the mistake of assuming your talent can't get another job. Technicians are in high demand, and there's always something just around the corner for them. Once that happens, you're not only short an exceptional team member, but you also need to go through the entire hiring and training process again. People can (and will) find other jobs if they aren't "happy at home," and sometimes they'll even take a pay cut to do it. Taking action to retain talent before talent retention becomes a problem is not only economically ideal, but also important for company culture and environment.
Connecting With Your Team
A common complaint many team members have regarding their supervisors and partners is they are simply disconnected from the day-to-day reality of their positions. If you aren't knowledgeable about the work of your team, they won't feel as though you value them– and, conversely, they won't value your opinion because it’s not coming from what they perceive as an educated point of view. But if they see you actively engaged not only in the department but also in their work, they’ll trust you and the company to manage effectively and provide input as needed.
Stave off headhunters and high employee churn rates by selling your operations to your team members. Remain engaged and conscientious about your work, and your team will know you are connected to them and their department, and that you understand the challenges they face and the success they’ve achieved. By fostering an environment of positive reinforcement and common goals, you'll be able to bring together a team that is truly excited to work for you and your company.