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A friend and colleague of mine, Tammy Kohl, who is president of Resource Associates Corp. in Reading, PA, spoke recently at a gathering of business coaches in San Antonio on the subject of new team leaders. These are people who often have been the "super worker" on the team and who have been promoted to the role of manager, supervisor, or team leader. Tammy discussed that almost all of these promotions or transitions are "hot landings", where the new leader needs to hit the ground running to have a chance at succeeding.  However,

research has shown that 40% of new leaders going into starting roles fail in their first 18 months. YES – 40%. 40% is too high of a number to suggest that poor hiring and undeserved promotions are the sole cause of the challenge. Tammy believes, and I agree, that it is more likely a development and transition challenge! If the buddy-to-boss transition doesn’t work, one of the biggest liabilities to the company or organization is employee turnover. Turnover is often the result of how employees are treated every day, and also because they feel they weren’t appreciated for their contributions.

The cost of turnover varies by position and industry and includes variables such as:

  • Direct costs due to person leaving
  • Recruitment costs
  • Training costs
  • Lost productivity costs
  • New hire costs
  • Lost sales

And although cost estimates of employee turnover vary:

» 1/3 of employee’s annual salary (U.S. Department of Labor)
» 6 to 18 month’s salary of professional employee (Hay Group)
» 25 to 200% of hire’s annual salary (American Management Association)

…the costs are almost always significant.

And there exist other business challenges and impacts due to employee turnover:

– Productivity
– Ability to accomplish specific departmental, division, or business unit goals
– Product or service quality
– Morale
– Ability to develop people for departmental/organizational growth
– Communication issues
– Process bottlenecks; Duplication of effort
– Misalignment; Lack of coordinated efforts
– Time management problems; Eroding deadlines

Question: What would it be like if your organization had only the right number and kinds of meetings, where nobody was trying to cover their backside, everyone was accountable, performance evaluations were related directly to the achievement of results, communication problems were kept to a minimum, poor performers were transferred or terminated, all effort was aligned and coordinated, personality conflicts and power struggles were nearly nonexistent, employees were perpetually motivated, there were no time management problems, all thinking was proactive rather than reactive, can’t do attitudes disappeared, sales were consistently high, teams were productive and effective, staff turnover was low, quality standards were regularly achieved, and people weren’t afraid to take risks and make decisions?

If this does not describe your company or organization currently, what can you do to make it happen?

And what areas above do Team Leaders impact?  ALL of them. Effective Team Leaders need to know many things, such as:

– Understanding People
– Coaching
– Communications
– Power and Influence
– Dealing with High Performers
– Dealing with Hard Lessons

– Understanding their Influence Style
– Coping with Stress
– Making the System Work
– Methodology to Implement Change
– Creativity
– Action Plan
– Organizational Priorities
– Budget/Financial Goals

– Understanding and Managing Risk

– Fundamentals of Motivation

– Bad Attitudes

– Decision Making and Problem Solving

– Delegating

– Hiring and Firing

– Time Management

– Discipline

– Goal Setting

Understandably, new leaders can: Shape the team CULTURE; ADJUST to the inevitable surprises; AVOID the most common mistakes; and BUILD loyalty, trust, and commitment. An effective team leader can make a huge difference in your organization.

If you’d like to learn more about A NEW LEADER’S 100 DAY ACTION PLAN to enable their success, just let me know.