Quit Telling Me What To Do – How To Attract & Retain Key Talent – Patty Tedesco ( Leadership Tract) Learn to lead more effectively when you hear what your employees are really trying to tell you: Quit Telling Me What to Do! Patty Tedesco wrote the book (literally) on how to attract and retain key talent by being the boss that people actually like working for. “It’s all about creating an environment where people want to come to work,” she said. How is that done? Engaging your workforce by promoting transparency, asking questions and giving meaningful answers, and treating employees like the people that they are—hearts and minds, not just a set of hands—and not drones meant to clock in at 9 and out at 5. “This is not your father’s workplace,” she said. People need to experience compassion, understanding and even a little humor in the workplace. Telling people what to do completely negates that idea of engagement. Think of it the same way as telling a child to clean his room. Is nagging him going to make that room clean any faster, or is he going to storm off and play NintendoDS? The more you tell people what to do, they more push-back you are bound to receive. And those who do listen still fail to exemplify ideal characteristics of an engaged employee. Compliance is the opposite of engagement. These employees are simply doing what they are told, acting as drones, and have no investment in the work they are doing. Instead of being self-motivated high producers, these employees will soon become dead wood. Tedesco’s famous line about dead wood in the workplace is, “Did you hire them that way, or did you kill them?” Employees in an engaged workplace, where bosses are not constantly telling them what to do, will take personal responsibility for their actions. The easiest way to disengage your staff is to make them feel as though their thoughts and opinions aren’t being heard. It’s not necessary to implement every idea that’s ever been brought up at a staff meeting—just to ensure that people are being listened to and encouraged to take ownership of their work and their organizations. Relationships in the workplace are much like personal relationships elsewhere—they cannot function without trust. That trust comes from openness, acceptance, reliability and congruence—qualities that everyone needs to ensure a transparent and efficient workplace. Every employer wants to find employees he can trust to be hard-working, self-motivated, highly efficient and crucial to the dynamic of the team. In order to not only attract those people but also to retain them, however, every employer must become the employer of choice by promoting trust, transparency, organizational health, emotional intelligence and compassion in the workplace. Only this will provide each organization with a full-engaged workforce. After all is said and done, people don’t leave companies; they leave bosses. Learn to be the boss nobody ever wants to leave!