Losing a productive team member costs you a lot of money.
Sometimes you pay to put out an advertisement on various sites, and then of course there’s the cost of your time to review resumes, answer emails, interview and train. And whatever portion of this work you delegate to your team is time they’re not working deals.
Paying attention to the loyalty of your workforce is an important part of your business, but it’s often overlooked. If you’re seeing a lot of turnover, don’t blame those brokers. Blame yourself.
Fortunately, fostering loyalty among your brokers is simpler than you might think. It’s a two-way street, but it starts at the top.
Leadership over management
The first step in your quest to build greater loyalty begins with leadership. True leaders don’t spend their time babysitting or micromanaging day-to-day minutiae. Instead, they set the tone and trust their people to follow. They’re confident in their success because they:
- Hire the right people for the job
- Train, support and provide a mentor for each broker
- Treat people with respect—and expect it in return
- Lead by example
- Take nothing and no one for granted
If you treat your brokers like children, that’s exactly the way they’ll behave. And because no one likes to be belittled, they’ll also resent you for it.
But empower those same people by giving them the resources and training they need at the outset, coaching them through difficult deals, and acknowledging their wins, and you’ll see those same brokers flourish. They’ll bring more clients and revenue along with them, and you’ll cultivate a loyalty that will translate into success for all.
Connecting the Me-to-We
While boosting loyalty through every interaction might seem like it would be a no-brainer for those whose job is building relationships every day, you’d be surprised at how many CRE firms miss the mark in connecting with their own brokers. Making an honest, human-to-human connection is the fastest way to develop trust and loyalty with anyone—your team members included.
To create an atmosphere where loyalty can thrive, you need to know what employees want most—which according to the Harvard Business Review “is no different than cultivating loyal customers.” And it all begins with the “Me-to-We Continuum.”
Regardless of the generation (Millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers were all studied) the Me-to-We-Continuum starts with a “me-first” orientation, meaning companies must satisfy employee wants and needs first. Then they can stretch themselves across this continuum, culminating in a “we” orientation by addressing the issues that are important to the employee’s community and the world at large.
As technology continues to diminish the divide between our work and personal lives, more and more people are looking for employers to focus on the things they care most about. The bottom line: meaning and connection, more than money, is what retains brokers and builds loyalty.
Achieving the outcomes in the continuum can be done through simple actions you can take each day.
- Trust: Deliver what you promised them, treat them fairly, and promote a positive, affirming atmosphere through fair compensation and benefits, as well as policies that ensure regular acknowledgement of achievements.
- Enrichment: Provide hands-on training and mentorship, as well as streamlined processes, to make it easy for them to give you their very best.
- Responsibility: Behave ethically and treat your brokers with respect, dignity and empathy. For this to work you have to be honest about your own shortcomings and when it comes to theirs, correct them without anger and do so in private. Don’t forget to catch them doing something right and when you do, shout it from the mountaintops.
- Community: Whether it’s in collaborating with peers or forming friendships during happy hour, employees are searching for more than the daily grind. Take an interest in your brokers’ lives and goals, and share your own. Encourage your team to connect with one another in more meaningful ways.
- Contribution: We all want to have a sense of pride in the work we do, and we want to feel we’re supporting something greater than ourselves. Show your brokers how by working together, you can both reach your respective goals. Focus on creating a sense of shared responsibility (the “we” part of the proposition) across the business, thereby engaging brokers in deeper sense of accomplishment.
Remember, you get what you give, so give your brokers your loyalty and your very best—and get theirs in return.