Staff (or Team as we often call them) are often a major resource for a business. They can be a complete pain or can be an absolute pleasure to have and which definitely help improve our business. I hear people complain about their staff (and sometimes justly so) but sometimes I wonder if they either employed the wrong person or just don’t treat them well.
Here is an interesting / scary fact. On average it costs 1.5 times a person’s salary to replace them. That’s profit out of your bottom line, not to mention all the upheaval and discourse. But, reality is that these days, with unemployment so low, just even finding a person (good or bad) is a challenge.
For your business to do well, you want to attract great staff and then when you do, hold onto them with both hands. I don’t mean figuratively; but value them, reward them and nurture them.
So here are my tips on how to attract and retain great staff:
How to Attract Good People
Many people these days are concerned about quality of life and work-life balance. Sure money factors in, of course, but money isn’t the only factor. Can the person regularly or occasionally work from home? Is there an expectation to work 14 hour days, 7 days a week?
Hire on attitude
I say that really you should base your decision on selection with 80% attitude and 20% skill. If you’re hiring a professional, then sure they need to have the qualifications and skills, but on the most part, skills can be taught, but attitude is very hard to un-teach and re-teach.
Do they actually want to work, be there or is a job to them simply a pay cheque? Do they have a care factor and will go above and beyond? Though of course, that shouldn’t be an expectation on your part, but it’s great to know that if something comes up, you can truly count on that person.
Demonstrate you’re a great boss / business
Do this now! People want to work for successful companies, as well as awesome bosses. If you are an exceptional leader, and your company is dynamic, strategic, successful or perhaps an industry leader, that’s the place people want to spend a good third of their day. Make your business something that others want to be part of. Look after the people you already have. Would one of your staff say to a potential new recruit “Yes! This is a great place to work” or would they more likely whisper “Run!”.
Consider your online profile/presence
How do you speak about your team online, or on your website? Do you value them publicly and in front of customers? It’s a small world and a bad boss will get a reputation, as will a bad company.
Know why people want to work with you
Tell people those reasons in the job advert. If you know that flexible working arrangements or the team development you offer your team is really valued and appreciated by them, then share that’s what you offer to all team when you’re recruiting. Perhaps offering shares in the company will be highly appealing; plus, it means they’ve ‘got some skin in the game’.
Pay above average
Want monkeys, then pay peanuts is all I’m going to say about that. If you don’t offer something reasonable, then already you’re being perceived in a negative light.
Always look to improve
Even if you’re not the perfect boss and you’ve not won ‘Boss of the Year’ just yet, are you open to trying? I have clients who sent themselves (and team) to me for Leadership Mentoring, because they know and recognise there is room for improvement. The better you get at being a boss, the better team you’re likely to attract. Prospective employees are not stupid; they can sense if you’re likely to be a bad boss.
On that point, don’t lie in a job interview or during your recruitment process. If it’s a super stressed job, then ‘busy’ and ‘challenging’ might be words you use (some people like that) – but don’t say ‘easy pace’ otherwise you’re not only attracting the wrong people, even the right person will feel they’ve been lied to.
There are all the traditional; online platforms like Seek or Career One, Agencies plus don’t forget social media platforms, like Facebook which have many employment groups. You can actively recruit there, using your website, as well as the more formal methods. Think outside the box.
How to Retain Great People
The first 3 months are critical with every new employee. This is the timing when most people quit, so you want to minimise that. Having a great induction and nurturing process will definitely help.
Encourage your team to help each other, support each other and operate as a team, not stand alone. This helps each person out when they need it, whilst keeping the company’s objectives in mind.
Show your team that you trust them and value their input. Rather than micro-managing them, instead give them responsibilities. Also give them the relevant resources (time to action, skills, support etc) and then allow them to grow and reach their full potential.
Pair a new team member with someone else experienced in the team. The ‘oldie’ can guide the ‘newbie’ how to do things and support them. Alternatively, at Stone Business Coaching we offer Leadership Mentoring packages which is very much customised to the needs of the client.
Appreciation & respect
Whilst people go to a job often needing a salary, there are many other reasons that they stay (or go) that is beyond the dollars. Being valued, appreciated and shown respect is definitely high on that list. Do you show thanks and regularly (but genuinely) say thanks?
Training, development & the opportunity to advance
These are also some very strong reasons why people seek out certain employers and stay with them. If they see the opportunity to advance, expand their skillset, learn new things and be a little challenged, then they will more likely stay. Liaise with your team to ascertain what they most need in respect of training, so it’s something that both of you will value and see a benefit to investing in. This will also benefit your business as technology advances, so do they. Particularly with high achievers, you really want to nurture their desire to do well and offer them those opportunities. Never hold back on training thinking that someone will just take that knowledge and go elsewhere. If you’re looking after them, they won’t be checking out other employment options.
Encourage input and initiative
Your staff want to know and feel that you’re being listened to and you’re really hearing their feedback. Hey, we all want to know we’re being listened to. Help them feel like part of the team, not just a worker. Remember the old expression that children should be seen but not heard? Well, that’s not what you should be expecting or wanting with your team.
Have great communication
This is important in every aspect of your business, whether it’s with prospects, customers or your team. Be great a communicating, letting them know what’s happening (versus being kept in the dark), have open lines of communication and be there for them to talk about should the need arise. If you have unfavourable tendencies, business coaches like myself can definitely help you with that.
We all need a balance in our lives. If we live only to work (and work only to live) then at some point in time we are either going to burn out or lose interest. People need a good balance of time, family, education, recreation and of course mental stimulation and work. Be that employer that appreciates everyone needs balance and encourages this within the workplace.
Rewarding your team (or incentivising them) can be really effective and extremely variable. It could be a bonus, or perhaps a pat on the back “atta boy”. There are, however, a whole swag of different ways to say thanks to your team. In fact, I’ve got a list of over 200 Reward Ideas on my website which gives my clients a whole swag of different ideas.