Business

How to Hang Onto Your Staff

Having strong staff retention figures is one of the most important areas of any business. Your staff are the bread and butter of your company so investing in keeping them happy, productive and motivated within their roles is essential to keep your business efficient, lucrative and moving in the right direction.

By investing in our workforce and creating the right work environment we can learn how to better hold onto our staff and prevent people from getting itchy feet and want to jump ship to competitors.

Here are our top strategies specifically focused on ways to make sure you keep your employment retention rates high and ensure your workforce are happy and content within your company.

It all starts with the Hiring Process

Before you can even think about how to make sure your staff stay put you need to learn how to make sure you’re bringing the correct people in in the first place. The interview process in companies is an imperative part of making sure you are building a homogenous and conscientious work force. Not only are you looking for the best that you can find, but you’re also looking for the best placements and most importantly the best fit for your company.

It’s all very well being wowed by shining CV’s and seeing impressive brands under a candidate’s belt, but it’s more important to look for individuals who fit well into the culture of your company. When going through the hiring process think about the candidates who best reflect the values of your company. The people that seem to understand the direction your company is going in and the individuals who seem genuinely excited to be a part of the future growth and development of your firm.

Choosing the ‘shinier’ and more impressive candidates is always the temptation. But think about whether your company is going to be the right environment for them, or whether perhaps they will jump ship later on down the road if the partnership is lacking what they’re looking for in their career. You’re looking for a natural fit, that is going to lead to a mutually beneficial and fruitful working relationship.

Power to the People

Empowering your staff is one of the best ways you can make your team feel both challenged and valued. Allowing staff to feel like a pioneer in their field and an expert in their area will make them feel that they have autonomy in their role and the opportunity to make a difference in the company. Giving them ownership of their part of the company rather than nervously micro-managing them will make them feel like an important and integral part of the team, thus keeping them motivated.

Effective Training

Investing in internal, and if necessary, external training is key to ensuring your staff is on top of their game and allowing them to feel that the company supports their career development and skill set.

Structuring training programmes with individuals and collective teams will bring staff satisfaction due to the fact that they are being invested in and will keep your business fresh, responsive and competent.

Treat your Team

Regularly rewarding your staff is an important strategy to remind staff that they are in a supportive and satisfying work environment. This can be everything from promoting wellness in your company with daily fresh fruit or free yoga classes or gym tickets. Or maybe small business can take their teams out the last friday of the month for a slap-up pub lunch. Little perks like this can make a big difference to morale and the general atmosphere in your office.

Thinking a little bigger, team-building outings and activities are a great way to bring teams together to get to know each other, let their hair down and do something a little different. Organising team-building exercises such as an escape room activity or maybe an evenings cookery class or cocktail making workshop will gently nudge your teams to get to know each other better and build closer working relationships.

Encourage Communication

Encouraging employees to communicate with you is an important method in understanding internal perspective on the state of your business. However building an environment where staff feel safe to offer their honest opinion, the good the bad and the ugly, has to feel safe and confidential, for obvious reasons. Therefore creating an anonymous communication outlet where employees can communicate any manner of concerns, is the best way to go about this. Negative feedback must be viewed as constructive criticism and important food for thought when considering how to improve and develop your company.

Cross Your I’s and Dot your T’s

Making sure you’re doing everything properly and getting things right can be a complicated and time consuming road for any company. But it’s essential to make sure you’re creating a safe and protected environment for your staff. As they can soon disappear if they don’t feel like their wellbeing and interests are being properly looked after. Protecting your business and team, should anything go wrong, makes sure you and your staff are covered and looked after.

This can be a headache however, particularly for many small business owners that perhaps don’t have their own HR department. In cases where you’re unsure or a little lost in areas such as health and safety, legal areas or occupational health and wellbeing make sure you look around for a specialised firm to help you. Shop around for companies, such as Ellis Whittam, that specialise in the ‘in’s and out’s’ of companies to make sure everything is legally compliant and you and your staff are protected.

Offer Support Wherever Possible

 

Projecting an environment where employees can come to you and talk through anything from their day to day frustrations through to their career aspirations is key to creating a caring and understanding work culture. If staff feel like you are addressing their concerns, building on their strengths and pushing growth within their department they will feel both committed to your company and satisfied in their role.

Be Transparent

The term transparency can bring up feelings of nervousness as many business owners feel that part of being a boss is to protect the staff from anything that’s going wrong within a company. This couldn’t be further from the truth however as transparency offers the opportunity to be frank about any issues and therefore opens up strategies on how to improve them. Being transparent with your staff not only can increase employee loyalty it can also allow you to throw issues out to your team so you don’t need to deal with them on your own.

Resist the Urge to Micro-Manage

This is not always easy as it’s natural to want to know what everyone is up to and how everything’s going. But there are ways and means of doing this, and constantly looking over people’s shoulders is not the way to go about it. Going back to the first point, if you’ve hired bright and motivated individuals they shouldn’t need to be chased and hounded in order to do their jobs properly.

Teams that are micromanaged will eventually be afraid to take risks or try anything new within their role which is not in the interest of your business at all. You want to encourage staff to think innovatively and be bold in proposing courageous new strategies. Some will work, some won’t. But we all know that we often learn more from our mistakes that from our victories so it’s an important process for your business and for your employees.

Finding ways to increase employment retention is a continual process. Valuing staff and offering a supportive and challenging environment takes time. However when it’s done right it will be one of the most important things you can do for the strength and growth of your business.

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Business

Why All Your Best Employees Are Leaving You

Do you ever get that sinking feeling on your way to work? It’s that feeling you get when you never quite know when your next employee resignation letter is going to land on your desk. And it’s not a nice feeling to have: employee turnover is one of the highest costs your business faces.

The problem, though, is that many companies misdiagnose the problems. They think that there’s something wrong with their hiring process and for some reason, they’re attracting the wrong people. But more often than not, it’s a problem with the company itself. It’s not the hiring process that’s bad, it’s the culture that’s toxic.

Managers

Curt Coffman famously said in his book, First Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently, that people don’t actually leave their jobs, they leave their managers. When you think about it, this is kind of absurd. The whole purpose of having a manager is to facilitate work and to make sure that teams are organized. Workers should be better off with managers, not the precise opposite. But all too often in business, economic logic gives way to personalities, and those personalities wind up wreaking havoc.

It’s no surprise that managers who don’t communicate with their employees, don’t appreciate them and don’t look after them, suffer from high turnover rates. So instead of looking at your employees or your hiring practices, ask whether your managers could be doing a better job.

Lack Of Support

One of the reasons employers find themselves managing sick leave and employee absences with shocking regularity is because their employees have a lack of support. Ask yourself the following questions: have you sat down with each employee and discussed an action plan for their future? Have you had follow-ups to make sure that that action plan has been carried out? Do the people that work at your organization feel appreciated for all the hard work that they do?

Everyone wants to be appreciated, says Mary Kay Ash, the founder of her eponymous cosmetics brand. She says that if you appreciate someone, don’t keep it all to yourself: let them know how you feel. Her company incentivises its salesforce with glamorous events, gifts, and public recognition. Kay reminds her fellow entrepreneurs that people are a company’s greatest assets, and they should be treated as such.

Negative Competition

Some companies think that adding competition to the job is a good way to motivate people and drive up standards. But it turns out that most people aren’t wired up for heavy competition, and they don’t enjoy it. If a job is making a person feel ill from stress, then they are much more likely to leave.

Endless Reorganization

If you’re going to reorganize your company, do it once and be done with it. The problem with reorganization is that it creates uncertainty. With every shuffle, people are lost and the people that remain fear for their jobs. All this uncertainty means that the people in the firm start looking for more secure work elsewhere. Not good, if you’re trying to build a cohesive team.

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