How Do You Keep Them?
The common misconception is that all you have to do is pay well. Many studies have found that this is simply not the case… in fact, it generally comes in around third or fourth on the employee list of ‘job satisfaction’ priorities. Paying a fair and reasonable salary is expected but of high priority is the need to provide a great company culture. What that really means is provide a great company atmosphere. Make it a happy place to be and strive to create a culture where everyone gets along and helps fellow employees – cultivate real team spirit. Also have a company-wide rule – ‘always do the right thing by our clients’. Maintain a positive ethos at all levels of the business and recognise the value of good humour.
Doing as much as you can to create a great atmosphere at work goes a long way to retaining quality staff.
On the relationship building and work side of things, here are more suggestions to help develop the desired culture in your business:
Get to know your staff: Although you need to be mindful of privacy considerations, try to find out what drives them…. different people have different triggers and finding out what they are will help in your relationship.
Develop their skills: Training is a critical factor, as it not only provides benefits for your business but also identifies a career path for them and can help develop their aspirations.
Engage them in the business: If people feel connected with the values and direction of the business, they will be comfortable putting forward their views. By having the opportunity to ‘have a say’, they see that their work and they themselves are important to the business. It takes appreciated, valued employees to ensure long-term success for any business.
Provide feedback: Not just the traditional annual Performance Review and measuring of KPI’s… it’s an ongoing position of providing feedback; positive and appreciative feedback when it’s due and swift course correction in areas that need improvement.
Remember, times change, so don’t expect to keep good staff forever. It’s unlikely that you will be able to offer the flow of opportunities that the really good ones will be seeking. But they will contribute their energy and passion while working with you, provided you fulfill your side of the relationship.