One of the key issues faced by business today is recruiting the right person with the right skills and attitude. There is no magic bullet which achieves this, but there are things which every employer can and should be doing, some of which may not cost much – or anything at all – which could make a huge difference to their workforce and their productivity. The average length an employee spends in any one employment is only about four years and it can cost about a third of an employee’s salary to replace them. Happy and fulfilled employees are more productive, more creative and less likely to leave, or take time off sick.
If you follow these simple steps, you will be on your way to making your Business stand out in the marketplace, so that your employees (and prospective candidates) can see a difference between you and your competitors.
- We all need to feel valued and to have our efforts recognised. Think about how much it brightens your day if someone thanks you unexpectedly for something or writes an appreciative rating or note about something you have done. Just a simple – but genuinely heartfelt – “thank you” can go a long way. It doesn’t have to be any big award or specific mention in public – just a pause by someone’s work station to let them know you have noticed their input and appreciate it.
- We all need to feel that we belong to a tribe or are part of a team. Where employees are in a team, then it is a fairly straightforward task for the team manager or supervisor to manage and to engender a team spirit. Where a person works on their own, or is not a team player, then it is more difficult, but even more important that they are made to feel welcome by others in the workplace and that they are included. We all want to be seen and to feel appreciated.
- Being an important cog. People need to understand how what they do benefits them, the team and the Company mission. This needs to be reinforced regularly, so that they can see their contribution is valuable and valued.
- We all have views and opinions on everything and a different viewpoint can sometimes bring a whole new perspective. We need to feel that our opinion is sought and valued. This does not mean that every suggestion has to be acted on or agreed, but if someone has made the (sometimes difficult) effort to put their head above the parapet and make a suggestion about work, then that deserves to be carefully considered and a response given. If it is an impractical suggestion or there is a reason why it cannot be implemented, then the person who raised it deserves an explanation for that decision. Implementing a suggestion scheme can be really powerful, as long as all the suggestions are properly considered and responses are given.
- We all thrive on development, either of our skills, or personal development. It may not cost a huge amount to provide some training, and it does not need to be complex training. No matter how experienced someone is in their work, there is always something new to learn, or some new technique or improvement which can be taught. If a worker feels their employer has invested in their training, and they feel even slightly more qualified as a result, then they are more likely to want to remain with that employer. To quote Richard Branson “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough, so they don’t want to”.