Your staff are good and your clients like them. Recruiting new staff is expensive. So how can you make sure you keep people?
- Pay is not the be-all and end-all, but people need to feel they’re being treated fairly
- Trust people: Good people will conform to your perception of them
- Sweat the small stuff: biscuits matter
It’s not all about pay, but you have to pay fair. People don’t work for love, particularly if they can get a 50% payrise down the road. Like it or not, pay has become part of the way people judge whether they are being valued by a company.
Autonomy is important: people need ownership of what they’re doing. The first and second of Maslow’s famous ‘Hierachy of Needs’ are self-actualisation – achieving one’s full potential – and esteem needs – prestige and a feeling of accomplishment. Neither of these can be achieved with someone hovering over you, telling you how you could do it better.
"Make sure employees know what you expect of them and give honest feedback. "
People tend to respond to your vision of them, so treat them like adults. The truth is, if people are lazy and work-shy, they’re going to be rubbish in the office or at home, so you might as well give people who want to work from home (occasionally) the benefit of the doubt. If you don’t trust your staff, it shows. Put the right framework in place, and their output should be obvious.
Make sure employees know what you expect of them and give honest feedback. Nobody thrives in a situation where roles and responsibilities are unclear. The same is true for the business vision. If you are clear about the values of the business and what you want to achieve, it makes it easier for your staff to fulfil your goals.
Sweat the little things: Yes, having biscuits and tea on tap costs money, but not that much money. And do you really want to be seen as the sort of business that scrimps on that stuff? Perks – from gym membership to dry-cleaning – aren’t likely to make people work harder, but it does make it easier to come to work.
Be flexible: The ‘sweat your assets’ model may have worked for a certain era, but it is wildly unsuitable for modern life. People with responsibilities of any kind will love you for giving them flexibility. You are buying a great big basketful of loyalty.
Next week, we tackle a thornier issue – how to get rid of people you don’t want….