Becoming an ‘Employer of Choice’
A common concern for business owners is ‘How can I afford to pay my employees well, so they don’t want or need to look elsewhere?’ The good news is becoming an employer of choice is more than just paying your staff well. There are many things you can do to retain your staff that don’t cost money. As an employee starting out in my dream job, I had the opportunity almost immediately to earn a great wage, yet I was miserable and would leave work frustrated and unhappy almost every night. My boss at the time would have said that I had everything I needed to be successful, yet my results and performance was dismal.
What was missing?
As a human being we all have needs, more important than the money we earn. It’s these needs that many business owners miss or don’t understand that cause employees to be miserable and begin seeking employment elsewhere.
Certainty is a basic human need that everyone has. You can see it in Maslows Hierarchy of needs as the most foundational need and that is the need for safety. In day to day life, most of us can be certain that we have a roof over our head and food to eat, but in the working environment, this is translated to ‘Am I safe in my environment? Do I know what is expected of me? Do I know how to be successful? Am I supported to achieve?’ As a business owner, we can offer the feeling of safety and certainty in may ways.
- Provide a very clear job description and Staff Hand book detailing our expectations
- Communicate what you mean and mean what you communicate. Be clear on your intention and intend always to help the individual to achieve success
- Hold meetings the same time each week, reviewing performance against KPI’s and offering recognition or opportunities to improve
Ensuring each individual feels they have a variety in their work tasks and environment is another need that can make or break the employees effectiveness and productivity.
- Ensure there is a variety of projects and tasks within their day to day role
- Where possible, offer flexibility in their working location and/or the hours they work
- Change the way you communicate with them so they can engage with you in multiple ways. eg. Email, notes, text message, face to face meeting locations, remote video conference meetings
We all need to feel a sense of importance. Whether it’s the most senior manager in your business or the person who comes to clean the workspace, we all want to know that we are unique and add value. Recognising and promoting their importance is essential to boosting confidence and therefore performance.
- Be clear on specific and measurable KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) and recognise them when they have exceeded them or are tracking well.
- For the right personality, acknowledge them in a public setting, either a team meeting, team newsletter or ask them to share how they are achieving with the rest of the team.
Every person needs to feel a sense of belonging. We all want to connect and know we have things in common with those around us. As business owners, if we are solely focussed on the output, it’s easy to forget that this is important to facilitate their performance.
- Start each meeting with ‘The best thing that happened this week’ question, where each person can share a moment that they loved in the past week
- Hold regular team get togethers. They don’t have to cost a lot of money, just something that helps them connect on a personal level.
- Even a uniform can make someone feel like they belong and are a part of something bigger
A measurement of success many people have is ‘how am I growing? How am I developing my skill and tracking against where I thought I’d be in life and career?’
- Be sure that each person in your business has a development plan, what’s the next thing they are going to learn? How are they becoming a better person/employee as a result.
- Review their performance on a regular basis, with the positive intention to help them grow. (Reviews should be a positive experience, not one to fear)
- Ask them what do they love and what interests them. You may just tap into something that would also be significantly valuable in your business, at the same time as helping them to grow and develop.
Finally, people need to feel that they are contributing to something bigger than themselves. How do they help your customers? What does your business do to improve the lives of the people you call your customers?
- Be clear on the purpose and vision of your business and communicate it often
- Identify how each person contributes to the overall solution your business provides and talk about that with them when ever you’re talking about their performance
- Become a socially conscious business and give them the opportunity within their employment to volunteer, help or contribute to people less fortunate.
I hear you…. “But I’m so busy in the business, there’s just no way I have the time to ensure each of these things are also offered within my business as well. That’s such a common and valid concern, yet, it’s what’s going to make the difference between having loyal and long term employees versus having to re-recruit and replace on a regular basis. Taking the time to ensure you do meet these needs, will save you time from recruiting and training in the future. Not to mention the cost to the business of inexperience, inefficiency and lack of knowledge. The best part is there are many systems and processes you can implement within your business to meet these needs easily and consistently.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can meet these needs specifically within your business, book a time with me and we’ll tailor make the solutions to fit your business circumstances. https://calendly.com/lisawiking/become-an-employer-of-choice-1