The old saying “good staff are hard to find” is not really true. There are great people willing to work now but do they want to work for you? If you want the best people to jostling for positions to come and work for you, you have to think about what it is you are offering and what makes your workplace so great! Do you offer great training, are there flexible hours and is there a clear career pathway for employees to see and strive for?
Companies need to build these elements into their wider brand strategies and communication activities to not only build profile as an “employer of choice” but keep the great people you have. Research shows that businesses that attract the best talent and retains them long term have a competitive edge. They perform better, provide better customer service and have better long-term financial outcomes.
So what can you do in practical terms? Start by thinking about your employees as more than a weekly cost and productivity scenario – the death knoll to any companies’ employee relations’ strategy. Your work force is your key asset that needs to be nurtured and developed. What problems do they face, are the working hours family friendly for example. A great family flexible work scheme is good PR fodder and means that you boost female participation in the workforce and reduce sick days for family care.
Not every job is interesting all the time but there are ways to make the workplace stimulating. People need to feel that the tasks they are preforming are worthy of their time and pay packet. Provide feedback on how efforts are boosting overall performance, show employees the benefits customers receive from their work and overall make everyone from the sweeper to the accounts payable clerk feel valuable and integral to the company. Make sure that employees have opportunities top challenge themselves, if an employee has been doing a job for long enough, it stands to reason they might have ideas about how processes can be improved. Most importantly let employees see the results of their efforts and challenges you might be surprised how after a small success they may be willing to contribute more.
Recognise productivity and excellence. Employees often describe the concept of ‘performance punishment’, when someone does their job so well they get given more of the same above the normal requirements. This sort of scenario is NOT a reward rather employees are left feeling they are picking up the slack of others with their efforts. More than the concept of ‘employee of the month’ initiatives these employees need to be rewarded in the everyday. In front of colleagues, in their pay packet and most importantly by working with the employee to inspire others, develop their career and find new roles for them that incorporate these talents.
Most importantly tell others about your experience, include it on your job listings, feature your staff in the local news and develop a web and social media presence that highlights all the companies good work.
She is an employee training and development expert who creates programs for businesses to employ and retain staff. Her work with Job Futures, businesses and government has helped find over 500,000 jobs for people since 1997 and offers over 250 different training courses.
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