Retain staff to stop them leaving in a tight labour market
How to retain your staff and stop them from leaving for a competitor in a tight labour market
Business owners are operating in one of the most complex economic situations ever faced by any cohort in history. We have stagflation (growing inflation combined with increasing interest rates), an unreliable/unpredictable supply chain, COVID and flu running rife and a labour force that is tight in supply and demanding. It ain’t easy at all!
To keep things running as best you can and not make them worse, you need to make sure that you retain your good staff and turn your ordinary team members into better ones.
So, let’s look at some practical things a business owner can do to keep their staff engaged and happy.
Brian Tracy always says the three things you need most are, “Clarity, clarity, clarity.” By providing your team with clarity of what’s expected, when and to what standard, you remove doubt, uncertainty and guess work. Make sure everyone is well briefed and understand what’s required;
- who’s responsible for what;
- what milestones need to be met and when;
- what reporting is required
and what to do if things start to go wrong.
By providing this level of clarity, you increase the team’s confidence – they all know what’s going on and are able to operate with certainty. With certainty comes security and with security comes a sense of wellbeing and with a sense of wellbeing comes
loyalty and with loyalty, people will stay.
Everyone expects their salaries/wages to grow over time. Things go up in price, they take on more commitments and there is always pressure from others for them to earn more. It is natural for people to want to convey that they are doing well and their status is on the rise. So, what should the employer do to manage these expectations and be able to handle paying their team more money as
the years go by? Well, it is the business owner’s responsibility to increase the value they are getting out of their team and to challenge their team members to deliver higher value, which will force them to pay higher wages.
How do you do this effectively?
Spend time training and developing your team to deliver to their full potential. Perform those annual reviews that so many are reluctant to do. Set performance targets and goals and then look at the knowledge and skills gaps that exist that will need to be overcome in order to hit them. Then create a plan on how you can work with each team member to help them achieve what you’ve agreed.
By helping your team grow in value, you help them to stretch and achieve more than they might have thought possible. By stretching them and at the same time investing in them, they will believe that they are being valued and appreciated which will prevent them from looking at external means for fulfilling their full potential and help them to want to stay.
A lot gets written about culture, but what does it mean in reality in a business context? Quite simply, it is the ‘How we do what we do,’ ‘Our way,’ if you like. If your way is to make it up as you go along or near enough is good enough, or I don’t care as long as we can invoice the client, well, you’re not going to last very long, as you’ll be paying for errors all day, every day and your team will get fed up and leave quick smart too. By taking a bit of pride in what you do, being respectful and demonstrating manners and thoughtfulness, you will get noticed for the right reasons. At the same time, being willing to nip poor behaviour in the bud and letting the team know that they should not only act in a certain way, but make sure their fellow team members act similarly, then you will create a culture that people will want to be part of. They will want to be part of this, because it is bigger than them and if they feel that way, they will feel that they are being fulfilled and will want to stay.
You don’t have to be alone
As was said earlier, this ain’t easy. This sort of stuff requires leadership and contrary to popular belief, leadership can be taught and developed – you don’t need to be a born leader. Some simple advice is to take time to get to know your team, what makes them tick, what motivates them, gets them excited. If you show a genuine interest in them, then why would they want to go elsewhere?
If you want to develop your leadership skills, discuss the content of this article or just business challenges in general, please feel free to reach out to Alluvion Business Coaching and request.