The very lifeblood of any business is the team of employees that work there. The major challenge to growth will always be your employee turnover rate. Inspiring your employees to stay loyal and to commit to your company is easier said than done. And, unfortunately, many small businesses are failing at this. They fail to hire the best they can find who will fit well with the culture and who bring skills and abilities you need to grow in the long run.
So, how can you get your best people to stay with you?
- You need to get close to everyone. You need to know why they actually come to work everyday. Take the time to actually ask them what they love about their job and why. Don’t leave such things to your HR people. You, as the owner, need to get to ground zero with all of your people. If people don’t love their job, they will just go through the motions and probably, eventually, leave you for someone else. Also, production will suffer and morale will be abysmal.
- Ask them to tell you about a particularly “good” day or experience that they have recently had. This will give you the insight with regard to how people view their job and the company. Then, you can plan ways to make those type of days happen more often for them. You know why you hired someone. At least you should know. Now, find out if they think that their skills and talents are being used to the fullest for the company or if they are being wasted and ignored. Forget your middle managers. Go straight to the source because your management may be a source of conflict with your employees. If their skills and abilities are not being used to their fullest, why not? It may not be your people. It may be your managers.
- Finally, do your people believe that what they do actually matters? Do they feel recognized for their contributions or are they feeling slighted? All of the recent data shows that, when people are appreciated, they will be less inclined to leave and their productivity will increase along with their loyalty. Even just saying, “Thanks for not calling in sick today,” will go along way with someone. Traveling hand in hand with recognition is a feeling of being respected. Again, forget the managers who may be sabotaging your employee stability. Go right to the source. If people feel that they, as people, and their work, is respected, retaining these workers for the long term is relatively assured.
-Written by Kevin Sawyer