How can you attract and retain employees?
With so many business owners calling out for employees, as we FINALLY start to move forward post-pandemic, the question on many business owners’ lips is how to attract new employees and retain existing ones.
In this blog, we aim to answer that question by providing 10 tips to help you keep your current employees feeling valued and make your company as attractive as possible to potential employees.
This blog is broken down into two parts, part one being all about retention and part two focusing on attraction, however, we would suggest reading both parts as there are many valuable insights to be gained from each.
Let’s begin by taking care of our existing staff members so they don’t start looking for greener pastures!
1. How well do you and your management team really know your employees?
Think of your business as a large extended family! If you want your employees to bring their A-Game to work each day, they need to feel like they are valued members of that family! While not everyone wants to share personal details in the workplace, asking open questions about their life outside of work is a vital component in building relationships to create a strong team.
Enquiring after their well-being, their life outside of work, interests, hobbies, etc. are great ways to start to build a connection. To cement that connection further, do your best to remember their answers, so you can continue the conversation at your next meeting. The fact that you have remembered what was discussed can go a long way in helping them to feel connected and valued.
2. Are you checking in?
How often does your management team check in with their direct reports, one-to-one?
How often do you, as the business owner, check in with your management team members one-to-one?
Ensuring employees can regularly discuss their current workflow, possible opportunities, or concerns, can really assist in employees feeling heard and their input valued.
Where possible an open door policy allows issues to be dealt with quickly and opportunities taken. However, it is important to set regular check-ins as well.
The number of check-ins really depends on the type of work being completed, for example twice weekly would be quite reasonable for an owner-to-manager check-in, whereas quarterly or six monthly may be preferable for a member of a large packing team. While the frequency is at your discretion, we would suggest completing a performance review annually at a minimum.
What topics should be discussed during a performance review?
- What do you think went well for the business (this quarter/In the last 6 months/this year)?
- What do you think we could do to improve our performance as a team?
- What motivates you?
- What do you think you personally did well (this quarter/In the last 6 months/this year)?
- What could you work on to improve your performance?
- Do you have any concerns?
- What career goals do you have in the short term/long term?
- Do you have any knowledge gaps you think we could work on to assist you to achieve those goals?
- What do you like best and least about your job?
- What can I do to make your job more enjoyable/productive?
3. Train your management team
Are the employees in management positions in your business, skilled in managing people as well as projects? If your management team members have direct reports, it is vital that they can manage people, as a good manager is integral to employee retention!
While people management is not everyone’s strong suit, it can be taught to those open to learning and is a fantastic skill to have on your resume. Equip your management team, and yourself, by providing adequate and ongoing people management training. By doing so you will enable them to retain employee engagement while harnessing their team to deliver work efficiently.
4. Do you provide opportunities for career progression?
While some members of your team may be happy to do what they do long-term, we expect you will find that many are working towards progressing their careers to the next level. Offering opportunities for these goals to be realised internally can be a huge factor in retention.
Consider providing training or allowing a select amount of time per week to be spent on furthering their skill set. In most cases, this will directly benefit the business, as your employee’s increased knowledge allows them to complete workplace tasks in a more efficient way.
5. Communication is key!
The heading here says it all. Communication is your most powerful tool in building a strong team.
Keep your team in the loop about successes and don’t shy away from informing them about failings too – it’s all about how you frame those failures! Keep your feedback constructive, communicating the learnings that arose from the failure. Your team will appreciate your honesty and will strive to achieve more!
Just like an extended family unit you will have a multitude of varying personalities within your workplace, including a few quirky ones no doubt. It’s important to remember that everyone communicates differently, some may be detail orientated while others will hate too much detail. It’s important to understand how individuals like to be communicated with and do your best to appeal to everyone.
Consider including a brief outline of key content at the beginning of your communication, tagged to further detail to cover all your bases. At the end of the day, the goal is simply to ensure they are updated and have understood the content.
Change can be scary for some people however the stress can be lessened by taking your employees on the change journey with you. Effective communication includes regular updates about the change taking place which is concise and clearly outline the path forward (including dates).
Consider requesting feedback on proposed business changes via an online survey. The findings may surprise you and could assist you to make informed decisions for the betterment of the business. Additionally, requesting your team's input shows them that you care about what they think. Just don’t forget to follow up with outcomes and further steps forward.
6. Money, money, money, monnnneyyyy! (Let me guess, you just sang that!)
Are you keeping up to date with industry salary standards? While you may feel like you are paying your employee fair remuneration the fact of the matter is that remuneration is one way that competing businesses can poach valuable employees. Most people won't jump ship for a few dollars, however, if you are already paying less than the industry standard you are giving your competitors the upper hand as they don’t have to offer too much more than the standard going rate for it to make a big difference to the employee.
Just as you want your business to deliver a great profit, an employee wants to be paid what they are worth! Remember the process of hiring new employees isn’t cheap and it can take a while to get your new worker trained up to work efficiently with your business processes.
7. Getting together to have a bit of fun!
With most average full-time employees spending 40 hours + a week in their workplace you’ll want to ensure it’s a fun and enjoyable environment for them to be in!
Allocating time for the team to catch up collectively is a great way to continue to strengthen connections and a team ethos. At RightWay we hold a weekly quiz that allows our team to bring out their competitive side and have a bit of fun each week. Additionally, our regional teams get together to go out for a bite to eat or do an activity every few months. These activities allow both the national and regional teams to learn more about each other and breaks down the walls that can form when a team does not socialize.
Attracting new employees
8. Do you offer a flexible working environment?
A flexible working environment is a huge draw card for workers, with many looking for flexibility and a better work-life balance over salary.
Flexibility can take many forms, including:
- Allowing workers to work part-time.
- Allowing workers to work from home.
- Allowing workers to utilise flexible work hours, instead of set hours per day.
- Allowing workers to bank hours for use later.
- Allowing workers to job share.
- Working a four-day week.
- Allowing workers to start earlier or finish later.
Some business owners worry that employees may take advantage of flexible working conditions, however, if you have set agreed deliverables and regular reviews this should not be a concern. Employees will appreciate your flexibility with the majority working harder to keep their job for that reason.
A good work-life balance is great for mental health! Allowing employees to balance their work and personal lives can really assist employees to be engaged and therefore more productive while at work. Additionally, a happy employee will also be your company's best advocate for attracting new employees.
When advertising a new position, include the specifics of your flexible workplace in job advertisement, for example,
At (company name) we offer flexitime which means you can bank hours in advance for later discretionary use – how would you use your flexitime?
9. It’s not always about the money when recruiting, but it sure does help!
Most people looking for new positions will be looking for, career progression, a more flexible working environment, or are looking to move away from a workplace that they are no longer enjoying, perhaps due to negative workplace relations or business processes. However, very few will look to take a pay cut to do so. Most employees will be wanting to at least retain their current remuneration package or look to increase it.
Ensure you research what the industry standard is for the role you wish to fill, and plan to pay that or more, depending on how valuable the role is to your business.
Seek allows you to select a remuneration range in the back end of job advertisements or you can specifically state the range within the advertisement to tighten up the application process.
Consider clarifying salary expectations during the earliest conversation or as part of the application process to ensure you are on the same page.
10. What is your company’s vision?
A company’s vision can play a significant part in the initial attraction of a potential employee to a role. Where possible people want to work for a company they can get behind and identify with. So it’s important to clearly articulate your company’s vision and mission in job advertisements. Not everyone will support your vision, and that's ok, where possible you want to employ people on the same wavelength as you to keep employee engagement high.
If you are looking for support with recruitment, performance management, or rewards and recognition we are here to help. We can connect you with our HR Support personnel or one of our friendly business advisors who can also assist you to optimise your business for success. Get in touch today.