Whether you are bringing on a new hire or coaching an existing employee, we need to be aware that people are different and they all have somewhat unique wants, desires and talents. For example, some people are used to a clean desk while others work well in their seemingly disorganized work area. Interestingly enough both get their work done to the satisfaction of their supervisors. For this reason, managers need to have a keen sense on what makes their people tick, what motivates them and what their future holds.
We can’t be all things to everyone, but here are seven ideas for retaining your team, attracting new talent and maximizing your employee’s output:
1) Hiring the right people
A company filled with ‘A’ players will attract other ‘A’ players. People want to work for a winning team. Simple. A company filled with only ‘B’ and ‘C’ players just doesn’t have that attraction factor. According to Gallup, their poll found that companies mis-hire 75% of the time. The first step in the process should be to improve your hiring and recruiting process.
2) Know your employees
By understanding and acting on their unique personalities and traits, you will be able to bring the best out of your team. Are they motivated by money, status, free-time or flexibility? What about learning styles? Some like to learn by doing while others dive in and others study up. Know the difference.
3) Focus on employee strengths
During employee evaluations, we try and come up with strengths along with weaknesses. Most managers have a grocery list of weaknesses but unfortunately don’t pay enough attention to the strengths. Identifying the talents of your team is critical. The weaker ones need to be nurtured, and you have to decide how much effort will be needed if it is to pay off. No one becomes an expert in an area of weakness. Draw out and build on the talents of all of your employees. As for your top talent, find out where they excel. Build on those talents by consistently challenging them and providing them opportunities to gain further knowledge and experience.
4) Create a convincing message
People want to believe that their work is important. They also want to know that they are somehow tied to the products their company makes or sells. But it needs to be believable. How about this scenario: Your Company’s existing tag line: ‘We are the largest widget manufacturer in the U.S.’. Instead of that tired adage, how about ‘Our widgets are creating a greener landscape for the future’. The message that delivers promise and hope is more powerful than being #1.
5) Give them room to succeed
Managers set specific goals for their employees and provide the roadmap to get there. However, this only stifles productivity. This leaves very little room for creativity and those elusive breakthrough performances. You can create challenging projects and goals but let them figure out how to achieve the end result. You may be surprised at the level of imagination that your team has. Give them the tools but also give them the freedom to use them.
6) A pat on the back
Is it really that tough to show appreciation for a job well-done? Amazingly some have a serious problem with this. For those that don’t, they create a fresh and energized atmosphere. Try it a few times. You may find your team revitalized. Remember that it’s got to be genuine, though. You’ll be amazed at the results. You might even garner a side benefit of more respect from your team.
7) A strong management team
When you think about it, most employees don’t leave their companies, they leave their managers. All of the ideas above mean nothing if you don’t have the right kind of manager working for you. And all of the great benefits and comp packages that you offer your employees don’t mean anything if your managers can’t implement the above. Can they competently carry out a plan to develop, manage and reward their employees? Missing any one these pieces can bring you only employee turnover, poor employee performance and an even worse reputation. Who wants to join a sloppy team? Those ‘A’ players? Perhaps your biggest and most critical investment in employee retention and attraction should be in the choice and nurturing of great managers.
The above steps will actually do a great deal more than help you keep your best employees. We know that quality, customer service and profitability come from happy and productive employees.