Hiring a team is the first step toward growing your business beyond your own capabilities but how do you keep them happy after the honeymoon period? In this special Valentine’s Day report we’ve considered how you can reduce expensive turnover make your team feel the love!
1. Offer unique perks based on what they love
This is an area that doesn’t have to cost the earth but can make a huge difference. It might be flexible work arrangements, casual Fridays, social catch ups, office games, a library of personal development books to borrow from, unlimited annual leave, a workplace coaching program, a meditation space or even time to work on the projects that they most enjoy. The list is truly endless and only you can decide what will work for your business and your team, but make it a priority to figure out what will have the greatest impact.
Start with the personal values of your team members and go from there. Remember, people are only ever loyal to the fulfilment of their own highest values, so make sure you offer what they value, even if you have to do it on a budget.
2. Be upfront
Tell people when they haven’t met your expectations. Be kind, but don’t save things up for a performance review. Check in with them regularly. I once had a manager who called me once in 8 months. You can imagine how it would have felt to be sitting in a remote office with barely any contact for so long.
Establish good rapport with your team and communicate frequently. Don’t make it difficult to talk to you. A review I read recently on Glassdoor spoke of a manager who arrived at midday and shut the door to her office until 6pm when she would emerge and make herself available, expecting the staff to hold onto their queries until they should have already left for the day.
Develop habits around giving regular, constructive feedback. Even better, take a coaching approach to these conversations and remember that leading staff is like raising children – we have to want the best for them and love them enough to help them grow into the people they are here to be.
3. Be thankful
This sounds simple but you might be surprised to find people in your business who feel un- or under-appreciated. You might think an annual pay rise should be enough but stats show that money is not the language of love after all. People expect financial compensation of course, but it’s not what keeps them in a job. Beyond a certain point (around $75k) money no longer has a great influence on happiness, other factors take over. Everyone wants to feel appreciated and uncovering how to do that for each of your team members can pay huge dividends.
If you done Extended DISC with your team, use the results to inform your expressions of gratitude. High D’s will love to be appreciated for their results and feel significant in front of their peers. A high S on the other hand may balk at public thanks, so perhaps don’t have them stand up in front of a crowd at your annual meeting. Knowing what your staff value and what they bring to the team will help to ensure that they feel loved enough to stick around. (If you haven’t done Extended DISC with your team, get on it!)
Some other suggestions:
- Thank your staff daily (or whenever you see them) you’d be surprised how good it feels to be acknowledged
- Have a budget and perhaps some prepared rewards for staff who have gone above and beyond so they can be immediately recognised
- Consider whether an employee of the month program is right for you
4. Create an environment where people want to be
Somewhere that it’s fun but productive; where mistakes are acceptable and even encouraged; where people feel safe. The more of the Six Core Needs (certainty, variety, connection, significance, contribution and growth) you can fulfil, the more likely your staff will stay with you. In fact, if you can meet all six needs in a resourceful way, nobody will ever want to leave! Make a point in formal reviews to look at how you might create ideal circumstances for an individuals needs to be met (assuming they’re someone you want to keep around!).
If you get feedback about how people are feeling, take it seriously. Don’t brush it off as someone being dramatic or overly PC, ask around and get a feel for whether changes are necessary. The number one piece of advice given by ex-employees in Glassdoor reviews is “listen to your staff”. They will almost always tell you what is wrong, unless they are scared of you… which leads to point 5.
5. Become a better you.
The more self-awareness, social intelligence and behavioural flexibility you have the better you will be at leading a team. Set the example you want your team to follow. Not only will this have huge benefits in your work life, but in your personal life too. There are many ways to set yourself up to become a better leader:
- Get a coach
- Take a personal development course
- Read leadership books regularly
- Don’t assume you know best because you’re in charge
- Strive to become what Jim Collins refers to as a Level 5 Leader – someone who can successfully pair a humble disposition with a fierce resolve. For most of us this will take significant, conscious effort over the long term, but the sooner you start the sooner you’ll see results!
Ultimately, it’s on you to realise and appreciate that staff turnover is a huge cost. Unless you have reason to believe people will take advantage, loosen the grip. Build robust systems that empower your staff to make decisions and do their jobs without leaving them reliant on one consistently unavailable person to get their work done. Inefficient management costs real money, as does replacing employees when they get sick of the incompetence and leave.
Our coaching programs for business owners are designed to help you become a better leader and grow you as your business grows with focused time and the right conversations. If you’re ready for more it might be just what you need!
Until next time,
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