You’ve just made the perfect hire. They have exactly the right skills and attributes that your team needs and they’re bursting with enthusiasm.
They settle in well, quickly build relationships and start impressing key stakeholders. Then you put them to work on a particularly demanding project.
Your talented newcomer raises a few questions, but they only receive vague answers. They’re unsure if they’re doing things the right way, and begin to feel like their hard work is being overlooked. Feelings of confusion, stress and negativity start to creep through.
A few months go by, and they’re officially waiting. Not for your support, but for a better job opportunity to come along.
Talented staff are always in high demand, regardless of industry. If you don’t take active steps to keep your employees happy and engaged with your business it won’t be long before you lose them.
Hiring and retraining new staff costs time, money, and in tight-knit industries, your reputation.
If you’re serious about retaining talent we’d recommend creating an employee engagement strategy. To get you started, here are our essential tips for creating a happy, dedicated workforce.
1. Empower your staff to make their own decisions
Avoid the parent/child scenario at all costs. All of your staff should feel trusted and be openly encouraged to make their own decisions. Here are some simple ways to start empowering your staff from Forbes.
2. Give your staff regular, honest feedback
As a manager it is your responsibility to provide your staff with consistent, constructive and honest feedback.
Ensure you have reoccurring meetings with each staff member in your diary so they know when your next feedback discussion is coming. Feedback also goes both ways, so encourage them to share their thoughts on their manager(s) and the wider business too.
In the unfortunate event that you have to deliver negative feedback, here are our golden rules for handling the conversation professionally.
3. Celebrate successes and failures
Some of the most creative businesses celebrate individual failures as well as successes. Celebrating failures will prevent employees from feeling discouraged when faced with similar challenges in future and will ensure that innovation is never stifled. There’s nothing wrong with saying ‘we tried this, it didn’t work, but it would have been great’ then going back to the drawing board to create an improved approach.
4. Be consistent
To put it simply: do what you say you will do.
Communicate when you have delivered on your promises to demonstrate that your employees can rely on you and that you value consistency. If you can’t deliver what you have promised for whatever reason, explain in detail why and offer alternative solutions.
5. Give your employees some recognition
Everyone feels good when they receive positive recognition. Of course, there are plenty of ways to reward good work, but doing so publicly can boost morale and help nurture a more positive company culture.
Simply thanking an individual for their efforts during a meeting or sending a quick email around highlighting an achievement will show that you value your staff.
If you have a quarterly or monthly meeting, think about asking your employees to nominate someone who should be awarded with a small prize at the end.
6. Provide your staff with a flexible working environment
The modern workforce wants flexibility and if you don’t provide it top industry talent will flock elsewhere.
Employees with flexible work schedules are reported to be more productive and happy at work, as they’re able to manage their commitments outside of work more easily. Working remotely and working from home is becoming increasingly popular, and some even believe that traditional 9-5 roles will soon become defunct.
If a member of your team can’t make it in until 10am on Tuesdays or someone needs to work from home on Thursday afternoons, let them – it’ll be worth it in the long run!