As the war on talent rages ever more fiercely, business owners know more than most about the challenges of finding and hiring key talent needed to deliver excellent customer service and grow the business. The start of a New Year is a time when usually stable team members, not only think about rebooting their fitness routine or planning their summer getaways but, statistically, are also more likely to be thinking about, if not actively looking for a new job. So, what are you doing to mitigate the risk of an unwanted flight of your most valuable asset, your team?
Here’s three tips to heading off those unwanted conversations with your friendly recruitment agency:
1. Get your finger on the pulse
Nobody likes unwanted surprises, we’ve all experienced that gut churning sinking feeling when a star player drops the bombshell resignation letter you had no idea it was coming. Then on reflection you start to recognise there where warning signs you didn’t pick up on:
- Seemingly less willing to commit to long-term projects
- Performance and productivity dropping off
- Quieter and less interactive with colleagues and managers than normal
More often than not subtle signals will be flashing away, you need to try and spot them before it’s too late.
The key question is, are you investing enough time in really understanding the mood of your team and demonstrating you have an active interest in their progression within the business? You might have an effective performance review process, which is great, but now might be a good time to have a coffee and check-in with everyone to find out how they’re feel about their role, what ideas they have for 2020 and what, if any, changes they would suggest to make work an even better place to be.
2. Provide learning and development opportunities
Continuous development and lifelong learning not only supports personal growth and wellbeing but, well targeted and managed, will provide huge benefits to your business and customers.
There is no more powerful indication you care about your team and value their contribution than investing in their training and personal development. This shouldn’t be difficult, overly expensive or complicated to manage.
The key is to align training with business needs and objectives creating a win win and a real return on the investment.
Keep it focused, keep it simple but do something, it will transform team engagement and your company culture.
3. Continuously engage your team in the business
It’s no surprise team members who feel valued as an integral part of the business stay with the business longer. Getting your team engaged in improving ways of working and addressing problems is not only a smart way of continuous improvement but also engenders a real sense of belonging and shared responsibility for making work a better place to be. Asking your team for their ideas and suggestions should be a regular way of working with suggestions taken seriously and acted upon.
A simple model you can use with any team is START, STOP & CONTINUE.
First ask the team to think about and share ideas on things they think could be started that would improve the business (START).
Then ask for ideas on what they think should be stopped because they are of no value or slow the business down (STOP).
Finally ask the team to share their thoughts on the things the business should continue doing because they recognise these things make the business a better place to work (CONTINUE).
Keep it simple, keep it tangible and most importantly take action, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the results.
Thanks to David Woods-Hill for being our February guest blogger. David is the Co Founder and Business & Executive Coach at Business Coach Network. Find out more about him and his business here.