“Employee engagement is an investment we make for the privilege of future proofing our organisation’s productivity and performance”. From the book People Glue
One of the biggest challenges in business today is retaining good people in business. It’s become an employee’s market where talented staff can demand a premium for their skills and are less tolerant of a workplace that doesn’t value them or invest time into them.
For the first time in history we have three generations in business at any one time. Soon to be four. This adds another layer of complexity to business that is already facing enormous challenge with keeping up and staying ahead of constant change. And it seems like hours have been shaved from our day.
So how on earth are business leaders meant to spend time to nurture and grow their team, ensure they are engaged and happy, identify the next tier leaders and develop their current leaders to take the business to the next level? There’s no easy answer but it’s absolutely critical.
We know that people are the power in any business. If you have a happy team, productivity levels, efficiency, culture, morale and engagement levels increase. Losing good people is an enormous cost to any business and a dent in the culture. Losing just one solid team member can also be the catalyst for further movement. Recruitment of new talent takes time and big dollars and a loss to productivity of around six months by the time you have a new team member on board and integrated.
To avoid this, the solution is to prioritise looking after your team and look after them well. Not simply by rewarding, very few people are actually incentivized by this, by understanding their goals and dreams and enabling them to be the best they can be while they are part of your business.
Business leaders often worry that they will invest time and money into people only for them to leave anyway. This is probably true and part of the ‘new business world we are in’. However, changing your thinking around this will benefit you and benefit your business significantly. It will also enable you to retain top talent longer by showing them what is possible for them and demonstrating that you believe in their capabilities and value them as part of the business. It will also ensure you have a succession plan in place for the business.
And on the flip side of this, you will want to position your business as an ‘employer of choice’ to attract strong talent to you when the need arises and even when there isn’t a need. Having people knock on your door wanting to work for your business because they’ve heard how great the culture and engagement is a great position to be in, and will save you on enormous recruitment costs.
So here’s a checklist for you to answer as a starting point to determine if you are in fact looking after your team:
- Do you know where your top talent is within your team?
- Do you have a strategy or program in place to develop your next tier leaders?
- Do all of your team members understand their career progression and understand what it will take to achieve the next level for them?
- Are you encouraging the generations to mentor each other, up and down, not letting ‘age’ get in the way of learning?
- Are your team members engaged in meaningful and robust conversations with their leaders at least every month and performance reviews at least every six months?
- Are you inviting your team to participate in discussion, influence the business with their skills and experiences and utilising the intelligence that each and every one of them has?
- Are you accepting poor behaviours right now?
- Do you have a succession plan in place?
- Do you know if your team is engaged and happy? How do you know?
- Does each of your team members have a mentor?
Lots of questions there but a solid checklist to start with for an issue that may need addressing.
Time with your team is equally as important as time with clients and time working on your strategy. They are one ones who will be executing your strategy and keeping your clients happy and referring to you. Their performance is a reflection of you and how you are engaging and understanding them.
Your people are your power in business.