The staff members that will make the biggest difference to your business are talented, ambitious and hard-working.
But good talent is difficult to find and even harder to keep. Team night outs, free food and cash incentives are nice, but according to The 2018 Global Talent Trends study by Mercer, they’re not number one priority for the best staff that will make the biggest difference to the growth of your business.
Instead, good employees want a sense of purpose, flexibility to work in a way that suits them, and the opportunity to continuously learn new skills in their current role.
These are our top tips on how to incorporate these values into your business to ensure you attract — and retain —
1. Don’t be afraid of change
If you look back even just 10 years ago, flexible working was something only a lucky few employees enjoyed. In 2017, 58% if workers were offered this as a perk and many now list it as a necessity when they look for new jobs. Likewise, unlimited holidays used to seem like a distant dream, but more and more businesses are adopting this perk.
Companies that attract the best people are the ones that aren’t afraid to try new things. They adopt perks and benefits that will help their staff have a better work-life balance and help reduce stress. Even a change of office decor can have a big effect on employee happiness — comfortable surroundings and a mix of both work and leisure spaces are incredibly important for employee happiness.
Don’t be afraid to trial different things to see what works. If you hire the right people, you’ll be able to trust them not to take advantage of any perks.
2. Create a community that employees are proud to be part of
Thanks to our 24-hour consumer culture and the digital revolution, it’s becoming rarer for someone to simply do their job 9 to 5 and then head home and forget about work. People’s careers are slowly becoming more a part of their life, so it’s the employer’s job to ensure this doesn’t lead to burnout.
The best way to do this is to create a community. Your business should be a place where people feel respected, cared about and recognised. When people feel like they belong and feel more connected to their colleagues and their job, the not only contribute more and perform better, but their mental health improves.
To achieve this, you need to create a culture of support. Offer employees the chance to relax and wind down, and don’t expect them to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Encourage people to speak up if they feel under pressure, upset, or bored of their work.
3. Continually empower your employees
Once you have created the right community atmosphere, it’s important that your staff members feel empowered to do their job well and help grow the company.
You can do this by communicating a clear vision and ensuring everyone is working towards the same goal. Getting to know your employees to understand their skills, talents, and their place in the shared vision will help to ensure everyone feels like they are working towards something.
Another great way to do this is to delegate more than just work. Ask one of your staff members to run an important meeting, give a department update or speak to a client to help develop their skills and make them feel part of something.
4. Offer tangible progression
Many businesses offer annual reviews or development plans, but unless the plans have tangible goals and incentives, they can feel meaningless.
Help your staff identify their career options by examining their interests, skills and values. Then, help them create goals and priorities they can really work towards achieving and help them see a future with the business.
5. Shout about what you offer
You can cultivate a community, offer tangible development and be brave enough to take risks, but if you don’t shout about your progress, potential employees may still believe that the grass is greener elsewhere.
Use social media to highlight anything you feel is an important step in the right direction and add your benefits to any job descriptions when you’re looking for new staff. Encourage your employees to advocate for your business when they can — word of mouth is an important tool that should not be underestimated.
Attracting and retaining the right talent is about a lot more than some shallow perks or incentives. Try and foster a feeling of community, offer progression, try new things and make sure people know about what you’re doing, and you should see the best people be attracted to your business.