One best articles on engagement I have seen for a long time written by Erica Westbury posted on Linkedin.
Throughout my recruitment career I’ve done over 5000 exit interviews.Yet when I read that Australians are the third most disengaged employees in the world, part of me is still shocked. Really? It’s said that it costs us a third of an employee’s salary in lost productivity. I suppose rather they leave you and move on than stay in your business and cost you; but will you be able to fully engage their replacement? Or will the cycle continue? Some companies are going to great lengths to be an employer of choice and for others I find, this is simply not on their radar. I’ve also read it costs anywhere between 50 – 200% of the annual salary to replace 1 staff member.
There is a global workforce shortage. By 2020 there will be 85 million unfilled jobs globally. This is going to affect us. In Australia there will be 1.4 million unfilled jobs by 2025. As a business owner that scares me. Our baby boomers are retiring and we just don’t have enough of the next generations to replace them. We need to think of creative ways to solve this problem. A couple of obvious untapped solutions are to make more of an effort to re-engage women back into the workforce and to create the right environment for our retirees to consider staying on. Both are potentially part time work forces but hey, wouldn’t you rather keep your Intellectual Property within the business 3 days a week than lose it completely and sometimes to your direct competitor if they are more open to a flexible workforce?
We must think differently about the way we manage staff. I think this is so important. We need a paradigm shift in our “Command and Control” management. We need to break this outdated industrial age pattern.
And where do we start? I’m smiling writing this because you and I both know it can’t be covered off in a blog. Leadership is such a behemoth subject that really is a life long journey (for me anyway).
Here’s a few quick tips (still smiling) but it’s important – induct your staff really, really well (If you don’t have an outstanding induction for ALL staff – call me).
Be authentic in your care of your staff – know that when you advertise for staff “people” apply. Think of your employment relationship with them as a career long journey – when they leave for greener pastures, they might just come back with more experience, innovation and even a little bit of gratitude.
Take the problem of money off the table – always pay AT LEAST market rate – don’t lose staff because you aren’t paying them what they are worth.
Communication – communicate, communicate, communicate – it used to be that it takes 7 times for a message to be delivered and completely understood and remembered. It’s now closer to 12 times because we are so bombarded with information that our brain is filtering so much information it takes longer for us to retain the information that’s important to us – and it’s not just your staff that need to hear important information 12 times, it’s you too. Monthly, get used to thinking about what’s happened in your business in the past 4 weeks – new deals, new clients, new product lines, staff retiring, promotions etc. – everything going on with your company and how many times and in how many mediums have you communicated it to your staff. Send out an email, group text, have a meeting, put it in your emails, tell your Line Managers to deliver, mention it in passing etc.
Companies with robust communication are outperforming the ROI of their competitors by 70%.
So, get yourself a GREAT induction for all staff. Staff are at their most vulnerable within their first 45 days of starting with you.
ALWAYS at the very least pay market rate – don’t think you’re being clever by being cheap.
Communicate regularly with your staff. Tell them what’s happening within your business and get to know them. Leaders are almost embarrassed to say they have staff meetings these days; if you’re finding they aren’t effective, get coached on it so they are; don’t cancel them thinking it’s the right thing to do and spend some informal time with your staff; I bet you enjoy getting to know them.