How to Treat Your Staff Well
Happy staff means happy customers
Most companies see customers as their number one priority. After all, your customers are going to be the ones who keep your company going and pay the bills. However, Sir Richard Branson bucks the trend by putting his EMPLOYEES first, above his customers. He’s always said that if your employees are happy and have all the tools they need to do their job, they’ll treat your customers well and thus they’ll be happy too. A simple concept indeed, but obviously a good strategy if Virgin’s success is anything to go by.
A famous pearl of wisdom is to “Train people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so they don’t want to”.
How can we do this?
Money isn’t everything
Here’s a good dinner party conversation-starter for you:
If you were in a job that paid triple your current salary, but you hated your boss, didn’t like your colleagues, and didn’t get any training, support or recognition, would you stay?
Additionally, would you work hard? Would you feel motivated? Or would you grin and bear it, dreaming of your juicy payslip at the month’s end?
Even if you said yes, you’d stay, we all know money isn’t everything. When an employee resigns, you counter-offer employees with a higher salary, and they decide to stay, 86% of people will still leave within 6 months. Often, it’s the non-monetary drawbacks that will contribute to employees leaving.
Of course, monetary benefits do play a part in staff happiness. Whether it’s bonuses, spa days, gifts, experiences, generous annual leave, or just a nice air-conditioned workplace with free parking, there are plenty of perks that work well (proven here at Appoint Group).
If you’re an employer / manager who is looking for a quick, easy way to increase staff retention, the bad news is that there’s no quick fix. It takes time, effort, and sometimes money, to do it right.
Investing in people
If you’re confident you’ve hired the right person, you need to view them as investment for the future. One of the best ways to do this is with TRAINING.
One of the main reasons we hear candidates leaving a job? Because they don’t receive enough training and/or support. When people are trained, they’re not thinking “Great, this training course will look attractive on my CV when I apply for all those jobs next week”. What they’re really thinking is “Great, now my job will be better as I can use this new skill”.
I don’t think you can over-train people.
There’s always something you (or someone in your team) can teach. Everyone has knowledge or skills others don’t have, and you don’t always have to pay an external trainer – why not run it internally? At Appoint Group, we run weekly training sessions for all staff, regardless of experience. Not everything is skills-based; we train our staff on a range of areas such as Personality Types, Time Management, the Bigger Picture etc.
Staff don’t leave bad jobs, they leave bad managers
Who’s the best manager you’ve ever had? Chances are, you’ll be thinking of someone who was friendly, fair, and most importantly, encouraged and supported you to do your best. I’d also bet that you WANTED to do well to make them proud.
We all like to think that we are a great manager. But we can always improve, and the best place to start is with supporting your team: Get to know your employees. Ask them what they’re up to at the weekend. Know what treats they’d appreciate (there’s no point giving a congratulatory bottle of champagne if they don’t drink).
Every Friday afternoon, we at Appoint Group get together to celebrate our achievements for the week. Once a month, we’ll open the drinks fridge and give out awards for Employee of the Month and the Value Representative of the Month (one of our Values is selected at the start of every month).
It’s also worth remembering that you can praise your staff for the little things that might go unnoticed. If they’ve had a great day or done a task well, it doesn’t cost a penny to acknowledge it: even a quick email can be effective.
What if they DO leave?
“What if I train them and they leave?” … “What if you don’t and they stay?”
You’ve put in extra time, effort, and money investing in your staff. If they STILL leave… well, imagine the opposite and you’ll realise the importance of this investment.
Eve Downing, Operations Manager – Appoint Group