Every business has its strengths and weaknesses and the same can be said about the people it employs and the work that they perform. There will always be the office high-flyer, destined to be promoted rapidly through the ranks, the one that shines above everyone else and the one you wish all your other staff could match their unrivalled skill sets. If you could have a full team of stars just like them you’d be in business heaven, and your job would be so much easier.
So if your stars are really that good, and hold such great potential, what’s to stop them taking their pick of all the alternate positions in your marketplace and flying the nest?
Don’t give them a chance to think there’s a better place to work
The only way to do that is making them believe they’re already in the best job possible for them. Here’s a handful of ways you can get them to believe this.
Make them believe they belong with you
People love to feel important and that they have value. So give them it. Make them feel like they’re an important and integral part of your business and without them the place just wouldn’t run the same. Praise them, thank them for their efforts and their forward thinking methods, for their hard work, and for the returns on their input into the business.
If they feel like they belong with you and that they are valued and appreciated then they’re much less likely to go and work somewhere where they think they might not get the same level of attention and recognition.
Open up those communication channels
Any great relationship is based on good, clear communication. Those between you and your workers should be no different.
Be open with your team in exactly how the business operates even if you feel it doesn’t have any relevance to their roles. By opening up how you share information they’ll see you’re not just operating on a need to know basis but you’re involving them in the business as a whole; in turn they’ll feel like they’re part of something bigger, not just working out a single role.
Give them more responsibility
It might feel like taking a risk stretching your key players but any new challenges will be met with a feeling of trust and responsibility.
They’ll also be immersed in something new and different in their daily role, adding interest and possible excitement. Anything you can do to prevent a dull routine or a drag in their nine-to-five will alleviate boredom and any nagging thoughts that life might be better elsewhere should disappear.
Any new skills they develop will become tools you can use in the business too. These star players could be able to step up into other team members’ roles in absences or emergencies. In other words, their star qualities will grow as they do.
Don’t play them like it’s a game. Treat your staff like humans and they’ll respond like humans.
Try and get to know them better. Find out about their hopes and aspirations in business and outside of the office. You could try and find ways to help your staff reach these goals and gain their trust, respect and loyalty in the process. Loyalty is everything in keeping hold of your best staff after all.
Appraise them and ask for their feedback
It’s all well and good telling your staff what you expect from them but a good relationship should work both ways. Find out where you did well in their eyes, what you did that helped them and gave them a desire to do better. You can work on those elements to keep a constant happy team on side.
With an open and trusting dialogue you should be able to comfortably ask where you’ve been getting things wrong too. It could be an opportunity to explain why those elements of the business have to be as they are or equally create an opportunity to change them into means and methods where everyone is happier about a resolved situation.
Create an environment they don’t want to leave
If you give them the freedom to express themselves by personalising their workspace, having the gizmos or gadgets that present a feeling that this is ‘their space’ then it will become ‘their space’. If they feel so comfortable in this place where they come to work each day then once again, why would they want to be anywhere else?
Is your business environment one you’d want to work in if it wasn’t your business? Obviously the design of your interiors has to compliment your company brand but you can still make it a truly desirable place to be within those constraints. If you think you can get away with it install a pool or a table-tennis table. Create fabulous staff communal and break areas; get a proper coffee machine instead of a kettle, choose real sofas in a relaxed environment where they can really relax, instead of having to eat their sandwiches at their desks. A home from home can create a great sense of belonging and happiness for any staff member at their workplace. Its also important that the environment is clean hygienic as a recent study from Shine Cleaning Solutions who are a Commercial Cleaning Company in Edinburgh shows that this is one of the key things employees will consider before joinging a company.
Set goals at all levels
Our brains love to feel like we’ve completed a task so set your staff goals on all levels.
They will receive those rewarding brain chemicals from completion of the smaller tasks just as they will the bigger ones but without having to wait so long for the end of a project you’re triggering a sense of achievement every step along the way, keeping your staff driven, involved, and positive at regular intervals.
Create an all round praise model
An interesting psychological boost to all performers is to get your team to recommend praise for each other. Instigate an employee of the month position where all elements of exemplary office behaviour, productivity and achievement are entered into a draw as and when they happen. You will create an environment where your team will start to see positives in each other and develop their relationships. The closer they become the better they will operate as a complete and seamless team. This is great for the business and pretty good for office happiness too.
At the end of each month all of the recognition and praise acts should be discussed and the standout team member can be awarded something of real value instead of just a happy face badge or a small monetary incentive. We all know time is often a much more valuable commodity than money so why not allow the winner to finish work a few hours earlier at the end of the week as recognition. This will encourage the feeling that they really achieved something valuable amongst their team. It will be the boost their need to continue operating at full productivity for as long as they remember how good it felt to be given such an appreciated reward for their behaviour.