Tag Archives: employee retention

Hang on to your Talent

hang onto your talent

How to Hang on to your Talent

The one thing I hear over and over is how challenging it is to get and keep talent. Don’t follow this lead if you want to hang onto your talent…

It upset me to hear what had happened to my friend’s daughter. She had what seemed like a lovely opportunity at a local 5 star hotel. But when I asked how she was getting on my friend told me she’d left. Why? Because they kept messing her about. She’d been given her schedule for the weeks over Christmas and New Year and she’d planned her family Christmas activities around this.

So, when they told her they no longer needed her to work on the days she’d been scheduled but they did want her to cover on other days this meant cancelling family commitments.

She is young and keen and didn’t want to disappoint her employer, but after several weeks of this, enough was enough. So, she quit. Not only is she now disillusioned with the industry but so are her friends and family.

So sad.

Of course, staff turnover doesn’t just impact you, it has a knock-on effect on the rest of your team and will certainly impact your customer experience either directly or indirectly.

If you are constantly striving to look for new staff then consider why you have a vacancy in the first place. Fantastic news if it’s down to growth; but more often than not it’s down to staff turnover.

If this is the case here are a few factors to consider to help hang on to your talent…

1. Why do they quit?

Staff turnover can be infectious, the more people come and go, the easier it is for others to make the decision to leave. Unless you understand why staff leave it’s unlikely you’ll reverse the trend.

In a perfect world a confidential exit interview is best done by someone other than a line manager. Let’s be honest, if the reason is poor management or leadership that’s behind them leaving, it’s unlikely that you’re going to learn the whole truth if the line manager is asking the question! The saying goes people don’t quit jobs they quit bosses.

But even if your staff structure doesn’t allow for this it is important to find out as much as possible about people’s motives for leaving.

2. Recognition and reward

When someone hands in their notice, if the reason they give is more money look to see how your rates compare with the competition (bearing in mind for some roles your competitor for staff may be in totally different industries). But also look at what benefits your staff are getting that they may not be getting elsewhere and ensure people are aware of everything that makes up their package. And if they don’t value these things, find out what they would value.

What about the less tangible aspects of their package? Recognise and reward performance and achievements. Celebrate and share successes; identify and utilise people’s strengths, training, delegating and giving them control and ownership where appropriate.

Be sure to recognise all departments, including back of house staff, e.g. housekeeping is often the most undervalued department, but is commonly the most profitable aspect of a hotel.

Encourage and reward loyalty by conducting regular pay/benefits reviews. Think about incentives that are within reach of any member of staff who performs well. This might mean focusing on a different theme each month so that everyone has an opportunity to be recognised for their particular skills or strengths, or make the incentive tailored to each individual dependent on their role, development needs and aspirations.

3. Career and prospects

If they’re moving for career progression, is this something you could have given them but they simply weren’t aware of the opportunities? What can you do in future to ensure that everyone gets the recognition and development they need for their career progression, so you can hang on to your talent?

Grow from within where possible, and give people the opportunity for career progression as well is enhancing the skills to do their existing job. Consider life skills; such as offering language tuition for English as a second language or other languages that may prove useful in conversing with your customers.

Make use of potential grants through the tourist organisations, colleges, and government-funded schemes, apprenticeships. Did you know this week is National Apprenticeship Week?  https://www.gov.uk/government/news/look-beyond-with-an-apprenticeship-this-national-apprenticeship-week

You won’t be able to accommodate everyone’s aspirations particularly if you’re a small business, but having some kind of succession plan in place does at least give people something to work towards. However, don’t make promises that you’re unable to keep.

Make learning and development a part of day-to-day management, so it’s not seen as something that is additional or optional. This goes for both staff and supervisors/managers. Identify those who have an interest in developing their skills and are willing to take on coaching or mentoring responsibilities as part of their own development.

4. Insecurity

Change makes people uncomfortable, and so when another opportunity comes along, they jump at the chance if they feel it has better long-term security.

Communicate what’s happening in the business before it happens, and how this might affect them.

Ensure people know what’s expected of them by having clearly defined standards, and can measure their own performance, and not left in doubt about their contribution.  Be consistent, ensuring the same ‘rules’ apply to everyone. Focus on telling people what you want to achieve, i.e. the end result, rather than dictating how to do it.  This gives people flexibility to adopt their own style (you’ll be surprised how often they end up improving the process) rather than living in fear of not being able to comply with strict processes.  Provide the appropriate resources (including time), the tools and training to do their jobs effectively.

Training your staff in the mechanics of the business operation puts them in a better position to contribute to cost control and income generation. If people understand how the business makes its money they are then in a position to contribute to this and put forward their own ideas. A win-win for both.

5. What if you are the problem?

You may not want to admit it, but you or your management team may be the very reason people leave. Rather than hide your head in the sand, reflect on what you need to do to change to hang on to your talent. Find out the things that people find difficult or frustrating about working for you or with you, and then figure out a way to change your approach before others decide to jump ship.

How much direction do you provide? Do people know exactly what’s expected of them, and have the resources to meet your expectations? Lead by example so there are no mixed messages.

Ensure that you and your management team are approachable and provide any support when it’s needed

Not everyone will be confident enough to ask for help, so be receptive to when this is needed. Listen to their ideas; they may be able to offer better ways of doing things.

Show an interest in them as individuals, and take time out to talk to them. Listen to and act quickly on any concerns. Identify what’s important to them recognising that with the varied cultures and backgrounds of your staff that their values and priorities may sometimes be different to your own.

6. Keep talking

Communication is a two-way process, not only do people need to know what’s going on, they want to be heard. Daily briefings need to include what’s happening that could affect the operation or the customer experience in any way (e.g. maintenance, staff shortages, unavailable products or services), as well as any feedback from staff on their observations or ideas. Let your team know how the business is performing, and what this means to them.

Give constructive feedback: what have they done well and how it has contributed; where they have fallen short and how this can be improved.

Having a happy and motivated team will not only help you retain your talent and reduce staff turnover, but will lead to better productivity and customer service, maintaining sales and controlling costs.

If you want to hang onto your talent you need to give them what they want.

Take action to hang onto your talent

If you only do one thing, to hang on to your talent, find out what’s important to your team and how well you’re meeting their needs and expectations. One of the most valuable ways to gather this feedback is through anonymous surveys. This is a brilliant platform to do just that…

Get a complete engagement assessment that delivers quantifiable scores and honest feedback, so that you truly know where your company stands and where to focus to make an impact right away.

…And hang on to your talent.


How to Engage New Team Members

How to Engage New Team Members

Employee Engagement Starts Here

Nearly every business owner I know lists recruiting and retaining good staff high on their list of priorities.

Having gone to the effort and expense of finding a good fit, don’t waste this by poor induction.

Many hospitality, leisure and tourism businesses will be taking on seasonal staff now.

Maybe you are too?

The first few days and weeks in any job will determine how that person feels about your business and whether or not this is the place they want to stay. It might just be for a season initially, but who knows… maybe even to pursue their career here. Is this an environment where they’ll be happy, fit in and feel their contribution is valued?

Getting this right is as important for temporary or seasonal staff as it is for permanent. They too can act as ambassadors for your business, and make all the difference the next time you need to recruit. Quite apart from the impact they can have on other team members and your customers depending on how well they’re equipped for the job.

People like (and need) to know what’s expected of them. But your on boarding process should go far deeper than simply their duties and contractual obligations.

If you need to re-vamp your on-boarding process or want to learn more about how to engage new team members I’ve just made that chore a whole lot easier for you!

Take action

If you only do one thing, take a fresh look at your on-boarding programmes and how you engage new team members, and ask yourself do they really give the best possible start for anyone new to your team to be a productive, happy and engaged team player in your business.

p.s Start your on-boarding process as soon as possible; the more you can do before their first day the quicker they’ll get them up to speed.

Discover more here…

 


What’s Makes Them Tick?

When I ask managers what’s important to their team members it’s usually quite revealing when I get an all too common responses of “money and a quiet life”, or “I don’t know what makes them tick”.

The former might sometimes be the case to an extent, but sadly it’s often an assumption. The only reason managers don’t understand this is because they’ve never asked the question. They then wonder why they have a problem with employee retention!

Spending time with team members and finding out what’s important to them is just as important as you or your team spending time with customers, finding out their needs.

Ask what they enjoy about certain tasks and why; how they feel about particular aspects of their job. Conversely ask about the things that disappoint or frustrate them, and what they’d change if they could.

Whilst some love the sense of achievement or recognition others get a buzz from supporting others. Some love to have their say and see their ideas put into practice, whilst others are happiest when they’re learning or being stretched.

Finding out about what people value outside work as well as in work can often be an insight. Ask casually about their weekend or what they have planned for the evening ahead or their day off, and show an interest in what they get up to in their spare time.

Talking about interests amongst the team can be useful for you, but can also elicit a sense of pride in the things they do outside work and helps each of your team understand what’s important to their fellow team members.

So what?

But, how does knowing what’s important to someone outside work help you with employee retention or engagement, or help them in work? Obviously it’s not going to be possible to have them practising their hobbies all day long!

But by looking at the attributes and skills for their activities when they’re away from work can give us an inkling as to where their strengths lie and clues on how these can be applied in the workplace.

For example, do they have a creative streak in them; do they get involved with highly competitive sports or activities; do they have a role of helping the community, supporting and caring.

Of course, it won’t always be practical or possible to fully incorporate their interests but if you aim to do this wherever you can you’ll soon start to get the best from the team, which will invariably have a knock-on effect on customers too, notwithstanding making your life easier into the bargain!

So, stop trying to suss out what makes team members tick. Ask them!


Don’t kid yourself you’ll remember

customer retentionCustomer Retention and Employee Retention post-Christmas

I know planning for next Christmas (or any other busy period) is probably the last thing on your mind just now.

But if we don’t take stock now of how this year has gone, we’ll be missing out on the opportunity to learn from the experience. Don’t kid yourself you’ll remember what you’d change for next year… You won’t, and only kick yourself afterwards!

Debrief at the end of each day or event and keep notes of what you’ll do differently next time. This helps you identify ways to improve both customer retention (particularly customers buying from you the first time) and employee retention, by keeping your permanent and temporary staff happy.

Customer Service and Customer Retention

  • Keep a note of what your customers have bought, so you can prompt them next time around, so they (and you) don’t forget anything. And you can deliver a consistent service which is at least as good as, if not better than this year.
    .
  • Capture feedback from your customers. Find out what they loved (so you can do more of the same in future) and what they were not so keen on, so you know what not to repeat. Do this now while their emotions are still running high from their experience, not in three weeks’ time when everything is back to normal.
    Build on this feedback for next year, so you can plan what you’ll add or do differently.
    .
  • Ask your happy customers for testimonials, and check they’re happy for you to use these in next year’s marketing. This in itself helps with customer retention, as few customers who recommend you are likely to then go elsewhere.
    .
  • Follow up with your customers to show you appreciate their business.  Take this opportunity to ask them what they enjoyed and tell them what you have planned for the year ahead to sow the seed for further business throughout the year or at the same time next year.
    .
  • Capture details of new customers so you can stay on their radar and tempt them back at other times of the year.

Employee retention

  • Get feedback from your team, both permanent and temporary staff. Involve them in the review process by asking for their ideas. Focus on 3 questions:
    1. What went well for them?
    2. What was challenging and where did they struggle to meet customers’ expectations?
    3. What can be improved on or should be done differently in future to ensure the customer experience is still a great one even when you’re busy.
      .
  • Identify where your team needs support, coaching or further training; all of which you might be able to address in your quieter weeks ahead.
    .
  • Recognise and reward your team. If they’ve put in extra hours or effort to make your busy periods a success show them how much you appreciate this, so they’ll be happy to do the same again next time. Remember, rewards don’t have to be financial; for some time off or flexibility of shifts to spend with family or friends after Christmas could be the most valuable gift you could give them
    .

Profitability

  • Keep tabs on your costs to ensure you have an accurate picture of your expenditure and profit margins.  If you run events or promotions include post costings for each event, to take account of uptake, wastage, and actual spend.
    .

Future planning

  • Bring everything together from your debriefings and summarise:
    1. what went well. What will you continue, develop or build on for future
    2. what didn’t go so well, and needs doing differently.
    3. What have you learnt.
  • Make notes which will be meaningful to you months down the line, and file these somewhere where you can find them easily when it comes to planning next year!
    .

Finally, take the time to celebrate your successes and give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.


Fresh Focus

FocusDay 4 in my 12 days of Christmas mini blog series

4. Fresh Focus

Time off often gives people time for reflection and can prompt them to start thinking about other options, career moves or even career changes.

Share your plans for the coming year with your team so they involved, and ask for their input so you give them confidence in the part they have to play, and so you avoid any feelings of insecurity.

Schedule 1:1 reviews as early as possible to discuss individual contributions and where they fit in with your plans for the year ahead.

Encourage everyone in your team to have their own goals too. Even if these don’t include working for you long term, discuss how you can help them achieve their goals together.