1. Lay the ground work for increased staff tenure
Every business has its own culture, so there is no one size fits all, but broadly speaking by making the decision to formalise an on boarding staff induction process and committing to creating a positive infrastructure to aid new starters during their first few months will help to not only attract those new starters but also retain them, boosting their confidence and morale, and motivating them for the long run. Maximise your chances of keeping that wonderful hire you worked so hard on finding and mitigate yourselves against the dead weight of attrition.
2. Talent Branding
You’ll stand to make up significant ground by laying out a few things from the ground up, and developing your "Talent Brand" will not only increase your chances of hiring, but will help give you something to try and live up to in the long run. From your company website with a “career” section offering not just a job description but a bit about your culture, who are the key players on the team, talk about your industry or biggest clients, even the learning / progression opportunities available. By having this information available not only will you project the image of being an organised, trustworthy and well managed employer but you’ll increase your chances of receiving applications from from people that might otherwise look elsewhere. In addition, whilst you may not have the luxury of a centralised hiring department, but you can maintain a central bank of job information and hiring content so this can propagate the areas of the web that you advertise and help maintain a consistent message. It's all part of building a trustworthy brand that candidates and hires can look towards as something they want to be a part of.
3. Develop an Employee Handbook
You needn’t spend an age creating the next chart topping self-help guide, but an informative booklet that can be distributed to new starters prior to them joining will help ease any nerves and again adds to the perception that they’ll be joining a company that is organised, that they care about their staff and are keen to make life on the team as rewarding as possible. Talk about culture, working hours, company benefits, even local places to eat, the nearest gym or transport connections. FAQ’s. If you'd prefer, digitise this content and make available on a sub-domain or intranet, but either way this information will help ease a new starters anxiety and orientate your new starter in the early days.
4. Induct your new starter and celebrate their appointment
We don’t suggest you go so far as throw a party, but do make their first day as straightforward as possible and help ease their journey in to your culture. Arrange meetings with key stakeholders. Allocate a work-buddy or mentor to show them around, take them out for lunch or show them the kitchen. Ensure their workstation is equipped with the tools they will need. Don’t just show them their desk and then leave them to carve their own routine. It might only take a day to settle in, but without a helping hand in the right direction you run the risk of your new starter making a run for the exit before you’ve had the chance to see what they’re capable of. This all forms part of your overarching induction process and is an essential piece of the retention puzzle.
5. Learning & Development
We don’t all have the budget for a Training Manager let alone an HR department, but you should absolutely go to every length possible to ensure all of your staff have all the training they need to succeed, regardless of how long they've been with you. Most sensible people tend to crave learning and can feel undervalued if training is not forthcoming. So do not underestimate the value of education even if somebody appears to be at the top of their game; we can all learn new things. In fact, at Chillisauce we see training as a true job benefit or perk that should be advertised as part of the job, and even if time is scarce you should not allow the responsibility of nurturing and supporting your team take second place.
6. Staff 1:1's
Aside from training and actual job up skilling, the single most important thing you can do with your staff is to sit down with them regularly and stay in touch with what they're up to. Weekly or monthly. In private. 1:1. Most big companies will have routine in place to handle this simple process of liaison, but be you a blue chip or SME, the responsibility to conduct 1:1’s will often fall on line management to undertake. Not only can it become overlooked, but micro management can be just as damaging. If you set out a structure for feedback you may find the need to micro manage is reduced. For those lacking visibility, these meetings will open a valuable window. Every employee needs to feel valued, and a generous salary or flexible working hours might not be quite enough to ensure that value is felt. Don’t assume your work is done just because your reliable and seemingly loyal team members are happily carrying on with their work and causing little for you to worry about. In fact it’s this outward sense of contentment that you should be wary of. Those that appear happy may be harbouring issues, and it’s not always about the money.
7. Build a culture of support, cohesion, retention and progression
We keep hearing about the “gig economy”, and there are plenty of business sectors that rely heavily upon freelancers or contractors. Sales businesses can seldom avoid attrition as they sift and select the profitable performers for their team. However this needn’t have an impact upon your company culture, but it starts from the top down. Management need to lead. The culture of any company often spreads down from the founder or executive team, so by encouraging your seniors to project values of enthusiasm, working as a team, being approachable. This will spread throughout your company. This cultural direction will foster a cohesive environment; an atmosphere of teamwork. This will be one that people will want to work in.
8. Team building events, social evenings, activity away days, incentive trips.
You’d think “after work drinks” were the norm, and there are many companies that rely purely upon this weekly Friday routine to provide them with their “team building strategy”. This is great for employee relations and banter, but have you thought about the wider issues of actual behaviour. We’re in the events game and ourCorporate Eventsteam send thousands of people on well organised company away days and weekend activity trips, so we see the value of this firsthand. You may not have considered this yourself, but we have seen the proof that it really does work. Indeed you can all go and get tipsy in a landmark bar or famous restaurant but have you thought about the benefits of sending your staff on some kind of activity day? There are hundreds of different ways to implement this with activities focusing on Productivity, Leadership, Problem Solving, Strategy, Confidence and so on. These trips will not only boost morale but can help solve bigger problems that can’t be solved with on the job support. It’s worth considering, and by including your new starters not only will you be making them feel welcome and part of the team, but you could be solving bigger problems at the same time.
9. Keep evolving
It doesn’t stop here; it’s not always as easy as we make out. Sometimes to make these things work you need to take a step back and identify the decision makers within your business that can make it happen. You may be the decision maker yourself and will need to build a plan of your own, but however you go about on boarding your new starters, we’re absolutely certain that by taking a step back and assessing and optimising your talent intake programme, and by improving and evolving this process, that your efforts will surely pay off well in to the long term. Engaged, happy and motivated employees will work harder, stay longer and better still, they’ll refer their friends to come and work for you. Your team will flourish, people will smile and your bottom line performance will surely grow.