Staffing is one of the hardest things businesses have to deal with. We can specify products, equipment, or tools right down to the smallest detail, and if they don’t work out, we can take it up with the supplier. If they do work, we know how to maintain them so that we can get the most possible use out of them.
But obviously, people are different. It’s difficult to know if they meet our exact specifications, and the process of replacing them is difficult and unpleasant if they don’t work out. Those that do work out for us can be tough to hold on to; your best forklift won’t leave your company for a new job, but you best employee might.
The process of attracting and retaining the best people is complicated, but it’s something that requires your full attention if you want to be successful. No matter what you do, you’ll have a misfire here and there, but your odds are better if you keep these points in mind.
Start With Passion
The first thing you want is people who are excited about what you do. You are better served to hire someone who really loves your industry even if his or her qualifications aren’t quite as good as someone with less fervor. Yes, qualifications are essential, but some things can be developed in people if they have high enthusiasm for the job. It’s much easier to hire enthusiasm and develop certain skills than to hire for skills and try to develop enthusiasm!
A good example is Eagle Mortgage, whose mantra has been to hire people who love real estate. This staffs the company with personnel who enjoy helping their clients buy a home. The extra benefit is that the company can train people to do things their way, instead of un-training them from old methods and then re-training them with new ones.
Be Sympathetic With their Financial Issues
Always be sympathetic to your employees’ financial problems, because they may create a strain on their work life. They may tell you that they are in trouble after taking out expensive payday loans. You may recommend lower interest alternatives. You should also reevaluate their pay and see if it is fair.
Train Them Well
Now let’s look at training. Many new businesses do a great job with training when they hire their first staff all at once and nobody knows how to do anything. Management understands that nothing will happen until everyone is trained from the ground up.
But then a worker quits here and there, and soon there are a lot of new faces. Managers who are busy with daily routines will often just let them be trained by co-workers instead of in a formal setting. If management doesn’t keep that same awareness of their staff’s skill level, performance will start to slip.
It’s also important for the employee’s happiness. No one wants to come to a job and feel helpless and confused. The best people won’t want to defer certain tasks to others. They are there to work, not delegate, so you must make sure they know how to do their job if you want to keep them.
Help Them Reach Their Goals
The managers that keep the best people are those who realize that there’s more to the job than a paycheck. People have all sorts of goals for themselves at work. It may be sales figures, seniority, promotions, or any of an endless range of things. You won’t know what they are until you ask.
So ask! Make sure your employees know that you want them to reach their goals just as much as you want them to help the company reach its goals. People who achieve the things they want to achieve will perform at a higher level, and they’ll stick around longer, too. So sometimes the best investment you can make in your company is in helping people become successful.
Hiring, training, and retaining workers is complicated and time-consuming. It can be very difficult to know if you are doing things right until they clearly go wrong. But if you focus on the employees by choosing enthusiastic people, training them well, and helping them reach their goals, you’ll be much closer to reaching your own goals.