The landscape of business has changed, and there’s now a wealth of knowledge about how to effectively recruit, onboard and retain excellent staff. So, it continues to amaze me that so many of our major players are stuck in an old-fashioned rut and are suffering because of it. You only need glance around and see big-name businesses falling into administration to find evidence that prehistoric practices are disastrous. But change can be difficult if you’ve always done things the same way.
Here’s a fundamental fact that hasn’t changed at all – your staff are the single biggest asset in your business, and they can make or break you.
For too long, organisations have gone through the same steps to find their staff. A job advert, a short list of applicants and then a formal interview process. Once they’ve picked a candidate, there’s some sort of induction process, and then it’s time for the new recruit to prove themselves. We now know that this is a deeply flawed approach and can mean you miss the perfect people for your business.
Another problem comes when a company employs front of house staff or customer-facing workers, and then they don’t do the requisite training and development to make sure these people deliver an outstanding service. That’s a nightmare from a customer satisfaction and PR perspective, so why isn’t it being addressed? Finally, during the time staff are employed, leaders fail to get the best out of them, despite there being many excellent ways to achieve peak performance. What a waste.
You’ll probably have read articles saying that the companies who’ll suffer most if they don’t get this right are those seeking out Millennial talent. That’s not true – if you want the best people in any age range, you need to set up the robust process to find and keep them. That’s not a difficult job, and we help clients develop bespoke practices for their business, and also coach their managers in how to work effectively with staff. It’s not rocket science, but it is based on proven tools and techniques that we’re happy to share.
Here are three ways for you to leave the Dark Ages behind and embrace the modern way right now.
#1 Forget everything you know about recruiting
Let’s start fresh when it comes to attracting your next hire. It’s your job to create the best conditions for your candidates to shine. Think about what you need to see from them, provide each person with the literature so they can find out what they need to about your company and stop making some bizarre test of nerve. An interview is often a cold, scary experience, and we all know that panic and stress doesn’t help anyone shine.
Before they walk through your door, make your candidates do the Gallup CliftonStrengths assessment so you can find out more about them and their natural talents. Once they arrive, welcome them into a warm, friendly environment and allow them to give the best representation of themselves that they can. You don’t want to miss a diamond just because interviewing is not their strong point. Where possible, get them to interact with the team they’d be joining and set them some work so you can see a practical demonstration of their ability. Make sure you know everything you can about the candidates before you make a decision, as the cost of recruitment is too high to get it wrong.
#2 Super-charge your onboarding process
Gone are the days when the simple induction was enough, you need to welcome new people to your organisation properly. That means doing more than just showing them where the coffee machine is. An onboarding process should give the new recruit all the information they need to find their feet as quickly as possible, in practical terms but also by having introductions and conversations with key players in their teams.
You need to establish how they like to communicate and ensure that they feel able to discuss any teething problems and ask questions to help them get the job done properly. Team members should be trained in how to welcome new people and encouraged to take responsibility for helping them adjust. Use Motivational Maps to discover more about how to work more effectively with your new hire and use the MM tool often to ensure they are fully engaged in their role.
#3 Down with appraisals, it’s all about development
Don’t wait until once a year to check in with your staff and discuss their performance. Appraisals are a waste of your time and should be extinct. Instead, making the development of your employees an ongoing concern, providing them with training, the chance to discuss their issues and celebrate their wins. Problems with performance should be identified early and addressed quickly, that’s easier to achieve when you’ve got the channels of communication open and working well.
Make sure your customer experience is as good as it can be and invest in the development of your staff in those roles. Your front of house employees, shop floor workers or any other person that comes into direct contact with your customers are your brand ambassadors, and they need to represent your organisation brilliantly. If you neglect them, you are making a huge mistake. Performance and productivity have a direct impact on profitability. There are so many tools and techniques out there at your disposal, so use them and reap the benefits.
If you’d like our help or advice in getting the best out of your people, get in touch by emailing us or call 01603 567794.