10 Keys To Attract, Keep and Develop Your People
…Without your Labour Cost % Soaring
When you have been in business for several years you are sure to have retained some great people for a considerable amount of time. These are usually your best people. The ones you can trust to do a great job weather you are there or not. Your go to people that step-up time and time again. The people you really want to keep.
How do you feel when they come up to you and ask for raise? How do you feel when they don’t ask for a raise and give you their notice? What goes through your mind when you know a key team member is moving on?
I would not think anything positive came to light when you considered those things. (Of course, if it was a poor performing team member, you might be thrilled)
You will always have people moving on for a host of reasons. People will always look for more when the believe more is an option. But what you do in advance of these inevitable things occurring will determine what additional cost you might have to endure or what better value can be achieved from the employee/employer relationship.
In general, people leave their jobs because they don’t like their boss or some of their colleagues, don’t see opportunities for promotion or growth, or are offered better conditions somewhere else (and often higher pay); these reasons have been the main driver for years and still are today.
Of course, no matter what you have in place people move on and they must be replaced. Even when you don’t have people moving on, if you are a growing business, you are going to need more good people.
The 10 Ways to Attract,Keep and Develop your People
Without Your Labour Cost % Soaring.
- Have Clear Job Descriptions
To get quality people we need to be able to describe exactly the type of person that is best suited for a role and what skills, knowledge and characteristic(attitude) they ideally would possess.
Attitude is always vital to the success of any individual be them experienced or not.
Know what you want in your people. Have the role clearly defined that is what the job entails and all the main responsibilities the candidate will be expected to perform.
What to do now
Step one. Create a listing of all the job roles you have.
Step two. Use a framework to build your job description. Google will provide pretty much any template you can think of.
Step three. Build them- Start with the roles you will need the most right now and from the framework make them specific to your business.
- Choose the Right Place to Advertise Vacancy
When you have a clear job description you then need to decide how to fill the position. The choices are unlimited. To get the right people we need to pick a media that gets in front of them. This of course is relative to the level of person that is required for the vacancy.
Asking existing trusted employees can be a quick route. Depending on the role will determine where you should advertise the role. Everything from in house to Recruitment Agents, print media (local or national) and online media should be considered to give yourself the best chance of attracting suitable candidates.
What to do now
Step one. Decide based on who you want to attract which medium to use.
Step two. Build the ad for the vacancy around the job description.
Step three. Post the vacancy in the relevant medium.
Step four. Review the results. Sometimes we think a medium is the right choice.However, if we get zero responses something needs to change. It could be the ad itself or the medium we have used.
- The Interview
When you have set up your interviews be prepared. Use a template. The interview is the potential new employees first impression of you, make it count. Often people are a great fit for a business but due to the interview being conducted in a less than favorable way they don’t join the team.The candidate even though they are suitable could do the job well, the pay and conditions are fair, still decline the offer.
The interview should always be conducted in a way that gets people to be open and honest, so that you can get a clear gauge on their skills, knowledge and attitude. It also needs to be conducted in a fashion that you clearly outline the big reasons that people should want to work with you and your company.
Clearly outline What will be expected and what supports are in place to help the candidate be successful should they join the team.
If you offer opportunity for advancement and further development, ensure you have those details to hand. This can be a major differentiation whether a great candidate chooses to come work with you or a competitor.
When you feel, the person has done a great interview and you feel they would be an addition to your team do some due diligence to confirm your feelings and avoid the fake interviewees. Ask them can you contact their references. If they decline your decision to employ them has been made.
Before concluding the interview and agreeing the next step, which would be making them an offer or gently informing them they have been unsuccessful this time.
Find out from them if they are successful when they can start. This will confirm if they are working right now (assuming they have said so) and not making things up and equally how much loyalty they have. In other words, if they don’t give any notice to their current employer they are likely not to give you notice at some stage too.
Before concluding the interview inform them what will happen next.
What to do now
Step one. Be prepared, have your template and questions mapped out in advance.(Use google if you need to find templates and common questions)
Step two. Put the candidate at ease.
Step three. Ask your questions and listen intently.
Step four. Gauge from the responses is this someone that will add to my team.
Step five. Request references if you feel the candidate is a good fit.
Step six. Agree the next step- we will get back to you with our decision etc.
- Due Diligence
There are a few things to consider when they have references on their CV and they have given permission to contact them. We need to make sure that these candidates are all that they say they are.
With references make sure you are speaking to a credible referee. That is, you may be given a name of a manager/owner of their past employers. Verify that the person you are speaking with is connected to the company that was said.
This is not an exact science as managers move on too. But where you have the owners name a simple call to the company rather than a mobile requesting the employee reference on the business number rather than a mobile number . This should confirm what you need confirmed.
What this does is it lets you know whether other employer’s experiences are in line with what the candidate said of their skills knowledge and characteristics in the interview. Once that checks out and you are happy with the information make an offer.
Assuming they accept its time to start them in the best possible way.
What to do now
Step one. Contact the references.
Step two. Ensure we are speaking to a reliable source.
Step three. Ask for their honest opinion. Where they sorry to see them go, or would they hire them back if they could?
Step four. If their references check out, make an offer.
- Starting Strong
When new people start it’s important to start them strong. The best companies give them an induction. This is where they are informed and given information about the role, the company and the expectations. It is where there is a plan to overcome the knowledge gaps they have are outlined. The training plan is set to help them get up to speed in the quickest possible time-frame.
All the standards and procedures that they are required to perform should be included in a pack for them to take away and study. A realistic time-frame should be outlined along with their trial period review date.
Most good companies start their people on a trial. The very best ones agree the trial review dates and follow through on them. When people start, they can be nervous and unsure of their futures. When they don’t have a trial review date set, some continue their job search and can use you as a stop gap as they don’t know where they stand.
Issue the employee with the there terms of employment (contract) and ensure you get them to sign them. A copy should be issued to them and one kept on file.
What to do now
Step one. Have an induction pack ready for all new starts.
Step two. Walk them through the induction materials.
Step three. Confirm knowledge/skill gaps.
Step four. Agree training plan to overcome knowledge/skill gaps.
Step five. Issue and receive contracts.
Step five. Agree the trial period review dates.
Every business does things slightly different , to be successful people need time and support to get up to speed in their new role. They will need encouragement and recognition when they are striving to improve. If they have been given a proper induction and training this will happen sooner and the new team member becomes an integral part of team faster.
The key is ensuring enough attention and effort is put into your people at the start by management. This shows them they matter and you care. When they feel that they matter and you care they will care for your business and it will matter to them too.
With any training gaps have a realistic time-frame set out. That is when the training will take place and when they need to be at the correct level. This can also help the employer to remove people that just can’t or won’t reach the required level.
Be realistic with time-frames especially if someone has no experience at all. When you are conducting your trial review be sure you have assessed how the person is progressing. See point 7.
What to do know.
Step one. Assign management to support the new team member.
Step two. Recognise improvements.
Step three. Ensure training is delivered in line with the plan or re-scheduled when needs arise to the nearest available time.
Step four. After trial period, has concluded conduct a the trial review.
Step five: Agree the next steps, full employment – trail extension or parting ways.
In the beginning, you will want to do a review as to whether the new team member has had a successful trial period. This is where you can gauge if more training and time is warranted as in you can see the team member improving and feel they will get there. Of course, at this point you can decide whether to keep someone or remove them based on their attitude and performance to date.
People like to know how they are doing. Reviews should occur every 6 months for your whole team.Reviews can often be used to give employees a dressing down but this is less than helpful in achieving the company objectives.
Proper reviews should be a two-way street. I suggest if you do reviews conduct open appraisals. This is where the employee fills out a form prior to a sit down. They write out how they feel they are doing in pre-determined key areas and outline what development goals they have. This is where you get to see things from their perspective and then share things from yours.
The review can also discuss the pay structure, where the team member is willing to take on more responsibility and deliver results an increase could be issued after reasonable proof has been gathered.
Sadly, there is never room really to reduce salaries without a massive knock on effect but you can use it to help your people become aware that their performance is not up to scratch and agree a plan to improve it.
When you do this, you will be able to identify the gap in performance but also get a route to reducing that gap and helping a team member develop their potential. When you develop a person, they improve in nearly all areas, they add more value. They feel better about themselves and the organisation. They are also less likely to leave.
This should make you aware of the people that can really make a positive impact in your business. The ones that should get more time with you (or your management). The ones that will take on more responsibility and add more value. Which will act as a guide to you on what pay structure you need to adopt to keep your key people . (See point 10 pay structure).
This will show you who you have on your team that are ambitious and want to grow those that genuinely do a good job and those that may not be right for you and your organisation.
What to do now
Step one. Decide you will do reviews.
Step two. Follow a framework . Google again.
Step three. Schedule the time to conduct the appraisals.
Step four. Conduct the review.
Step five. Decide on course of action based on the information obtained.
- Development -Skills.
Good people usually have a plan in their heads. They think things like “I want to master A.B& C then I need to master D.E & F. etc. If there is nothing for them to learn, improve and develop within your organisation they usually move on after a year or so after the initial challenge has been mastered to continue enhancing their careers.
Have routes created for the areas you can.Have a plan for career development in the areas that you can. A simple example – Food runner to waiter- Waiter to host – Host to supervisor – supervisor to manager. In the kitchen- KP- Junior Commis Chef – Commis Chef -Chef de Partie- Sous Chef- Head Chef etc. If you have the skilled personal to advance someone’s skills do so. There will come a time when someone is sick or can’t come to work the better skilled your next line of defence is the easier it will be for them to pick up the pace.
Good people want to know that a company is going somewhere. Share your plans if you are going to expand or grow to more sites. (you don’t have to tell them everything but share the big idea around the future). Outline that they could be involved in the future growth when they apply themselves.Your good people will want to be involved and when your vision is strong and compelling they will help you realise it.
Remember people will always move on even when you are the best boss in the world usually for their reasons. It makes sense to have career paths mapped out so you know the team members that are there or there about’s that could fill the role without always having to look for them outside the company . If you have done appraisals you will know which team members are suitable and if you have combined that with ongoing development and training the gaps can be filled almost seamlessly. Always consider up-skilling your people.
What to do now
Step one. Create the key route plans.
Step two. Agree what skills are necessary for development.
Step three. Know which team members want to develop and would benefit the company to invest the time in them (again, the appraisal works here).
Step four. Agree a time-frame for skills training and completion deadlines.
- Ongoing Education
Good people always want to improve themselves. They want to learn more. They want to take on responsibility. They want to educate themselves. Certain parts of the business will be easier than others to have an education plan.
Where you do offer further education, it needs to be relevant and have clear outcome e.g. a promotion or when the employee can apply the knowledge it leads to fair wage increases as they have become more valuable to the company. Not, everyone wants a bigger role but the better educated your team is usually translates to a better performance delivery.
If you do decide to invest in someone protect your investment. Some people use companies to further educate themselves and move on as soon as the education is completed. Have some terms attached to any further education plans you may have. Example the company will pay for the education once the employee stays with the company for at least a determined amount of time. Should the employee part ways with the company within this period full or part reimbursement of the costs will be required.
Research further education that is relevant to the business and the employee. Know the associate costs and the likely results before you invest.
Good people want to know there are options to grow and improve themselves. When you combine this with the career path you create win win situations for the business and your team. This can also be a contributing factor to whether a great employee joins your team or the team of the competition.
What to do now
Step one. Identify areas that people want to improve (will be readily available if appraisals have been done).
Step two. Identify further education that is relevant to the business and the employee. That is once completed both will benefit.
Step there. When you are funding the further education have a waiver signed. That is the employee will reimburse the company in the full (or part) amount of the education should the leave their employ within a certain time frame. This can add a lot more weight to someone choosing to stay over the long term. It will also show your great people that you are willing to invest in their future which encourages loyalty.
Step four. Review the results. Not all education leads to application of knowledge what I mean here is if the education does not produce any results it needs to be discontinued .
- Pay Structure
When it comes to pay structures its quite like the work you would do when you set your pricing. We need to understand the market and the competition and where we fit. If we are striving to be the best, we will need the best people. Many roles within the industry have a minimum wage attached. However, many roles can add more value and it’s in these areas that we need to build a forward pay structure.
What I mean here is there are key skills within the service sector when developed add value.
When a team member can be more valuable to your organisation there should be proportionate increase to their pay too. That is your labour cost in actual cash goes up. But your labour percentage goes down based on the better results achieved. This is either your sales have risen higher and the associated costs stay the same or your costs have come down in relation to the same level of sales. I.e. more profit.
Performance related pay can be a major instigator in improved top line and bottom line results. That is if a team member can consistently add value. For example, their performance consistently generates more sales while keeping costs stagnant. When that occurs a fair portion of the improvement could be given based on the actual result. Equally if costs are reduced while sales remain a portion of the savings could be given based on the actual result. This is a tricky area , too little reward people stop or slow their performance as they don’t see the value in doing it . Too much and your costs rise and any benefit is eroded.
When you have performance related pay/bonus good people go hell for leather to achieve them. This of course has benefits for them and the company. Bonus and or perks can also be created to increase the full team performance.When you offer these structures again outline in the interview it makes all the difference in attracting great people. Make sure though any bonus or performance related pay is fair. Fair to the employee but also fair to the the company. That is the bottom line should grow and any additional pay is less than the growth achieved. Their is no point in improving the top line if the bottom line shrinks.
With pay, be proactive rather than reactive. That is a fair increase here and there based on consistent improved performance and results encourages further growth and development of your key people. In return they give much more of themselves to you and your business become more skilled and generate results in an upward fashion.
We need to know in advance what should we reward and when should we reward it. We need to have a map of what constitutes additional pay. In short additional value, that is improved results that can be measured. Better skilled and educated people in general perform better, driving better results and require a solid fair wage structure if you want to keep them for the long term.
When you reward them before they come looking for a raise the amount is usually lower than the demands they make. It can even stop people looking for a better deal elsewhere or at the very least It slows people looking for a new job. This should be done as part of your reviews whether you feel your key people are planning a move or not. It puts you in a better position to retain your best people.
What to do now
Step one. Review your pay structures are the market competitive – You might not have people jumping ship now but if you are far behind your competitors expect it soon.
Step two: Be proactive review wages on a periodical at least an annual basis.
Step three: Give increases based on improved performance that have been verified.
Step four. Create a performance related pay/bonus structure to improve results achieved.
Always look to how you can attract the best people . How you can teach, train develop your people to be of more value. How to pay fairly based on the results that they deliver for you.
This of course is a win win. Your people grow in confidence and capabilities and your business grows. The best part when you do this is your people do more work and in many times its more of your work freeing you up to work more on your business rather than in it.
Review the 10 areas again and choose the one that if you worked on would have the biggest impact in your business right now and get to work it on.
We are here to help.
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On this call, we will take roughly 15-20 minutes where you will leave a solid clear plan around the 12 month results you want to achieve and 3 key action items you need to complete to kick start your business within the next 90 days.