Part of the “Attracting and Retaining Top Talent” Series
Think for a minute about how much time, effort and money you spend on attracting and keeping your top clients. Think about the amount of energy expended on prospects in an effort to make them customers. Think about the systems and processes put in place to ensure that your customers continue to get attention even after the delivery of your product or service.
Now, let’s turn to another customer base – your employees. How much energy are you spending to ensure their satisfaction? Did they have a fully furnished workspace upon their arrival? How many cards and letters have they received thanking them for their service? What have you discovered about what gets them up and going to work every day and how you can make their experiences with the company better?
Today, successful companies require vision, flexibility, speed, innovation and a detailed understanding of their market to meet the needs of increasingly demanding clients – both internal and external. Perhaps the most demanding (or should I say deserving) client of all is the employee. The better we are at realizing this, the more successful we will become.
Want to attract and retain top talent? Start with these 10 principles:
1. See the big picture and help others do the same. Your company’s attractiveness to employees is defined by your ability to create a future and live a vision – not solve today’s problems.
2. Get close to your customers – the employees.
Move your focus from the customer to the employee. If your total focus is on getting the customer’s work done then there is no time to think about building a company that could be a great place for someone to have a career. Keep in mind that the way employees are treated is the way the employees will treat customers.
3. Be engaged. Managing is about getting involved. Being involved is a visual commitment to your employees. It is about coaching, teaching and inspiring others. You have to be fully engaged in the hearts and minds of your employees. They have to know that you care about them.
4. Invest in your people. There is a popular quote that says, “I don’t care how much you know until I know how much you care.” Your job, no matter your position, is to help make other people successful. Recognize that it is not about you, but rather about making those around you better.
5. Be positive. Rather than dwelling on the negatives, attack problems with a can-do attitude. Have a contagious attitude that is worth catching.
6. Have fun. Don’t be so serious all the time … lighten up. In today’s work environment there are too many headaches to have to deal with a manager or coworker who is a headache.
7. Focus on continuous improvement. Ask why a lot. Get rid of things that get in the way and be willing to make a radical change. Give people permission to challenge assumptions and have fierce conversations. Then employees will become engaged to accomplish the vision.
8. Do it now. Employees want answers today. If an answer can’t be found today, at least let them know when it will be found and deliver on time.
9. Commit to honesty and integrity. Be authentic with your words and actions without compromise. Your ethics and values will always contribute more to success than your techniques and strategies.
10. Create brand recognition. Without brand recognition, employees and customers will have a hard time differentiating you from your competitor. What will make them want to work at your company instead of for your competitor? What makes your company unique and special?
In the end, the only true differentiator your company has is the relationship your employees have with your customers – and that relationship is defined by the level of relationship you have with your employees.