One of the biggest issues for companies is staff retention. Businesses often make the big mistake of not opening a two-way dialogue regularly with their staff to understand whether they are happy in their positions. Staff should know that it’s okay to discuss their aspirations in their careers without the threat or worry of losing their jobs. When people leave a company, it’s sometimes about the lack of communication rather than an acute unhappiness in their jobs. If you have a member of staff leave you for a role they could have had in your company, then there’s a hindsight moment where you could have utilised their dreams and their skills and retained the member of staff in another business area.
As a business leader, your staff need to know they are heard by you. You need to encourage communication and be on top of their needs and their overall career goals, so that they can feel like you are the type of employer that cares about people management. Employees are not just a number, helping you turn the wheel of your business. They are an integral part of the company and they have to WANT to work for you. You have to be able to give them a reason to want to work for you. People don’t leave jobs, they leave unbearable work environments and management who cannot understand what they want and don’t try to. There are many ways a business can build a secure relationship with your employees, even if they are remote workers and aren’t in the office with you on a daily basis.
Communication is such a key element of trust with employees. It’s not just the words you say either, it’s your actions as an employer that will count for your staff. You can talk all you like about the benefits of a role but if you’re not acting on those benefits, then there’s no point in talking about them! Make a plan to meet with staff members once a month and give them a neutral space to air any grievances and any plans they have for their futures. Even if what they say isn’t what you want to hear, you need to hear it to be able to improve as an employer. Meet your remote workers on Skype if you need to – there’s no excuse to avoid talking to them.
While you’re working on your communication skills, do some training in management for your own understanding of people. Coaching instead of managing can make such a difference to your teams across the board as they can feel like they are working with you rather than for you. While a business hierarchy needs to be established and understood, people are not just cogs in the machine. They have personalities and opinions and you have to harness these and help them to grow instead of stagnating in your company. The way you treat your staff will reflect on your bottom line – treat them well!