January is the busiest month of the year for recruiters. Unfortunately, its not just employers they've got on their books. There's something about the new year and spending time with family and friends over the festive period that can give employees itchy feet and a longing for pastures new...
You might be doing a mental tally right now of the likely suspects to jump ship in your team. Perhaps your quite relaxed as they seem a pretty replaceable bunch. But what if one of your best employees hands in their cards out of the blue? Someone you really can't afford to lose? What then?
One of the best ways to try and prevent this from happening is to simply demonstrate and articulate to them how much they are valued by the business.
Here are our top ways to show your employees how much you care:
- Say thank you when someone does a great job: every time this tops the list. Every. Time.
- Listen to them: most people naturally have a slight initial aversion to receiving ‘constructive feedback’, however those close to you and - crucially - to your customers may well have suggestions on how do things better which you will never get to hear if you don’t give people the chance.
- Spend time with them: you don’t need to workshop or provide counselling every time you sit down with them, but make sure you give your team regular time to catch up with and the opportunity to talk to you
- Let them know what's going on: if people ‘know’, they feel involved. If people feel involved, they are feeling the magic.
- Give people autonomy in their role: less micro-managing makes people feel less stressed.Instead, give them clear direction and then support and autonomy to get on with what you've asked for.
- Note the little things: remember their kids/ partners/ dogs names and ask after them. If you think it's not important, think about the last time someone you knew remembered something you had told them earlier about your plans/ family etc. I used to think that the talent I have for remembering these type of things was almost totally useless ( I’d like to add at this point that this is countered by being able to have a total lapse in memory for things like major deadlines!). But how wrong I've been proved.
As in ‘real’ life however, actions mean more than words, so go the extra mile by:
- Taking action on the suggestions your team has provided to show you’ve heard them: if you can’t address their concerns or suggestions, the action is to let them know why.
- Having policies that aren't punitive but supportive: I know that paid sick or compassionate leave can seem like pouring money down the drain, but imagine how you would feel about a boss you had who deducted money from your pay packet when you’re unable to get out of bed? I exaggerate to prove a point.
- Having an employee recognition scheme whereby people can ‘thank’ others in the team - either at your team meetings or by an on-line recognition tool
- Give them spot rewards based on interests they have
- Giving them opportunities to develop and showcase their talents: it’s human nature to want to grow, so show them support and you will be rewarded tenfold
Showing you care doesn't make you seem like a soft touch. It makes you a savvy leader.
For more tips on achieving leadership savviness, theHRhub team are ready to help. So sign up to receive the ultimate online HR support for Startups and SMEs here.
Photo Credit: Flickr - High Five!