Word count: 379 words
Time to Read: 1-2 minutes
As I work with executives, a central issue that comes up is how to get and keep good employees? Regardless of the business, the organization, the industry, my advice centers around the answers to 4 major questions that ALL employees have:
- Where's this organization headed? This is at the crux of leadership... being able to "tell the story!" A leader must be able to articulate the history and values of the operations, and to passionately describe the future, the vision of what the organization is capable of becoming. This is done by living, breathing, and fostering a strong, decent working culture, cultivating mutually beneficial relationships (including employees, vendors, customers, community, etc.), and guarding the reputation and integrity of the organization.
- What part do I play in that future? Not only do we all want to belong to an organization that has a strong heritage and is going somewhere, but we want to be "true contributors" to that direction and ultimate success. Everyone wants to be proud of their work and know that they fit in and make a difference!
- How will my performance be judged? Have you updated job descriptions to keep current with the changes in your business, marketplace, daily functions, etc.? Do you tell employees what values and work traits will be rewarded and which ones won't be tolerated? Catch someone doing something right and make a big deal of it! Catch wrong behavior -- big or small, don't ignore it -- deal with it too. Above all, be consistent!
- How am I doing so far? Go beyond the annual formal review. "Walk the halls" of your organization, observe, listen (for "the good, the bad, and the ugly"). Comment right then and there. Formal reviews are so "anxiety-ridden," for both the boss and the worker, so periodic informal reviews leave no doubt in anyone's mind that things are being noticed.
One more critical factor -- PAY YOUR PEOPLE AS MUCH AS YOU CAN! Don't let someone steal a good worker over a few bucks and then try to "counter"... do the right thing up front. In addition to everything else mentioned, money is important too!