With so much emphasis in the last few years focused on how often millennials change jobs, (43% plan to leave their current jobs within two years and only 28% have plans to stay beyond five years), it has become more necessary than ever to commit to fostering a workplace culture that entices people to stay.
So what are some things to keep in mind when creating that type of culture? Acknowledge that hiring and training new team members is a time-consuming experience so it’s worthwhile to value their skills and treat them well so they remain loyal to you. Of course, no one can predict when a change will become necessary but valuing your team members can lessen the chances of them wanting to jump ship within the first year or so.
No matter how many team members you hire, they all want to be treated well and paid what they’re worth. What does that mean exactly? Don’t expect to hire a talented graphic designer for $20/hour. Don’t hand off a project to your virtual assistant without answering her questions or expecting her to read your mind of how it should be completed. Instead, be aware of the going rate for graphic designers and try negotiating with your chosen artist to reach a mutually beneficial rate. Call your virtual assistant or film a quick training video for her showing the details of the project.
Your team members also want to be heard. If your VA notices a problem with a recurring monthly project or has ideas for making your backend processes run more smoothly, explore other viable options to make the project or the business run more smoothly. Even if changes can’t be made, at least your team members will know you listened to their ideas. Remember, not only are you building relationships with your clients but you’re also building relationships with your team members and communications is a two-way street.
Toxic managers are a top reason why people leave their traditional jobs or drop their clients. It has been said, "people don't leave bad jobs; they leave bad bosses and poor management, who don't appreciate their value." Micromanaging every little detail, criticizing every step, and setting unrealistic deadlines time after time is enough to stress out the most calm and laid back person. Yes, sometimes there will be rush jobs but if every single job has a rush schedule, think about how you can better schedule your time – and that of your team – so everyone can be calm and less likely to make mistakes.
Be respectful of your team members’ work boundaries. If they don’t work weekends, then try not to schedule Monday deadlines. If they tell you they don’t work late evening hours, then don’t be upset when you don’t receive an answer to your email until the next business day. As a business owner, it’s well within your rights to pick and choose those service providers who work your same hours and they are valid questions to ask during an interview. Ultimately, it’s up to you to ask the questions and choose those team members whose schedules and work ethics match up to yours, provided they can also handle the workload.
Lastly, remember that your team members are people, too, who celebrate birthdays, whose kids hit milestones, and whose families sometimes suffer crises. Sending a small birthday gift or mentioning the birth of a new baby is endearing. Likewise, having a backup plan for getting the work done when a team member suffers an emergency can be a great relief to both you and that team member. Treat your team as you would want to be treated ... remember: Kindness Doesn’t Cost Money.
Entrepreneur extraordinaire, Richard Branson, says, "Train people well enough so they can leave; treat them well enough so they don't want to."
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