Last week I attended a discussion on attracting and retaining employees. One interesting fact is with unemployment at historically low numbers it is harder and harder for companies to attract and retain valuable employees. This has undoubtedly caused a paradigm shift in employee’s attitudes and behaviors. As opposed to the recession of almost 10 years ago, where people were happy to have a job, employees now think that the company is lucky to have employees. In order for you to compete for employees, keep them loyal and maximize productivity you have to offer something that others cannot replicate. Today I am going to share with you how you can create a competitive edge by attracting and retaining your ideal employees by maximizing loyalty.
I once heard an Air Force Colonel saying he wanted to give his warfighters an unfair advantage in combat. He wasn’t looking for a competitive fight, he wanted to have all the advantages. That makes sense when people’s lives are at stake. How does that relate to how you run your company? Well, lives are at stake. Maybe not life or death, but your employees depend on you to provide for their livelihood.
Attracting and retaining the highest quality employees will certainly help you get a competitive edge, right? Think of all you can get done if everyone was on board and as dedicated as you. If they just “got it”. Competitive benefits and competitive pay are necessary, and are the price to admission. The challenge is they can be copied by your competitors. Today I am going to share how you can create a competitive edge by attracting and retaining your ideal employees.
Simon Sinek has made a name for him self by encouraging people to “Start With Why?” Why? Because a good “Why” resonates. Think about it, how many foundations have been started by someone after a loved one was impacted by a devastating disease? How many companies were started to solve a common problem?
Your employees have a reason for working for you. When I talk to employees, I hear a wide range of reasons why employee work at a company.
- It’s a paycheck
- I believe in the mission
- the hours a great
- they treat me well
- I’m just waiting for retirement.
Why do your employees work for you? Is it because they believe in the company (good) or because they haven’t found another job yet (bad)? Either way getting to understand why your company exists, and why your employees choose to work for you can go a long way in attracting and retaining valuable employees.
As I look back over my career, I think the biggest influence that impacted my decision to change jobs (and eventually get into consulting) was because my values didn’t align with my company. Now, that isn’t to say that the companies I worked for were immoral or had poor values – not at all. They just didn’t align with my values.
Most companies have a list of core values. I bet you can tell me your companies core values, and they are most likely displayed proudly on your website or careers page. The challenge is, do you always live your core values? Your core values are there to guide your decisions, and how you conduct your business. If you have a core value of people first, and you make decisions that seem to put profit or shareholder above your people are you living your core values?
I know you don’t have time to be a cheer leader and give your teams pep talks every day to get them motivated to do their job? Actually, it isn’t necessarily your job to motivate them. Well, not directly. You can, however, create an environment or condition that helps motivate your employees. It’s all about getting the right people in the right seats.
Let’s say you have an employee that is naturally creative and thinks big picture. Is this person likely to be motivated by looking at spreadsheets? Probably not. On the other hand, if you an employee that really liked to get into the details of your business accounting, do you think this person would be good a developing marketing material? Again, probably not. Finding motivators of your employees will help you see dramatic improvements on productivity, retention, and profits. (check out this video)
This Week’s Challenge
Give yourself a competitive edge by evaluating your companies why, values and motivating loyalty. These things make your company unique and give you a competitive advantage. If you need help, please contact us to learn how we can help!