29 April 2016

Employees at the top of the apple tree – 5 tips for attracting and retaining employees

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American musician Pete Wentz said “Girls are like apples, the good ones are always at the top of the tree.” The same analogy can be applied to employees. The good ones at the top of the tree, can be hard to find and even more difficult to retain.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics only 46% of employees have been in the same job for longer than five years. The old days of employees loyal to only one company are few and far between, with a whopping 20% of workers having been in same job for less than one year. But funnily enough, those workers moving in between jobs aren’t look for new career paths but simply for new companies to move too. 

With diminishing employee loyalty, the employment process is becoming increasingly important. Finding the apple at the top of the tree and then being able to retain that apple can be a tricky process.
5 Tips for attracting and retaining the best staff:

Create a vibrant office culture

Make things fun. People spend a majority of their lives at work. Monday to Friday, 9 to 5. Try to encourage a fun and open culture where people can enjoy themselves. If people are having a good time, they’re more likely to put in that extra effort. Look at Google, one of the most successful companies in the world. They pride themselves on their lax culture and employee satisfaction. 

Speak to your employees in their language 

I was recently introduced to a great book by Dale Carnegie - How to Win Friends and Influence People. One chapter emphasised the importance of speaking to people in their own language. This idea is important for employers when speaking to their staff.   Stop talking about what you want. Speak to your employees in a way which resonates with them. Carnegie opened the chapter with a fishing analogy. He made a good point in saying that whilst his favourite food was strawberries and cream, fish had to be baited using a worm or grasshopper. Funny that.  

Keep them engaged 

Lead your employees don’t just manage them. Inspiring your employees will keep them engaged and ignite a sense of passion. If people are passionate about what they do, they’re much less likely to look elsewhere for new employment opportunities. A survey conducted by CEB found that one-third of star employees were disengaged in their employment and were looking for a new job. Providing your employees with new roles and challenges will assist in keeping them stimulated.

Listen to what they have to say

As Maslow pointed out more than half a century ago, one of the basic human desires is the feeling to be needed. Listening to what your employees have to say creates this sense of belonging. Building a good relationship with your staff is important. It’s next to impossible for your employees to work eight plus hours, when they don’t care about the organisation or what they’re doing.  Listening to what they have to say also creates a sense of equality. You will gain respect and it will create a comfortable work environment.

Respect the work-life balance 

It is only natural that employers want to get the most out of their staff. However it is important to respect the fact that we do not live to work but work to live. The average Australian will spend 10 years of their life at work alone. So it is important to respect the time that employees have off. Ensure productivity whilst employees are at work, so they don’t have to take their jobs home with them.

After all, money only buys happiness up until a certain extent. A study conducted by Princeton found that people who earned over $75,000 not necessarily any happier than their lower earning colleagues.

Companies should focus a larger portion of their efforts inwardly. Most do well with customer service and ensuring that the needs of their customers are satisfied but don’t pay enough attention to the needs of their staff.

Come and listen to the likes of Jon Lang, CEO of Upskilled on strengthening organisational innovation for staff retention. For more information please visit www.akolade.com.au or call us on (02) 9247 600.  

Ashley has lived on Manly beachfront her entire life – she worships the sun and chases it year round. Having recently finished her Bachelor of Business in Portugal’s gorgeous capital, Lisbon, she thought that producing conferences at Akolade would be a great new experience.  Ashley loves her new dinner-time conversation, enlightening people on her research topics! 

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