· We see many organisations express their utmost desire to be an employer of choice. They want to be the workplace that people actively seek out; the one whose staff will gush about even when their boss isn’t in the room.
· But in a world with lots of organisations competing to be the chosen one, how do you stand out? Even more so when the balance sheet isn’t allowing for a massage parlour or free bar stocked with decades-old Scotch?
The major difference between organisations who achieve that enviable goal of being the chosen one is that they believe in and work towards creating a sustainable climate where the right staff are recruited, supported and challenged to achieve great things. They understand that it isn’t about one-off gimmicks or spending huge amounts of money implementing new systems that no-one uses.
In our experience, organisations that get it right take the time to understand what actually motivates their staff, and then work to implement and maintain it. What do the people that you want, want?
Ask applicants what it was that drew them to your organisation, current staff what makes them stay, and leavers what made them choose to leave. We’ve seen time and time again people state that they love working alongside colleagues who are as committed and professional as they are, and other common motivators are opportunities for personal growth, job security, fair pay, and friendly co-workers.
As well as being clear on what you want to offer as an employer, create the right culture:
1. Get the right people in and induct them well. Be clear on the behaviours, skills and knowledge you want to see and screen out people who don’t meet the requirements.
2. Keep employees challenged and inspired by setting clear and stretching expectations, then continually review and ensure people are supported, developed and coached to meet them.
3. Ensure your people feel involved in anything which may affect them and genuinely listen to suggestions or comments made.
4. Make sure that you exemplify a culture where feedback is the norm. Positive or negative, ensure that everyone knows where they stand. This includes tackling poor behaviour or performance just as much as it includes praising those who work hard.
5. Offer progression where possible and appropriate or at least be open to the idea of helping them progress out of your organisation. It’s always better to have a great person leave, hold you in high esteem and spread goodwill, rather than keep them with you but unhappy.
It is tough work being an employer of choice. It’s certainly not a case of achieving it in a year and then ignoring it. Lots of time and energy has to be spent continuously reviewing what you do, but the payoff of becoming an employer that attracts and retains superior employees can be incredible.