Are Your Staff Too Happy?
Are your staff too happy?
Managing your business requires KPIs and measurement in various numbers. One of those numbers is staff retention.
If you’re turning over staff at a high rate, you need to dig deep and quickly. Why are people leaving and where are they going? What skills are you losing and how much are you spending training staff to go to your competitors? How much are you investing on recruitment and on-boarding?
On the other hand, if your staff aren’t moving, is this a problem?
In my work I used to be particularly concerned with high turnover. Now I’m becoming just as concerned with low turnover. Continuity is important, and it’s easy to rely on the same people for the same functions. Do you have a culture of innovation?
Or are they stuck in a rut? Too comfortable? Over paid? Complacent?
From employees, I often hear “I don’t know if I would get this level of flexibility / work close to home / understanding in another job”. I challenge this. If you live in a regional town with limited businesses, you may be right. But, if you live in the city and have access to a variety of options, and you’re good at what you do, you may be restricting yourself.
From employers I hear, “I would like my team to come up with new ideas, challenge the norm, be creative”.
How do you create this environment when innovation and change is blocked by the “long termers” who are happy with what they’re doing and don’t necessarily like change?
A couple of solutions are:
1. Ask your employees these questions; what do you want from your job? What do you bring? And really listen to the answers. They may be a good cultural fit, but their desire for the job has changed (GWC, “Get it, Want it, Capacity for it”, Get a Grip, Gino Wickman and Mike Paton). Discuss with the leadership team and come up with an effective solution.
2. Create an innovation hour once a month, over breakfast or lunch, where ideas from across the business can be presented. The founder listens and either asks for more information, or suggests a team work together to bring it to the next stage. Allocate a manager to mentor, identify a structure and let it go … look forward to seeing the new presentation next month.
3. Review the business: if you’ve grown dramatically and the systems haven’t grown in line with the business (Scaling Up, Verne Harnish), it’s time to take stock of strategy with the leadership team.
It’s tempting to grow a business around the people, and loyalty should be rewarded. But the reality is that if you’re not happy with a staff member’s performance, they’re probably not happy either. Complacency is dangerous. Be a leader, get outside help if you need it and take control of your business by addressing the people factor first.