Have you considered how integral you are to your teams’ success? How often do you spend time talking to them about what’s in it for them? Call it a retention strategy, internal marketing or just plain common sense but truly very few leaders take this approach. Most often the focus is about how wonderful it is to be associated with the organization or the brands. That’s true and that’s great but you can do better!
Yes but…I can hear you! This is not about shameless top down self promotion. It is about reinforcing the link between the organization and the employee and keeping it alive. The experience they get from working with you is valuable. Help them remember!
We take all things for granted over time. We notice what doesn’t feel right or pushes up against our boundaries but not all that actually is working beautifully. Just as a test, how often have you been thanked by your employees for paying them correctly or by your customers for invoicing correctly? Never, okay maybe once? We expect things to be right and they should be but can you see how our perception of the incredible value disappears in that?
What to do? Consider what your employees value about working for you and the organization and start talking about it! Here is a list to get you thinking:
- Social Interaction e.g. Friendly, supportive atmosphere
- Autonomy/Control/Authority within role/Empowered to solve problems
- Work Variety
- Opportunity to work with unique customers
- How the size of the company benefits them (small company = broader exposure, larger company = deeper/more specialized roles)
- Experience of being part of major system conversions/reorganizations and seeing the positive impact on operations
- Training Opportunities
- Community Involvement
- Work Importance
- Work Load
- Location + Proximity to home/highways/public transit
- Physical work space – clean, modern, nicely decorated, efficiently designed
- Development Opportunities
- Advancement Potential
- Flexibility around family emergencies
- Compensation & Benefits
- How the work of the company supports the community
We are all different so the list of bell ringers will be unique for people in varied roles and functional areas. So I’ll give you some examples to help you start the process.
Key position: (Employee is a functional expert, rain maker, management.): Work independently, ability to make a difference, growth + reputation of company, uniqueness of company, advancement potential, prestige, working with respected people/industry leader.
Intermediate position: (Person is in growth mode or in a support role.): Loves the customers and staff they interact with, feedback from experienced manager with a coaching style, opportunity to learn, important part of keeping the “machine” running, sense of accomplishment, feel they are noticed and acknowledged.
Blue collar employee: Safe conditions, have what they need to get things done, clear and consistent management directions, social interaction with the team, good compensation + benefits, treated with respect and valued, senior management talks to them and visits regularly not just when there is a problem, feel they belong.
If you are truly stuck start by asking what people like about working with the organization. Ask “What was it like for you with your last employer?” Share what you currently gain from the experience.
Having these conversations will help strengthen the connections and help remind employees of what’s in it for them!