New Year’s Resolution: Sort Your Staff Problem
They say people don’t quit jobs – they quit bosses. But when you drill down into that you’ll discover that the job and work atmosphere is created by the boss or the manager. The great news is that if you’re the boss, you have the power to create a fantastic work life for your employees, and in doing so, you can attract and retain the best staff.
CC Recruitment is in a unique position to observe the difficulties New Zealand employers have securing great staff; we also often see employers lose great employees to other businesses, without knowing the reason why.
And because staffing issues are often the biggest headache for businesses, we wanted to help you analyse how you can better position yourself this year to attract the best staff and get the most out of them on the job, so we’ve done some research for you.
Here are our top tips on sorting your staff procurement and retention issues, once and for all.
Get clear with communicationI know we harp on about this a bit, but it can’t be stressed enough – clearer communication with staff means happier staff. With migrant workers this is particularly pertinent because the ways bosses interact with their employees overseas can be very different to how Kiwi employers communicate. For example, a Kiwi staff member might see a broken fence on their way to a paddock and make a mental note to fix it the same day (they know that their employer will be happy for them to do so), whereas a migrant worker may not take the same initiative. It’s crucial that employers re-frame their thinking and not see this as a disadvantage. It simply means the employer needs to adapt. Often migrant workers are far more diligent and committed than their Kiwi counterparts, but they may need more direction, or permission from their employer, depending on how they worked in their own country. We often find that making daily lists of tasks and sharing them with employees is an easy way to get the most out of your staff – you can also ask them to add anything to the task list that they notice needs doing.
Clarify your languageThe way you speak may have an impact on how effective your employees are at their jobs. Kiwis often mumble, speak quickly and use a lot of slang. Industry-specific slang is particularly hard for some migrant workers to understand. It can be very frustrating for them, and they may find it embarrassing to admit that they can’t understand your instructions. If they reply “Yes, Boss!” to your instructions, it’s not necessarily because they understood, but that they don’t want to appear incompetent.
If you’ve noticed that despite giving your employees instructions for the day’s work, that they can’t seem to follow them, it’s likely that you have a communication problem. The simplest way to rectify this, is (as above) to have a written list of tasks visible on a board for all to see, or alternatively, to ask them to repeat instructions back to you, to confirm that they have understood. It’s important to empower your employees to do their work effectively, and excellent communication is the key.
Identify your weaknessesNo employee likes to think they’re bad at their job. And likewise, no employer wants to admit that they’re not an effective boss. However, taking stock of your weaknesses enables you to address them and become more effective, and in turn, more productive.
A good way to start is by reflecting honestly on the issues that have occurred over the past year. While your employees may have contributed to some of the issues, choose to put that aside. How did you contribute to any problems? Could you have been more organised, been a better communicator, been fairer or clearer? If you are having difficulty, ask a business partner or friend if there’s anything they noticed that you had trouble with.
Once you identify your weaknesses, you need to address them and let your staff know what improvements you plan to make. For example, if you noticed that you lost your temper with staff over mistakes, and it created a hostile working environment, you can let your staff know that you’ve decided you will address any mistakes with the individual, not in the group environment.
By taking stock of your weaknesses and making a plan for change, your employees will feel they are taken seriously and that they are operating in a positive and progressive work environment.
Invest in your businessAll too often we see businesses struggle because they haven’t been clear about where they want to spend their money, or how they want to grow their business.
If you feel like your business is flagging, then it’s time to address your needs going forward. Do you need to invest your dollars in marketing, new equipment, or staff?
We often have employers baulk at the additional cost of hiring migrant staff through our recruitment agency, yet they are happy to hire Kiwi staff at a marginally lower cost. Often we hear that there is such a high turnover of those local staff, that the stress and time spent addressing the ongoing staffing issue far outweighs the benefit of saving a few dollars on the initial hire.
Where are you wasting time and stress in your business? If you can identify the stressors that keep creating bumps in the road, make a commitment to invest in those areas, so that your business can grow this year.