• Trish Hall

2020 what 'ya going to do?

Well, here we are with January 2020 all done and dusted and put into the archives, we are often wondering what next? If you haven't done any blue sky business planning over the holidays don't despair - this is still a great time to do it. With the end of the Financial Year edging closer we want our business to be in a place that's strong for the new period. So let's get to it!

It's good to remember that businesses are vulnerable to employees leaving and it's prudent to consider that whilst you're doing your business planning your employees might be too. Often this time of the year encourages growth and change which creates the risk that your staff might talk with their feet - right out the door and onto the next career challenge.

As part of your business planning, you should include the 'people' element and plan for how you can improve your workplace to retain your staff. Here are some things you could do to make your workplace a cool place to be a part of (you don't have to do all these things, a combination might work for you best).

1. Map out career goals with your staff, where are the opportunities for staff to grow with the business? Can staff be promoted over time? What new roles are coming up that staff could transition into?

2. May out the training desires of your staff, Improving the skills and experience of your staff can add value to your service (so long as it's relevant of course - there might not be much value to the ROI if your accountant wants to retrain as a shark hunter!).

3. Celebrate occasions - birthdays, farewells, anniversaries, babies. You don't have to take everyone out to a fancy restaurant at $100 per head - a simple cake will go a long way (portion and self-value).

4. Celebrate success - if someone is doing a cracker job let them know! Again, this doesn't have to be lavish - just tell them. Give staff feedback on a regular basis and share client feedback as well. Respect how staff wish to be recognised - not everyone wants to be put on the spotlight in the team meeting. Some people prefer to be told privately one-on-one.

5. Reconsider your management structure/style/functionality. Are you including the right people (including those interested) in your strategic planning? Are you having regular meetings where staff can share their views? Are there too many layers that make it hard for the less experienced staff to connect with the CEO?

6. Are you paying your staff well? Whilst pay isn't the be-all and end-all it certainly helps to pay above market ranges to show your appreciation. If the company is doing well (this ties into points 1 and 2 above) then reward your staff.

7. Flexibility - staff have lives outside of work. If you have onboarded the right people and they're working hard and achieving lots for the company then why not be flexible with their hours? Being able to attend school prize-givings, go to the Dr or Dentist or compete in a swimming competition adds to the overall sense of wellbeing. Happy and valued staff are more productive.

8. Do better than the Holidays Act and/or Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act - who says you can't give 5 weeks annual leave instead of 4? Who says you can't extend paid parental leave (remembering the government pays the first 22 weeks if the criteria are met).

9. Engage your staff with your policies and procedures - new and one's being reviewed. You'll get a great idea of what they think plus the policies and procedures will be better socialised i.e., staff will know about them!

10. Take staff feedback. You think I'm going to suggest the good-old-fashioned staff survey right? Wrong! Whilst they can be a great tool the best thing you can do is ask for feedback and act on it when you receive it. If staff give feedback there is a good chance they care enough about your company so don't ignore it. Ignoring feedback will reduce the chance they will give feedback next time.

If you want to look at your culture and how you could improve your staff experience let me know!