Your team is the backbone of your business. They’re practically like your second family. Even on the toughest days, you always want to make sure everyone is taken care of. But, like any family, tension can arise that cause your employees to not want to stick around for the long haul.
While people come and go for a lot of reasons, there are some warning signs that your way of working could be adding fuel to the fire. If you want to keep your best on board, here are four problems to keep an eye out for that might cause them to jump ship, and tips on how to fix them.
How does employee turnover affect your business?
Revolving casts are good for sitcoms, but not so much for business. Not only is it sad to see your best and brightest leave—it also hurts your wallet and your reputation.
When your employees move on, it’s challenging to find someone good to replace them, to say the least. You have to hire a new tradesperson who gels with the other members of your team and who you can work with closely on a daily basis. This in itself feels like finding a needle in a haystack. Once you do find the right person, you have to offer them a competitive salary so they don’t get snatched up by a bigger company that’s hiring trades staff. And, even after that, it still takes time for them to become familiar with your business and your way of working.
Losing an employee also affects your relationship with clients. After all, you and your team have worked hard to build trust with them. If a client’s favourite team member leaves, it might hurt that relationship or take time to rebuild that trust. On top of this, if you seem to have staff coming and going, clients start to question why turnover is high—and it could leave them feeling uneasy about your business.
4 red flags that your employees might jump ship (and how to fix them)
According to SEEK, feeling underpaid is one of the top five reasons Aussie employees quit. Even though your staff are like family, they still have to pay the bills. If your tradies aren’t getting a competitive package, they might end up weighing up the benefits of working with a sole trader versus a company and move on to someone that pays them more.
If you can offer a salary increase, you’re one of the lucky few. But remember that money isn’t everything, especially for small business employees. There are other perks you can offer to keep your staff happy. A work allowance, benefits like a gym membership and work car, or flexible work conditions helps keep your best hands on deck.
They feel underappreciated
Whether it’s a pat on the back for a job well done or a celebratory post-work beer, your employees want to feel like their hard work is noticed. If you aren’t regularly showing appreciation for your team, employee motivation levels eventually start to drop.
There are plenty of ways to reward your staff, and this is an opportunity to get creative! If your team has been working hard, show them your appreciation with a simple gesture like shouting lunch for the week. Alternatively, give them a little something to say “thank you”, like free movie tickets or box seats at the footy. Team meetings are also a great time to recognise your employees with a quick shout out for any employees that have gone above and beyond for a job.
You’re overworking your team
Tradies are used to working overtime, but there’s a difference between overtime and overworked. When your employees are working round the clock with no signs of a break, at some point they might chuck in the towel and look for a boss who offers better work-life balance.
While it’s not always possible to tackle this problem with extra hands, there are a few ways to make sure the work’s not getting to be too much. If your team has been putting in the hard yards for a long period of time, take the time to check in and ask them how they’re feeling over a coffee, beer or in the car on the way to a job. An anonymous feedback app like Free Suggestion Box also comes in handy because it gives your team a place to share their thoughts or ideas about work in a safe and open way.
Your processes need to be improved
It’s frustrating and stressful for employees to constantly receive tasks at the last minute or not be sure of the next steps on a job. One of the keys to employee retention is to make your team’s job (and your job, for that matter) easier. Technology, such as job management software and tradie apps, is simple to use and makes it easier to communicate with your team (more on that here). Ultimately, it lends a massive helping hand when it comes to keeping your employees in the loop for jobs.
People don’t leave a bad business. They leave bad management. While you care deeply for your family, it’s easy to forget that caring for your team is more than just a slap on the back and a “good on ya mate”.
Keeping your team happy means your business grows into a happy and healthy workplace (and also you’re not losing your best and brightest!)
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