Why you need to invest in your staff
Here at Think Talent, we make it our business to understand what employers want. But what about staff? Many companies make the mistake of thinking that their clients are more important than the people who work for them.
Yes, customers matter, but so do the people who service them. We’ve long since realised that treating staff the same way we treat our customers not only gets the best results, but also makes for a happy workplace. After all, you can’t sell it outside if you can't sell it inside, so investing the time and effort into making staff feel that they’re part of something valuable will reap so many rewards.
Below are some of our observations, gathered as we continue to grow our company….
It’s not just about the money
Many bosses think that throwing money at their employees is going to get them results. Yes, money is good -- to an extent. But if that’s the only incentive you have as a company, you may find yourself losing a fair bit of talent if you don’t back the pay rises up with clear company goals, and vision.
To get the most out of staff, employers need to give them a reason to go that extra mile, and that comes from making them feel valued. You want them to come up with new ideas, work more efficiently and create a better working environment. Believe you us, and extra 10k a year in the kitty won’t necessarily make that happen!
Ah, to have more time. How often do we say that? “If only I had more time with my kids. If only I had more time to read this book. If only….”. As American entrepreneur Jim Rohn said: “Time is more valuable than money. You can always get more money, but you cannot get more time”.
At the end of the day, we work so we can ensure the time we spend on Earth is worthwhile and interesting to us. By virtue of necessity, we spend much of our time at work. And while work in and of itself can be meaningful, it’s often made more so when business invests in the health and wellbeing of their staff.
At Think Talent, we do this by giving our employees time. Is your favourite workout going to take more than an hour at lunch time? Go for it. Do you want to go for a long stroll in the sunshine and eat a nice lunch outside? Please, by all means. If you’re the best version of yourself, it follows that you’ll be the best employee while at work. Sometimes, all it takes is that extra break, and the understanding that there’s always time for wellness.
So you’ve read the writing on the wall and can tell that your business needs to evolve to remain relevant. Many of your staff, while amazing at their current job descriptions, don’t quite have the skills needed to future proof your offering.
Why not suggest a course they could take to up-skill? Or perhaps an employee has come to you asking for more training. Encourage this, and, better yet, fund the training they need. Not only does this show that you care about their career development, but that you’re invested enough in them as people to see them succeed.
Smart people want to keep learning and if an employer becomes the road block, they’ll see their best and brightest disappear before they can say “pay rise”.
Other times, investment means taking everyone out for dinner or going a teensy bit over budget for that dream Christmas party (oops… we may know something about this). Spending time and money on social events shows that you appreciate the hard work your staff are doing. It may cost a little to be kind, but you’ll get triple that in loyalty.
As Steve Jobs said, “it doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do”. This is something many entrepreneurs and founders in particular have a problem with: delegating -- and letting go.
When you launch your business, it's just about you. It’s about your vision, your personality and your idea. But if you want to scale, you need to open up your business -- and your minds -- to other ideas. As founders and bosses, we recognise how difficult it is when your dream begins to evolve in other directions.
But the reality is, if you want people to feel happy and engaged, you can’t do their work for them. Empower them to make mistakes, to contribute even though you think you can do it better. Trust us: you won’t regret it.
Because we really like quotes here at Think Talent, we thought we'd leave you with one of our favs from Richard Branson: “If you look after your staff, they’ll look after your customers. It’s that simple.”
Ainsley Johnstone & Natalie Firth