In the home improvement industry, everyone feels the pain of trying to find quality employees. Across the country, owners have been lamenting their labor issues ever since the economy began to recover. So when you find good people it is vital you hold on to them.
When it comes to employee retention, many owners assume it will come down to money to keep them from leaving. But there is more to it than simply increasing their salary. Even well-paid people cut and run from employers when they’re not happy.
So, how do you make them happy?
Here are six tips to help you retain talented team members:
Coaching: Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. When your people learn new skills or enhance existing abilities, they’re going to feel more satisfied and be willing to take on new tasks. It might even take them out of a rut or a boring routine. Role play with a sales rep, show an installer an easier way to complete a task, do whatever you can to teach and you’ll boost their loyalty and self-worth.
Providing Visibility: An actor once asked Alfred Hitchcock, “What’s my motivation?” and he replied, “Your salary.” Many owners worry about sharing financial information or even future plans for the company. When workers know how the company is doing and where the company is headed, they are more motivated and invested in the business. Give them the “big picture” and they’ll help achieve it.
Appreciating: This should go without saying, but many times we forget. From a simple “Thank you” on a job well done to giving a token of appreciation, you’re recognizing someone’s hard work and dedication. Buy them a coffee, give them a day off, or take them to lunch. Do what you can to thank them when it’s deserved and they will continue going above and beyond and be more satisfied in their job.
Challenging: Along with appreciation, throw in a challenge to your employees when and where necessary. Give them tasks outside their comfort zone. Expect that they’ll fail here and there but, with continued coaching, they’ll eventually be up to the challenge. Because people hate change, if they manage to accomplish any new goal then they’ll feel more fulfilled at the end of the day.
Promoting: It might be that your top salesperson doesn’t want to be a manager. But you won’t know if you don’t ask. Whether you have an employee review process in place or not, talk to your team to find out more about their goals. Help them see a career path with your company, if that’s an option. It can be hard to retain someone if they think their current job is as far as they can go.
Permitting: As with “challenging”, give them permission to take on more responsibility. Give them that permission to fail mentioned before. Let them take on that special project they’ve always wanted to try. Trust them to do something you normal handle. Yes, they could mess something up but they will never learn if they don’t try. And they will feel better about their job and the company if they know they can spread their wings every once in a while.
It’s never always about the money – but that is a good place to start. Paying your talented people well is a prerequisite. But the majority of your team also want transparency, responsibility, and to feel like part of the family. Take care of them and they will take care of your business.