“Help! I can’t find enough good people.”
That’s a common phrase among builders, remodelers and trades people around our country these days. It seems our labor force has taken some serious hits since the recession, and left us begging, borrowing and stealing to come up with enough good people to get the work done.
This isn’t really a new problem. Over time business owners have consistently complained about the lack of “good people” and the issues surrounding hiring and keeping them.
Granted, it’s no small task to find those valuable human resources, hire them and motivate them. But now more than ever it’s critical that we raise the levels of professionalism and sophistication in our businesses in order to address the issue effectively.
More importantly, if we’re committed to success, developing a committed staff of achievers is the one thing that will set our companies apart from the competition and brand us as the go-to companies for prospective customers and employees alike.
Three major themes come to mind when unravelling this very real but conquerable challenge:
The Culture You’re Building
First, as a business owner and leader, ask yourself this question: “How do I rate the culture of my company on a scale of 1 – 10?”
To clarify, culture is the sum total of the attitudes, values and behaviors within the confines of your business – particularly as it pertains to your staff. It’s the environment they live in every day, that can either be very inviting or, to the detriment of many otherwise high-potential businesses, very toxic.
The health of your company culture is the starting place for making great hires and keeping great employees and sub-contractors.
Is there a prevailing negativity that persists day-in and day-out? Are people working in silos, isolated one from another and guarded? Is there a sense that one wrong move may elicit a tirade of expletives?
If any of those rings true, then you’ve got an unhealthy culture on your hands that must be fixed. Great people will not tolerate such low levels of emotional intelligence. That’s not a condemnation. It’s just a fact.
If you want to attract the right people, then begin now to cultivate an environment where they feel safe to do their best work without being threatened. Let people know you support them and want them to win at their work. When you do, your culture will have immediately taken a turn for the better. And not coincidentally, the financial health of your company will follow!
People Desire To Be Valued
The second theme that comes to mind is value. People are people everywhere and they all (you and I included) have an intrinsic need to know they matter.
As a leader, one of your most important roles is to inspire the people around you. Often business owners overlook their single most effective hiring source when searching for good people – their own inspired people. When people love what they’re doing and especially the culture they work in, they tell other people.
Guess what happens when the opposite is true? You got it – they drive would-be candidates away every chance they get.
Ironically, it doesn’t take much to turn the tide on inspiration. When is the last time you told your people how much you appreciate them and value the work they’re doing? How have you demonstrated a sincere effort to reward them (above and beyond salary or wages) for a job well done? What have you done to make sure they feel included in the daily challenge of finding and implementing effective solutions to nagging problems and frustrations?
Inspiring people takes intentional effort, but the payback is exponential!
There’s No Substitute for Good Communication
The third theme that merits mention is simply, good communication. Many business owners make assumptions about their staff and what they know and/or need to know. Assumptions are dangerous.
It’s not uncommon for a good and productive employee to walk out the door unexpectedly because we’ve assumed they are fine. Regular communication will almost always stop that from happening. Talk to your people, hold meetings (one-on-one and group), ask questions and get to know them. The difference between you and the company that hires them away may be (and often was) a simple conversation that never took place.
The Three Keys to Hiring & Keeping Good Employees:
Environments, Inspiration and Communication are things that a leader can change starting today. Think about the impact of your leadership in order to be more constructively dissatisfied with the way things are. If you were applying for a job at your company what would you think? My guess is that you would be looking for a good balance of all three components. And so are your current and future employees and sub-contractors.
Follow us for deeper dive on all three of these fundamentally important issues and how to leverage them for long-term hiring success. Wishing you the best!