Happy people are more productive. That's been shown by surveys galore, and, simply put, it just makes sense. Nobody delivers their best performance if they are unhappy, dragging themselves into work each day, going through the motions until they can escape and go home again. The best workplaces are inspiring and supportive, with colleagues working creatively, with shared vision and values.
So, let's look at six of the phrases often heard when someone leaves a job. How many of these have you heard, and what did you do to try and put things right? It's easy to shrug the shoulders and say, "Well, that's life", but often a few simple changes can bring about a much happier team that wants to stick around and is completely committed to your business's success.
1. "I love the people but it's just not flexible enough for me to work at my best."
I can bet that flexible working is increasingly important to your team, even if they're not telling you that directly. And flexible working isn't just about the hours they clock in and clock out; it's about the freedom they have to do their job, the opportunities they have to explore processes, and to think.
Are you sure you are creating an environment that allows your best people to do their best work? Don't stifle creativity, nurture it and encourage it. Always be asking your team what they need to be better.
A flexible working day or the opportunity to work remotely can drastically improve the work/life balance and relieve home pressures, freeing up your people to focus and deliver better at work.
2. "I love the flexibility but the reporting processes drive me crazy."
How long is it since you last properly looked at your procedures and processes. And how long since you looked at them through the eyes of your team? If you're hearing this phrase from people leaving your employment, it's definitely time to sit down and see exactly how you operate.
Look for ways that you can streamline procedures, open up space for people to work more autonomously and with the freedom to challenge things. They'll be more stimulated and happier, and you'll feel and see the benefit just as much as they will. Ask for honest feedback on your management style and strive to improve your performance, to help theirs.
3. "I love the management style but the office is so unproductive and uninspiring."
If you're not inspiring people, you're going to lose them. The best people need stimulation and challenges, and to feel that their contribution is important to the overall success of the company. They want to be inspired. This doesn't mean you spend your days walking around your business forcing high fives and speaking in motivational jargon.
Instead, make sure you're setting an example in terms of the delivery of your company values; make sure your passion for your business and your belief in your people is being communicated; make sure you're listening to them and acting on their ideas and showing them they can achieve whatever they want to in your business.
4. "I love the office environment but I can't seem to gel with the people here."
Communicating your employer brand is vital to your talent attraction. It's the only way to ensure a good culture fit between the people you hire. Do all you can to communicate your culture and values via your employer brand, and you'll be rewarded with people that will thrive in your business and attract other great people to join. Make sure longer-serving colleagues aren't left behind or feel isolated as your team grows and your culture changes.
5. "I love the vision here but they just don't pay me enough for this."
Everybody wants to feel sufficiently rewarded. The talent you need to drive your business is in demand and can pick and choose where to take their skills like never before. Make sure your remuneration package is sufficiently attractive to bring the best talent to your door. And it's not just about money, of course.
Make sure your benefits package is at least on a par with your competitors, and align it with strong values and a great culture that's clearly communicated through your employer brand.
6. "I love the money and benefits here but I just can't get behind the vision of this company"
Businesses evolve. They change over time by instigating or responding to changes in their sector. The people that work in the business bring skills and ideas that shake things up. And in small and medium sized-businesses especially, confirming and communicating the company vision can be very tricky, and often overlooked in the simple fight for survival and beating the competition. But it's the values of your business that will attract the right people to join you.
Keeping your company vision relevant and up to date ensures everyone is pulling in the right direction and removes confusion. Clearly communicating the vision will help your talent attraction and keep good people on-board.