These slow times are a perfect time to upgrade your staff.
Face it! You’ve probably been behaving like a hostage whenever your employees during the good times would come knocking on your door at the end of the day to say, “Do you have a minute?” We both know what comes next. It’s only a matter of how much money they want to stay or to let you know they’ve already decided to jump ship for more money.
It’s not that it can’t happen today. But, you can finally have the guts to be proactive about who stays and who goes. Even at the best of shops I’ve been lucky enough to train over the years there are always underperformers that they’re dying to get rid of but just afraid to do so.
Here’s what I recommend in good times or bad (but especially in trying times like these): Always be recruiting, hiring, orienting, training and retaining. What we want are the willing ones.
Just because you’re in the process doesn’t mean you have to hire anyone, but suppose a more qualified or better yet a more willing person came in. Wouldn’t your company benefit by having the right people on the team and the wrong people gone? You bet you would!
The trick is to be proactive and to have a formalized step-by-step process from when, where and how to recruit – a rock-solid hiring process, a written orientation process that gets them up to speed and fills their holes fast, training that’s ongoing to keep them great at performing their tasks according to their written job description (better yet, a written operations manual).
The last step is to stay in touch with them constantly to sniff out whether they’re happy or shopping around once we know we want them to stay. This is all about being good at retaining. And retaining is providing a “career not just a job.” Without a career, they’ll feel stuck and you’ll either lose them or they’ll stay without any bringing you their heart. You need an Org. Chart that shows them where they are today and where they can go as the company grows.
All of this has a DRAMATIC effect on your top line sales and your bottom line profits.
Note: If you’d like a copy of a basic Org. Chart, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to send it along.
Levi is a consultant and a contributing editor toPMmagazine
and blogs for many other BNP trade magazines.
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