Strategizing on your employees for company growth is one of the most rewarding experiences you can ever enjoy as an owner or manager. Employees can be compared to fuel. Without them there is no movement or growth. Investing and strategizing on your employees is already 50% company success. Normally as the company grows, they are vulnerable to labour turnover. If you loose one great skilled employee, it will take you about 6months or more to train a new employee to efficiency level. Over 50% new recruits leave within 2 years and 1 in 4 new recruits leave within 6 months.
We normally assume that people leave due to money but being in recruitment Industry for many years now, I have realized that there is more into it.
Employees can leave due to:
- No advancement or opportunities in the company
- Lack of coaching or training yet high expectations
- Lack of appreciation or recognition
- Stress from overwork or work/life imbalances
- Lack of trust for senior managers
- Lack of tools or resources
- Old machines or equipment
- Distance from home or too much travelling
- Too much paperwork and management don’t want to change or adjust to new technology or new ways of doing things.
So how best can you strategize especially in our Plastics and Packaging Industry?
- Identify positions in your organizations that are core and support functions. Then identify critical skills in your company. Always check whether you are paying market rate salaries to your core and critical positions. You don’t want such positions to be constantly headhunted in your company because you are underpaying.
- Build customer loyalty to the company brand rather than the person. You don’t want your customers to go with your sales person when he/she leaves the company.
- Have leaders that know how to motivate and inspire people to engage with the company vision. Don’t be quick to promote best performers but rather have someone with great leadership skills.
- Recognizing employees is one of the most effective tools you can ever use. Employees stay where they feel valued, feel important and where the company invests in them. Find out what motivates your employees and what do they consider as a reward. When recognizing someone, be specific on what you are appreciating.
- Don’t tolerate negativity where one employee talks bad about another employee. Where there is positivity, there is innovation, creativity and productivity.
- You need to have a training program especially for new employees and in-house promotion. Normally if best employees are promoted, the assumption is that they know their work but forgetting it’s a new post for him/her. Performance appraisals will help you a lot in identifying low and high performers. As for your setters, you need to constantly train them on troubleshooting and ensure certification.
- You need to create an innovative culture in your organization and remove those people who slow everyone else down. Foster a culture that allows open disagreements but for bigger companies, you may need to institutionalize channels of communication.
- In dealing with critical skills like your millwright, technicians, toolmakers or engineers use internship and implement mentoring program. Always pair someone with a goal to develop specific competency. Have a succession plan in place and constantly give feedback on the progress. Document procedures on every position so that you don’t cry when your best employee leaves the company. Depending with type of the job and company products, you may need to put restriction of trade on some positions. This will avoid your competitors from taking your employees.
- Provide resources as according to what the job requires. Toolbox to your toolmakers or technicians people. Many technicians are frustrated because they have no tools. Invest in buying new machines or equipment if possible; it motivates employees. There is nothing frustrating as constantly working on an old machine that is constantly breaking down.
- Restructure some jobs – many people do similar jobs. You need to analyze your positions, restructure and regroup some task. By reorganizing work units, you cut costs and increase efficiency. Your best employees will appreciate more responsibilities.
- You need to push your employees to achieve bigger results and boost productive capacity. Give them a bigger purpose, communicate clearly what you want done, why and time frame. Show also that you are pushing as a leader and celebrate every achievement with them. Be careful not to push too much otherwise it might backfire.
- Lastly but not least, do not put so much emphasis on degrees or diploma but hire passion & attitude. You do not want a complainer or negative person, especially in a company that is still growing but you want a solution-oriented person who is also pro-active.
Yes people can leave your company but don’t be caught unaware. You can have great and hard working employees with more than 10 years experience in your company. Always strategize. Stay committed and focused in applying these strategies and you will surely get positive results.