This is probably one of the most common challenges I hear when talking to business owners at the moment. OK, unemployment is historically low but why is it so hard?
Taking on a new employee can be a bit like dating. The interview can be all roses, they say the right things and look fantastic but then after a while you start to understand who it is you’ve taken on and risk the employer’s equivalent of finding a rabbit boiling away on your hob one evening.
In SME’s one toxic employee can ‘infect’ the others and before long you have a cancer in your operation. Therefore everyone needs to be a great performer if you’re going to build your business.
So, how do we get and keep good people?
There is a common saying, “You get the people you deserve” and this certainly applies to building a team. When you run a great company and are a great leader, you get great people. And when you run a mediocre company and are a mediocre leader, you get mediocre people.
Think about what sort of company a great employee would want to join and what sort of leader they really want to work with and learn from. Then, and only then work to build a company that they would want to be employed by.
To start, great team members want to work in a positive and rewarding organisation where they have the ability to give input, get the job done, feel part of a community and be recognised for their work. They want a company that is going places where they can learn, grow and probably build a career. If that’s not you yet, then keep building.
I had a meeting with a Cambridge tech company a few weeks ago, they currently have a handful of employees and the owners No. 1 strategy was to employ the best possible people he can find, pay them well and nurture them. His theory being that with the best possible team in place the profits will follow. Fantastic! And do you know what? I suspect he’s absolutely right!
That all said, in today’s market place it seems to be getting harder and harder and with the labour market as tight as it is the marketing of each position has never been more important. We’re almost having to sell people on why they would want to come and work with us.
But, the next time to feel yourself saying, “I can’t seem to get good people,” take a look in the mirror and ask yourself, “Is this a company great people would want to join?”.