Even if you start your business as a one-person team, as you become more and more successful, you will need to recruit and build a team if you are to continue growing. No matter how good you think you are, you will not be able to do everything as the business grows. And in many businesses, you will need to recruit and build a team when you start your business.
However, finding efficient, reliable people who you can trust is hard. It takes a lot of effort and time to find such people. And if you use a recruitment agency it can also be expensive.
But finding such people is only half the battle. You need to make an effort to ensure they remain with you. First of all, as such people are rare, they will be in demand so they will likely to receive other job offers or even get headhunted.
What can you do to stop this from happening? There are a number of steps you should take to make them think twice. Perhaps most importantly, you should tell them, and show them that they are valued, respected and trusted by you.
How can you show them? Well, the most obvious way is by giving them a bonus or some other reward for their good work. They will also appreciate the worth of having a boss who cares for them and recognises their value. However, there are other important non-monetary ways to ensure loyalty of your team.
Listen to their views
Very often, they will have insights you have overlooked. This is because the could have access to parts of the business you don't get involved in or they speak to certain customers/suppliers that you don't so have important information which is extremely valuable. Give them the authority and confidence to speak to you.
Give them responsibility
A common mistake, especially in smaller businesses is for the owner to try to do everything himself/herself.
An absolute refusal to delegate is extremely common. However, it is really impractical to do that and leads to an overworked, overburdened and overstressed boss. Inevitably, it will lead to mistakes and important areas of the business ignored eg, important customers ignored etc. That is why good team members are so important for the success of your business.
Delegate to your team - not only will it benefit you but will also instil loyalty and belonging to your employees by empowering them to help you. It shows you are trusting them and they will appreciate that.
Keep them informed
Communicate! It's important to ensure you, as the owner, keep your team up to date with what's happening in the business. It helps to establish a sense of openness and trust and also promotes a sense of belonging too. This could be done through weekly meetings, a newsletter, for example.
Conversely, a lack of communication between you and your team could create a barrier - a feeling you might have something to hide and leads to a lack of openness and trust. It could also lead to your team feeling isolated and a feeling that their views and opinions are irrelevant which in turn, in turn, is bad for morale.
Celebrate their successes
A great way to boost morale in your business is to celebrate successes in your business especially resulting from deeds done by your team. It doesn't have to be a big gesture but even buying a couple of rounds of drinks is a good way of saying thank you to your team!
If particular team members are critical to your business, then it may be worth thinking more laterally how you can induce them to stay – perhaps by offering them a share of the business. The advantage of this method is that you do not have to make an upfront payment to them. However, there may be implications on shareholder voting rights etc, depending on how big a stake of the business you give to that person, so that should be weighed up too. These type of actions will make their decision to leave far more difficult!
Always interested to know your views and experiences, or if you want to discuss any of these issues further that are relevant for your business, please email me at email@example.com or contact me online.