Staying Power at Work!

Hullo & Hurray for the Weekend! We made it to Friday and just like that another week has ended. This blog is for employers, business owners, line managers, supervisors, heads of department or managing directors/chief executive officers. It will be about how to attract, retain and keep staff engaged and loyal to your cause and brand.

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Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

I’ll preface it with a little story just in time for Father’s Day that can also add some cushion to whatever you may be experiencing in life at the moment. 

Truth be told, once upon a time I wasn’t such a great fan of endings (or beginnings. New Year’s, Mondays and early mornings hated me as much as I hated them LOL).

In fact it broke my heart even when my favourite TV shows came to the end of a season (in those days the highlights of the week were Melrose Place, Saved by the Bell and Beverly Hills 90210). 

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Photo by Edi Libedinsky on Unsplash

Before you go judging this is not a dramatic novella the plot twist is coming, so hang on. This story will give depth to the tips for employee engagement (believe it or not). 

I was such an emotional softy back then that when family members went on vacation or returned to their place of abode overseas, I’d shed more than a tear or two. I was visibly sad for weeks on end. Heck, each time we buried a pet in the backyard I’d sink into that dark place all over again (even at work). 

Maturing and transitioning through life, I noticed myself becoming increasingly poker face numb (so much so that I was labeled cold by the guys at the old cold mine office!) And so I asked my Dad if he didn’t miss people when they went away since he always seemed to be so happy-go-lucky or at least nonchalant about most things. 

He retired the year I graduated from high school (1994!!! shhh), so we had enough time to have many heart-to-hearts. Even prior to that, since I was the baby of the family born way after everyone else and one of the remaining siblings at home. (Imagine going to your dad about that horrible boss, co-worker or what you were doing wrong in relationships and getting a psychology, interpersonal communication, emotional intelligence and sex ed talk all rolled into one [without the uncomfortable nitty gritty]!).

My mom and other female family members appeared strong, but their true emotions rose to the surface in different ways. He was pretty much my hero (as with most fathers and their daughters and sons) and one of the strongest adults I observed at that time.

What he said was interesting …

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Photo by Kristina Tripkovic on Unsplash

He said that people leaving were part of life and he had grown accustomed to it after a certain age. Basically he said that he had learnt to adapt to life changes and just keep moving. 

As I formed relationships with diverse people at school and work, I realized that it was really easier for men to adapt emotionally (at least on the surface).

And in that moment I decided I wanted to be just like that (in terms of resilience). I definitely did not subscribe to that element of psychology that said people love to wallow in their despair (forevermore). No siree. I wanted to be chillll stoic (yet receptive).

And Suddenly It Happened (not without many, many failed attempts and sorrowful moments of venting and receding into my old ways).

Leaving organizations and co-workers departing cannot be compared to when the first living person close to you passes on from this life. It builds a muscle in your heart and mind that can prepare you for almost anything else to come after. Sometimes it leaves a hollow wound that cannot be filled with anything else but love and affection from and to another human soul and warm body (not to be confused with sex without love).

Only (diverse) life experiences can build that muscle. Books, videos and therapy can help, but affection and empathy with other people can certainly fill a huge gap to feel and know that other people have been there and understand in a way that is sincere.

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Photo credit – http://www.unsplash.com

Having said all of that (!) here are 6 recommended tips to attract, retain and keep staff aligned to your organization’s purpose. None of which are hard and fast; but specific to the needs, composition, culture of the people and style of the organization.

1. A precise job design, job description/scope of works. This needs to be outlined as concisely as possible to attract the qualities, skills and output (deliverables) you’d like to obtain from your people resources or team at the desired levels. 

You must know where to advertise in order to find the people you need to do the work you’d like to receive (university trade fairs, online job boards, social media groups, [advertised from] company social media pages based on targeted demographics, local/regional newspapers, employment agencies aligned to your core values).

2.  A fair and transparent recruitment process. This includes an interview panel well equipped with the people skills and knowledge of the advertised job, grading system, onboarding/orientation/induction and training with the best suited personnel. 

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Photo by Hannah Wei on Unsplash

3. A proper performance review process at regular intervals by relevant personnel to ensure that any gaps are corrected or addressed in a timely manner and caught in time before those traits become embedded and entrenched into the organization’s culture.

4. Effective incentive or reward and recognition initiatives that go hand in hand with a style of leadership best suited to the industry, sector and work culture the organization is aiming to achieve.

5. A clear and effective communication channel that can serve multiple purposes: announcements, updates, regrets, accountability (follow-ups),  team building, motivation and inspiration.

This can take the form of an intranet (email), newsletters, a phone paging system, group Skype or conference calls based on the size and structure/formality of the organization. For small companies with more flexibility and less resources: meetings scheduled at set times with set agendas and a time keeper to speed up the decision making process, phone calls and groups texts may work (save for emergencies or special announcements).

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Photo by Marc Schaefer on Unsplash

6. Group activities aligned to the psychographic of the majority of employees. For example, team building activities designed for staff who are mainly men under the age of 30 who hate the outdoors would be totally different from ladies between the ages of 35 and 45 who are mothers, grandmothers and widows.

Common interests and activities can truly bring people together. It can break the monotony of the busy work week, reward employees for a job well done (in a non ostentatious way). It can create a harmonious space where people feel comfortable enough to unabashedly let their hair down, find common ground to exchange ideas, resolve concerns and improve output or processes.

They may even learn a surprising thing or two about someone that may help the work flow faster or improve strained relationships.

Group activities can take the form of a series of Lunch n Learns (which exists in many companies); retreats, bake sales, beach clean-ups, plant-a-tree projects, birthday club meet-ups. If done well (and creatively) with the employees in mind, these can all save the organization valuable (and at times superfluous) dollars and time spent on training & development, re-hires and loss due to absenteeism, high turnover and low morale.

Increased labour retention means that these cost savings can now be spent on other benefits like bonuses, market research, innovation, increased production, diversification or value added services that will benefit all stakeholders in the long term.

Hope you enjoyed today’s blog. Feel free to email me at hicomegaconsulting@gmail.com if you’d like a consultation to get clearer on your brand or in need of content writing services. For more about me you can visit: www.carolyncorreia.co

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads, expectant ones, those that play that role and those that lost fathers. Until next time …

Carpe Diem,

Carolyn x

BEST TEACHERS

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