What is your biggest asset?
If you look only at your financial statements, you might say that it’s your buildings, or your equipment, or perhaps your intellectual property.
Those are things that are easy to measure – to put a numeric value on.
But this view is limited and short-sighted.
These things can all be replaced.
Are you one of the millions who say that your employees are your greatest asset? What does that really mean? Or is it just a platitude?
If you value your employees, do you treat them like they are valued?
The hard cold truth is that most companies who say that there employees are there greatest asset do not demonstrate this belief. Instead the attitude seams to be, “You can be replaced.” Even if you don’t say it, your employees will figure it out, which takes its toll on their moral, starting a chain reaction that ends in inferior performance.
Sure, you can replace one warm body with another, but what you cannot replace very easily is a skill set. And the longer an employee has been with your company, the better their skills fit your need. Skills that make your product or service what it is. Without these valuable abilities, your company would grind to a halt.
Businesses that thrive year after year – businesses like Google, Zoom Video Communications, even In-N-Out Burger – treat their employees as their best customers. They realize that happy employees lead to world class customer experiences. Happy employees are more committed to producing products and services that they can point to with pride.
If you want loyal customers, the first step then is to create loyal employees. Employees are your very best brand ambassadors – if you create an environment where they can excel.
Maybe you feel like it’s just not worth the extra effort, but studies have shown that investing in your employees has a far greater return on investment than does purchasing new equipment, with the former holding an 8% to 5% advantage.
The good news is that creating such an environment is easier than most realize.
The first step toward fostering an environment where employees flourish actually happens very early in your hiring process. By starting with accurate job postings, you’re much more likely to attract the type of candidates that are a good fit.
This process continues during the interview phase. The underlying question is are you just looking for anyone who wants a job, or are you selling your company and the opportunity? Great candidates know that your job isn’t the only one out there.
Once a hiring decision has been made, the selling process needs to continue. This is where many companies drop the ball, assuming that the new hire will stick around because they have a job. There is little to no on-boarding process: the employee is left up to their own devices and initiative to figure everything out.
Studies show that an employee that has a bad experience during this process is twice as likely to leave – seeking better opportunities elsewhere.
Effective on-boarding includes giving your new hire everything they need to do their job starting on day one – things like a stapler, pens, a computer, etc. Another step toward converting your new hire into a loyal, dedicated employee could be assigning them a mentor – someone who can show them around and answer questions.
If you really want to make a lasting impression, consider having a new hire party where all of the employees in the department meet their new team member and get to know them.
Another key component of employee retention is how managers and bosses treat their employees. When those in leadership positions demonstrate trust and respect for their employees’ abilities, knowledge, and decision making capacities, employees return that same trust by working hard to excel, sharing critical knowledge, and taking the initiative to solve problems on their own.
Employees who feel that they are an important part of the team find greater job satisfaction and stay longer. It’s been said that people don’t quit companies, they quit their boss.
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