September 23, 2021

How to Keep Good Staff

I logged online today to start proactively contacting some potential staff for a client.  In reality, this means I have stalked their Linked in and other social profiles online and think that they may have the skills for the role I am recruiting for and am contacting them.  If it was a dating profile they would probably class it as stalking, but so far it isn’t illegal in the recruitment world.

Back to my proactive “reaching out” (see - nothing stalkerish about those words at all). As I was trawling through profiles and contacting possible candidates my attention span wandered (I’m what you call a “sprinter” work wise, but that is another article for another day) and I decided to book my anniversary dinner for tonight. Yes, I do like a deadline. And a good internet stalk.

I Googled a restaurant that was recommended to me at the Maroochydore Chamber Coffee and Connect morning that we hosted at Criminal Coffee Co.  The Google profile said in big red letters “permanently closed”.  I only looked at this restaurant a few weeks ago, and it was operating.  Not believing Google I jumped onto their website.  Sure enough this message was posted:

Important Notice

Ocean Ended has closed its doors for an open-ended holiday, because we have been unable to hire a suitably experienced head chef and second chef to replace departing staff, despite advertising and networking through all available platforms for the last three months.

This is a local issue for Sunshine Coast restaurants, a state issue due to the closed Queensland border, a national issue due to the closed national border and a global issue due to the effect the pandemic has had on the hospitality industry both from lockdowns and reduced spending by affected populations.

We will post any updates to this situation on our website and Facebook page.

Paul and the Ocean Ended team.

And I realised that the fallout from the pandemic is well and truly upon us. It’s not just the lack of patronage that is affecting industries, lack of staff is becoming a massive issue.  So massive in fact that some restaurants are having to close their doors.  We have written before about the emotional toll the pandemic has had upon business owners, and that hasn’t ended.  2021 hasn’t been the year we were hoping it would be, there is still the boring infighting and lack of cohesion amongst our leaders and no real “roadmap” out. Businesses are starting to lose their focus, their drive, their tenacity.  Please don’t, you’ve made it this far, you can keep going just a bit longer. 

So what can you do as an Employer to get the passion back and to keep good staff?  The good news is that there are a number of things that you can do.

  1. Make sure that you are paying your staff competitively and the right rate as per your Award/EBA .  It sounds counterproductive paying more during a pandemic, but you if you want to be an employer of choice you need to be competitive and the alternative of closing your doors because you can’t find staff isn’t a great option.
  2. Look at the jobs that your staff are doing.  Have you go the right people in the right roles, doing productive work? One of my first roles was to write into a hardcover book every piece of mail the HR department ever received (yes, we are showing our age!).  Thank goodness that type of admin has been streamlined. Does your business have processes for the sake of processes just because it has always been done that way?
  3. Set really clear expectations and KPI’s for your team. When people have a common goal they really work towards it. You can also incentivise your KPI’s and goals, we are big fans of a lower base salary with bonuses being paid when productivity and budgets are meet.   When setting KPI’s and goals you need to make sure they are a stretch, but not impossible.  Nothing is more disengaging than a goal that can’t be reached.
  4. Conduct a staff engagement survey.  If you don’t measure you can’t improve. Don’t just assume you know what is keeping your staff engaged. Ask them.  Make changes that actually matter to your workforce.  And you never know, they may just have the best new idea – but you’ve never asked so you will never know.
  5. Upskill your leaders – leadership coaching and  360 feedback reviews  are great tools to assist with motivation and upskilling your leadership team

We still have 3 months of 2021, don’t waste this time, if you need some ideas on how to re energise your workforce then give us a call.  Pandemic fatigue is a reality, be proactive and get ahead of the game.

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