I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Maya Angelou
Focus on the intangibles – sure pay is important, but it’s the ambiance, the hours there and the hours away, the area they work in, the air temperature and many other variables that provide either a “good or great place to work” or an “I can’t wait to get out of here” place to work. If your employee is in the first category, they will cut you quite a bit of slack before they leave your place of employment. If pay is a dicey issue, work on the other areas that may have little or no cost to you.
Here’s my list – in no order – and one that can certainly be added to.
Ask the employee what they like and don’t like about their job surroundings – and be prepared. You may hear it’s too hot, it’s too cold, it’s messy, the computer is loud, the phone is uncomfortable, the desk is too high or too low, the chair is broken, the office supplies are constantly being borrowed, etc. You get the message – it’s very possible that a relatively minor thing from your perspective is a major issue in their work life. If you can adjust the situation, you’ve done two things – made their work environment a little more comfortable and you’ve shown you cared. WOW – that’s big in almost anybody’s book.
Offer direct deposit if you don’t already – a very low cost with a major convenience to the employee.
If you already have a SIMPLE retirement plan and you’re thinking about eliminating it because of the 3% match, consider dropping the match below that number. The government says you can offer a match of not less than 1% two years out of five years. This could be one of those years.
Don’t drop the health insurance – increase the employee portion or tell them what you’re willing to pay for insurance and ask them to find a plan that works for them.
Make incentive pools that if made are helping the business – for this to really work, you need to find the area where the employee feels this is an appropriate stretch or the system you have developed makes it easy for them to help you.
Some employees may be fine with fewer hours and see this as a benefit – if so take advantage of this offer if the business can still function well.
Tell the employees you need their help – you need to cut costs by a dollar amount. What ways do they come up with to make this happen? Assuming you have credibility with them, they’ll have good ideas and better yet, they may be able to implement their ideas with enthusiasm.
The same goes with revenue – what ways can you and your staff identify that will better serve your current customer base (by far the easiest revenue to generate) or elicit ideas on how to generate a larger customer base?
Your employees can help generate testimonials, references and additional business just by asking your customers.
Recognize your employees – within the company, with their peers, and if appropriate, within the community. This may not be your best tactic for your shy person, but it may be huge for other employees – you need to know what makes them tick .
Finally, how long does all this last – forever if it’s working. Even in the good times, give your employees more reasons to show up at work.
Our work world is not just a job, but an adventure and it’s a huge portion of our lives.