Keeping Your People: Back to Basics “How are you Feeling?”

We often hear about the importance of Employee Value Proposition (EVP) in the Workplace. Essentially it’s a measurement of the balance between what an employee gets from their employer versus their return (or productivity output).

To put it simply “If you reward your staff well and make them feel valued you’ll have a company of happy campers” and this means high engagement, productivity and retention.

At present, what we are seeing as the most important factor, is the staff engagement side. It’s the hardest to fix but we see it as the biggest factor effecting staff retention – the difference between keeping and losing your best asset!

Our Research in Adelaide

We asked over 300 Accountants in South Australia over the past 3-4 months the main reasons for wanting to leave and their top 3 were as follows:

1)      A Manager or Colleague they can’t work with 32%
2)      Job Security 17%
3)      Remuneration 10%

(Usually career progression and remuneration are the top two. Career progression didn’t even feature in this survey). The 32% is also extremely high. The biggest problem appears to be not progression or salary – but people skills!

It’s obvious that in SA, the old “cultural fit” chestnut is the biggest factor in employee engagement (or disengagement) in Adelaide Accounting & Finance Teams.

When asked to score themselves out of 10 on how engaged they were in their current role the average we received was 5.4 out of 10 or 54%this means that people rated themselves as only half as motivated as they could be.

Granted most people who we measured are looking to move on but guess what? Their employees don’t know this. If this was an accurate reflection of the current workforce how would you feel if your team was only half as motivated as they felt they could be? Does that mean you’re only getting half the output?

There’s a simple thing you should look at as a business leader. Are your managers “People People”?

We see it across every industry – even our own. If a people manager is bad with people – you could end up losing key talent. Not all people have the ability to manage teams. A common mistake you can make is putting a top performer into a leadership role because it seems like the next step – this is where personality tests are useful! I saw this happen in one company and whole teams left!

The other mistake we see is putting a manager into a team that works well and upsetting the balance or harmony of the group. It’s amazing how many managers “love inspiring and developing people” but, in truth, can’t.

EVP (1)

Top Tips to Action

1)      Have regular catch ups with your team members (individually) and try to not reschedule.

2)      Ask them how they feel and to grade themselves out of 10 (record this and monitor).

3)      Ask them 3 positive things that have happened in the week since your last meeting.

4)      Get your manager to have regular catch ups with your staff (but not as frequent as you) so they can give feedback on you (sounds scary but if you’re a good manager you should welcome constructive criticism).

5)      Make them feel valued!

If you have engaged, happy and motivated employees they will work harder for your business. This is obvious.

I’m not saying that we sit around crossed legged wearing yarn ponchos, eating pulses and lentils…I’m not saying that managers need to be Agony Aunts- You just need to be aware that Managers…(drum roll) often manage people…so they manage the talent which is the key performing asset of a business  What we have found is, if you put bad people into a good team…quite often the bad ones stay! (and the good ones leave).

EVP is a Big Topic. We see a lot of focus on Rewards, Benefits, Remuneration and Branding. Social media seems to be the most popular topic at the moment. What is often omitted however is getting back to basics and asking employees “How are you feeling?”  You can monitor engagement with regular catch ups and addressing problems when they arise. I’d strongly suggest monitoring both productivity and engagement – there’s usually a correlation!


3 thoughts on “Keeping Your People: Back to Basics “How are you Feeling?”

  1. Pingback: Top Tips: EVP – Back to Basics “How are you Feeling?” « thefabulicious

  2. Pingback: How to Build the Best Team (Part 4) – Developing « Mark Johnson – South Australia's Accounting & Finance Recruiter

  3. Pingback: Doing More With Less is Not Sustainable | Adelaide Recruitment: South Australia's Accounting & Finance Recruiter - Mark Johnson

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