Staffing for success

Staffing for success

An entrepreneur asks: I am a small-scale industry with limited resources. How do I go about retaining and inviting fresh talent? How can I smoothly remove or improve the existing non-productive pool of people?

MentorSquare response:  Retaining people is dependent on several factors. Employees must have leaders and managers whom they trust and respect. People will want to work for a firm whose values match their own. A great environment where an employee’s talents are valued and rewarded will also help. The company must strive to provide work opportunities that help employees develop their skills and grow their career. Jobs must be aligned to a person’s strengths. The firm must try to understand an employee’s inner motivation and then creatively find ways to satisfy it. An attractive compensation package, in many cases, will also help retain talent. Most of these factors also have to be put in the spotlight when hiring new talent, as these are concerns that they too will come with.

In terms of employee retention, the business must remember that there are some people who could have been with larger organisations but have chosen to be with the small businesses. Promoters need to appreciate the part played by such people in contributing to their bottom-line, and must be willing to share information and wealth voluntarily. With this, the chances for retaining employees are very bright. Staff members will also have an incentive to contribute directly towards business success or cost savings on a regular basis.

Attracting new talent

A company that believes it is doing something great, something that can improve the lot of its customers, contribute meaningfully to society, and raise the living standards and happiness of its employees, will appeal to employees. To some prospective employees, the journey may be worth the commitment.

Dealing with non-productive staff

The firm’s leaders must not merely mouth these words - it must be true, and it should reflect in the company’s actions. An important step should be to articulate why the firm exists, and its vision, much like the mason who sees his work as building a place of worship, not merely laying bricks. Existing non-productive people can be so for many reasons, ranging from a lack of interest , to management not setting clear expectations with these employees on what the job requires and how they can benefit.

 Three steps that can be undertaken at this stage are:

Implementing proper metrics to measure performance: Explain the common metric to all employees to ensure transparency. For example, a good system of productivity measurement is to install a common parameter such as ‘productive hours’. You can evaluate people objectively by understanding the difference between clocked hours and productive hours. Once a person clearly understands his/her capability, it will be a lot easier to let them go.

Training & Development: Those at the bottom are typically given opportunity for additional training, and if they are still unable to cope, they may automatically leave as they now clearly understand the policy of the organisation.

Letting go: This needs to be done as a last resort after determining the root causes and addressing them. Once a decision is made to let go of these people, communicate honestly with them and give them a clear and easily understandable rationale as to why you need to let them go.

The management needs to understand their role in making employees job-ready with training and resources, and also entrusting them with more responsibilities and rewards as their skills and contributions increase. It is possibly more time-consuming and non-productive to spend time identifying, hiring, and orienting alternate talent than it is to develop skill-sets in existing employees, and businesses should resort to letting their employees go only as an absolute last option.

To share your views or  questions on  businesses, mail to: Your questions will be answered by Mentors from MentorSquare

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