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Managing, engaging and retaining your workforce

Published: October 13, 2018

Companies face the constant challenge of keeping hold of good staff. You’ve invested time and money finding, hiring or on-boarding employees, only for them to move elsewhere if a tempting offer comes in. Managing and engaging your staff will help to keep them. To make it a little more complex, times are changing Gen Z is joining the workforce. More mobile, collaborative and technical savvy than any before them, they’ll have different expectations and needs. Most experts agree that open and fair management, providing flexible working while giving transparent rewards and career progression is the way forward.

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Make your staff feel happy and supported

One of the main drivers of a happy workforce, aside from having a job that’s enjoyable, is maintaining a healthy work-life balance. First, the Millennials preferred this, and now Gen Z is demanding it. Offering flexible working is the most obvious way you can empower your staff to spend more time with family and friends, and less glued to work. Flexi-time, compressed hours, annualised or staggered hours, part-time and job sharing are all attractive to today’s younger generation.

Efficient time management and attendance software allows your business to manage this shift to flexible working while being transparent and efficient about it. Gone are the days when one size fitted all when staff accepted a nine to five culture. You can empower your team by providing clear and consistent feedback on jobs well done. Move away from the old-fashioned statement of: “Billy’s a good worker, he’s always at his desk.” Instead, the younger generation expects: “Billy’s a good worker, he gets results.” Staff today want to be empowered to work collaboratively and figure out problems. There’s nothing worse than not being involved in problem-solving, and they’ll soon feel alienated. And staff hate being driven by process. Consider automating any processes with clever software, allowing your teams to concentrate on making things happen rather than recording what happens. One obvious example is HR management software, which not only aids HR teams but has knock-on benefits for the rest of the staff.

 

Engage staff for a thriving culture

A good work culture is a sure-fire way of engaging (and retaining) staff. Target your middle managers first. These are the workers who directly manage most of the staff and are in the trenches with them. Get them onside and motivated, and they’ll pass it on to their teams. You need to be open and transparent, often communicating in a way that resonates with staff. Gone are the days of memos. Now you can have company-wide webcasts. Make your communications two-way, so staff feel empowered. Extend this two-way approach to inviting staff to contribute towards company strategy.

Offer three types of wellness training: physical, mental/emotional and financial, so staff feel supported, and then offer a 20% program where they can do what they like in the office for 20% of the day (the idea is they will be more productive in the 80% of work time). Corporate social responsibility programs (like working on external green initiatives), adds to a keen working culture, as does supplying random acts of fun such as competitions and sweets giveaways to employees.

 

Retain your employees and top talent

You’re now already on the way to retaining talent; staff are more engaged, and you have a better working culture. One final piece of the jigsaw is offering personal and career development. More than anyone before, Gen Z want to know how their career will develop and what opportunities will be open to them. Teams want the opportunity to train and learn new things. Expand your training initiatives and use your HR software packages to monitor staff’s training needs and accomplishments. Fair pay (and pay that reflects hours worked with no mistakes), rewards, positive reinforcement and promotions finish up your task list to creating a workforce that will feel engaged, will enjoy your work culture, and will want to remain with you rather than heading out of the door to pastures new at the earliest opportunity.

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