Three Ways to Attract & Retain Team Members
By Beth Standlee, CEO, TrainerTainment
On a weekly basis, our team has many conversations about being overworked, overwhelmed and understaffed.
One of the most important things I think we can do is to shift our thinking about how we see and engage team members. I like to think of them as “internal guests.” Thinking of the people who work for me as a client or a guest makes it possible to treat them in a new way.
I don’t know a single business owner who thinks about the external guest, who walks in the door, as “disposable.” There is constant thought about what to do to get a guest to return and hopefully bring a friend. I think the opposite might be true about team members (our internal guests). It feels like there is a desperation to take the first person who fills out an application and hope they work more than 8 minutes on their first shift (true story). I’m not sure this is a new phenomenon but like most things, the problem is exaggerated in this uncertain time of Covid.
What would it take to never settle for someone who simply has a pulse and transportation?
1. Decide who your ideal team member is and hire “only” those who match your profile. Think about the best team member you’ve ever had. Write down the qualities that made them a superstar. Your list might look something like this: They worked hard, always found something to do, covered for others, were friendly and good with both children and adults. They were kind and helpful. They learned quickly.
Take time to make your list! You may be thinking how hard this might be considering you have very few applicants and times are tough. However, having the wrong people on the team is tougher. I had a dear friend tell me many years ago, I would need to learn to lower my standards when it came to building a great team. My experience with that strategy is that in the long run, it’s not good for the business, our clients, me personally, nor the team member.
2. Attract that ideal team player. Ad words must reflect who your ideal team player is. If I take the list from above, I might write an ad that says something like this: “If you are the kind of person who enjoys a fun working environment, understands how to work hard, enjoys working with all ages, and is a quick learner, then ABC Fun Center is ready to help you have your next best work experience. Apply NOW.” Ask your best team members to invite their friends to come work at your fun center (birds of a feather flock together). Get social, portray fun, understand that a great job posting might be the best marketing tool available!
3. Train and coach before you even hire and then keep it going. Asking the right questions during the interview, conducting an audition where the team member tries out for the job, and then following through daily with who you say you are helps build a strong foundation for a culture that attracts and retains the best team. Provide a strong orientation that reinforces your values, online training, and on the job coaching and support. Then repeat daily. Training is not a one-time experience during the new hire process. Coaching, training, positive reinforcement of good behavior, immediate direction and correction of bad behavior is the “constant” job of leadership and is the secret sauce to building and retaining a great team.
In closing, I think the introduction excerpt from the newly released Building Great Teams Guide by TrainerTainment says it all:
A recent study conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management states that the average cost to hire an employee is $4,129 with approximately 42 days to fill a position. A similar study conducted by Glassdoor found that the average amount of money a company in the U.S. spends to hire a new employee is $4,000 with approximately 52 days to fill a position. Hiring great leaders or front-line staff can be a drain on financial resources and a frustrating drain on time. One of the greatest challenges for business owners is to build a strong team. The principle of having the right people in the right seats applies to every position. While many job applicants may have sales, operational, and leadership experience, the big question could be, do they really fit the role and your team? We hope The Building Great Teams Guide is a tool that helps you recruit great team members.
Beth is the CEO of TrainerTainment LLC, a training company devoted to the family entertainment and hospitality industries. Beth and her team are focused on helping the companies they serve to make more money through sales, guest service, leadership and social media marketing training. Training products and services are delivered in person, through books and DVDs, and virtually with e-learning courses, webinar development and 24/7 online access. Visit her company’s website at www.trainertainment.com.