Maintaining A Competitive Advantage: Put Your Employees First

Drive down any major artery and you will see one 'now hiring' sign after another. The talent shortage is far-reaching in Maine, and it is leaving employers wondering how they can have an edge over their competition. Of course you can pay more, offer more competitive benefit packages, or lucrative sign-on bonuses, which are all great ideas, but are you missing the most simple of solutions? Your employee experience.

The old adage is: "the customer is always right," and while we won't argue that making your customer's experience a priority is a fundamental piece of business prosperity, we must recognize that your employees are not only the people that ensure a positive customer experience, but your employees are ultimately customers too. If you want to be a competitive force in both the market and the war for talent, we suggest you make your employee experience an equal priority. This step can enhance your employment reputation, increase internal referrals, reduce turnover, and give you the edge you seek. Here are a few ways to do just that.

Trust Their Instincts

Steve Jobs has been quoted as saying "It doesn't make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do." When you have confidence in your hiring process, and confidence in your employees, you should make it a point to trust their instincts. Those that are doing the work are the ones closest to it, so when they come to you with an idea for process improvements or challenges, make a point to listen and flesh out their ideas. 

Give Them the Benefit of Doubt

It is inevitable that mistakes will be made. Employees can hit a slump and it can show up in their performance. When faced with a conflict or challenge it is important to know when to give the employee the benefit of doubt. Trust that when given the opportunity, highly accountable employees will acknowledge their shortcomings and demonstrate a willingness to work with an employer that is willing to work with them.

Build Authentic Relationships

Employee-centric employers value genuine relationships. Not just with their clients, but with their employees as well. The vast majority of employees will work harder for leaders that respect them as individuals, as they don't want to risk losing that respect. Make sure your organizational leaders take the time to get to know staff and offer training on professional boundary setting. Without offering training on boundary setting, those relationship lines can get blurred and can cause a different set of headaches.

Give Them Feedback

Feedback doesn't have to come in the form of an extensive annual review. In fact, more regular feedback (both positive and negative) can positively impact the employee experience as long as you balance offering both.  If an employee's work is slipping, the best course of action is to catch it early and give them an opportunity and any necessary resources to improve. When it comes to positive feedback, a simple email or acknowledgement while passing in the halls goes a long way. Whether positive of negative, if you aren't providing feedback, you could be sending the message that you don't notice or you don't care. 

Make Them Part of Your Story

One way to maintain a competitive advantage is by telling a compelling story. Ensure that your employees know what an important role they play, and when you tell your story to others, make sure you are including them. Everyone looking at your website, social media channels, walking through your doors, or browsing job boards is a potential candidate - seize every opportunity to show them through pictures and testimonials how your employees are happy and valued.

Even with the best compensation and benefit package, and building an employee-centric culture - you may still need to take an all-hands-on-deck approach to hiring and lean on a team you can trust to help you find your next team member. Manpower is happy to be that trusted partner, simply click the link below to contact us.