Why every great company should focus on investing in their employees

top reasons why should invest in your team

When we go to market with a job opportunity, one of the first questions a candidate will ask us as technology recruiters is “why would I want to work there?”.

Great technology / products, cool perks, amazing salaries & bonuses and flexible working are all great, but candidates now want more and fairly high up that list of priorities is how a potential employer invests in their workforce. Each candidate we work with has unique drivers and motivators and it would be a mistake to try and generalise – unfortunately it isn’t as simple as saying Project Managers like the environment to be X, Cloud Infrastructure Engineers prioritise Y and Security Analysts focus on Z.

Investing in your team is not just a concept to attract talent but also to retain and engage them once they’re in the business and is therefore something that should be done whether or not the technology recruitment market is busy.

The business is only as strong as its weakest link so constant improvement is key to making sure that in a competitive market the business keeps moving in the right direction. Here are a few ideas for improving staff engagement…

Integrate new hires quickly

Over 50% of workers who leave voluntarily do so in their first year and the key reason quoted is lack of engagement. To overcome this, spend some time to plan their on-boarding properly with consideration given to ensuring they have:

  • A clear schedule for their first day / week / month / quarter
  • A comprehensive training plan in place
  • A clear insight in to how they and their role contributes to the long-term success of the business
  • The chance to meet other team members – something that can be tricky if the majority of staff are working from home
  • The chance to ask questions, give, and receive feedback
  • A buddy to go to – having a “buddy system” in place is a great way to bring people up to speed quickly making them productive in a shorter timeframe

Measure then improve staff satisfaction

A happy member of staff is a productive member of staff. Lots of studies have been done over the years (see https://www.inc.com/samuel-edwards/examining-the-relationship-between-workplace-satisfaction-and-productivity.html as an example) and the general consensus is a happy employee is over 30% more productive than a dissatisfied worker.

Use anonymous surveys (to get honesty!!) via surveymonkey or hire an external company to really find out how your staff are currently feeling. The important bit though is that once you have the results – act on them, implement change and communicate what changes are being made as a result of the feedback received. This can be fairly simple / cheap solutions like changing the dress code or a more flexible working policy through to significant changes that may require further consultation

Plan for the future

Business leaders want their companies to be future-proof so having a long-term vision around growth and strategy is key. Involving a cross-section of people from your teams in those discussions is a great way to get them bought in to that. Those meetings may highlight potential short-comings or gaps and allows a business to invest in internal or external training that can help to solve those issues

Develop skills

Planning for the future should also mean working on the technology roadmap so identifying and skills gaps in technologies that you want to use is important. As a recruiter I’ve worked with clients in the past who were shortlisting between 2 specific technologies. We ran some searches on the technologies and identified that one of them would give some real challenges around the availability of people with those skills and would mean heavy investment in training.

If the tech is the best and is ultimately the product the business wants, then plan well in advance to ensure there’s no effect on productivity

Focus on improving retention / reducing attrition

The cost of replacing a leaver isn’t just the agency fee. Selection, interviewing, on-boarding and training to get that new starter productive takes significant time and effort so focus on minimising attrition. Leaver interviews where reasons for leaving are properly assessed, reviewed and acted upon should help but it can be a long-term fix.

Have a social calendar

Team events, clubs and societies mean that staff integrate and are more likely to enjoy their work as a result.

Build in time for innovation

Atlassian (atlassian.com) is a business that is world renowned for their culture of innovation and at the heart of that is their “ShipIt Days” where staff have 24 hours to work on projects of their choice that solve problems and help the business move forward improving Collaboration, Innovation and Determination across the business.

In Summary

At JLA Resourcing, we’re here to help and advise on trends and innovations we’re seeing in the market. Contact us if you’d like any help on this because investing in your employees will increase productivity, reduce attrition, improve collaboration and ultimately make the company more profitable.

Ben Leeds
Ben Leeds
With over 20 years’ in the recruitment industry Ben has seen quite a bit and hopes that by sharing some thoughts he can help you to either hire the best person or find the right job!
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