How to Attract and Retain Great Staff

Great Staff

In our ongoing discussion on how to achieve better business performance, we will be looking at how to attract and retain great staff.

First up, the key for any organisation should be to ‘engage and motivate’, rather than to simply ‘retain’ employees.  An engaged and motivated workforce will create a reputation for being a great place to work and therefore easier to ‘attract’ great staff moving forward.

Over the last decade, I’ve found that if organisations truly want to engage and motivate employees, they have to recognise that everyone is different.  Organisations need to take the ‘workforce of one’ philosophy and treat employees as individuals, not as a generic team or a number on the payroll.

But isn’t it too time consuming and complicated, when everyone is so unique? The answer is relatively simple, although the application does require know-how.

Organisations first need to give employees the tools to help them clarify what their top motivational drivers are and help them co-create what strategies will help them maximise each of those drivers.  Do this and you will be creating great staff as well as retaining them.

Enlightened human resource leaders are becoming increasingly aware that getting employees clear on what engages and motivates them is the first and most important step in intelligently maximising workforce productivity and performance.

The fact is that most employees know what they don’t want, but fewer know what really does engage and motivate them.  Psychologically if employees are not clear then it creates three problems:

  1. Employees tend to default to pay and reward as the main motivator and potentially move back to a ‘whinge-entitlement culture’
  2. People Leaders will have virtually no chance of properly engaging them
  3. Employees can’t take responsibility for their own engagement and motivation because they don’t know where to start.


Employee Driven Engagement (EDE)

The exciting new is that, once employee clarity is achieved, 70-90% of engagement and motivation can be driven by the employee themselves – its just that until now most haven’t had the tools to be able to take responsibility for it.

For effective EDE this bottom up approach is the new innovative way forward. The approach is employee driven, where individuals are empowered to take responsibility themselves and everyone is treated as an individual.

The fact is broad-brush engagement initiatives are too generic and aren’t effective. So instead of implementing top-down initiatives, HR leaders who are serious about improving productivity need to get everyone to understand and take responsibility for what engages and motivates themselves, so they can take control of the strategies to maximise their own performance, and in doing so, create a win-win.


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