Your strongest competitive advantage is your employees. Entrepreneurial success stands and falls with this. The first priority is obvious: attract top employees (so-called A-employees) to your company. Once you have mastered this challenge, the next step is to use the right tools and a convincing leadership style to retain and, above all, inspire your talented employees. In the following article, I will show you how you can achieve this and which key factors are crucial.
These are the 10 elementary key factors:
1. Good and direct communication
As a manager, you must be a strong communicator and provide your employees with important information in a targeted manner. They should not receive the information by chance through the grapevine. Employees want to be in a direct exchange with their manager. They always want to feel they are informed about the important things about the company and their job responsibilities.
2. Appreciation& Recognition
Do not be stingy with appreciation. Appreciation means to be really open, friendly and appreciative with your co-workers. Praise from the boss is enormously important and has an effect. For many employees, it’s almost more important than praise from their own partner. This does not mean no more criticism. Always be clear and concise when something has not gone well. But never forget to be friendly.
3. Openness to new ideas
Signal to your employees that you are involved in the development of the company and can help shape it with their ideas. Ideas are actively solicited, listened to and taken seriously. Ensure regular exchange so that ideas can circulate.
Give your employees responsibility and let them make decisions for their areas of responsibility. We often demand that employees think and act like entrepreneurs. But then they are not given any room to maneuver. If an employee takes the lead on an issue and achieves a good result, this should be communicated internally as well as externally as a success for that employee. There is nothing worse than a manager claiming the successes of his or her responsible employees and letting the team take the fall for the failures.
5. Interest as a person
A good manager is interested in the employee as a person. He sees him as more than just a worker. If an employee is not doing well in his or her private life, this will naturally also affect his or her performance at work. With empathy and an open ear, they take the pressure off him simply by not having to hide his private problems and worries from you.
6. Feedback culture
A healthy feedback culture in all directions helps enormously to steer the company in its path to success. Your employees should receive constructive feedback on a regular basis. Both successes and failures. Here it is important to establish a culture of mistakes together with the feedback culture. Point out mistakes and at the same time work with the employees to learn from them or give advice and assistance. In the same way, seek feedback from your employees to optimize their leadership skills.
7. Being allowed to make (joint) decisions
Allow them to make decisions and have a say. These are important factors that bind and motivate employees. Employees’ opinions and expertise carry weight and are taken into account in decision making. Of course, as a manager, you have the final say and also bear the responsibility. But employees need to feel they are making a difference in the company.
8. Encourage and develop employees
A-employees want to be encouraged and challenged. In this way, they continue to develop and remain loyal to the company. They either go deeper into their specialization or open up areas that tie in with their experience or are completely new. They consciously leave their comfort zone. Support this on an ongoing basis and talk to your employees about where they want to go from here.
9. Give meaning and significance to the work
Employees are more satisfied when they recognize the meaning behind their work. If they not only see their work performance as a small piece of the puzzle, but can also see the greater significance it has for the company. If they can perceive their share in the company’s success, this provides additional motivation.
10. Fair pay
Make absolutely sure that your employees are paid fairly. Fair pay does not automatically mean above-average pay, but fair pay for their work performance, depending on the industry, their experience and depending on the general conditions at the respective location. Do not discriminate between men and women and other gender aspects. Be aware that your top employees also regularly receive offers from headhunters and other companies, giving them a good insight into their current market value.
Another aspect is fairness within the team. If the market situation requires a higher salary for new employees and colleagues with more experience and longer service have a significantly lower salary, this could cause unrest. Pay attention to an appropriate salary corridor.
If you apply these 10 key factors in your company, I assure you that your company will be more efficient and successful, because you will retain your employees in the long term and they will identify themselves in the high degree.
Author: Regina Volz has 13 years of experience as a human resources manager in an international corporation. Since 2011 she is the owner of Volz Personalberatung and a successful headhunter, mentor and coach for executives. Their formula for success is: Leadership is a Lifestyle. leadership is an attitude. Lead yourself and then lead others. Her podcast "Leadership is a Lifestyle" is one of the leading career podcasts in the DACH region.