How to manage people so they'll stay

Hiring the right people, training them effectively and keeping them engaged is good for business

How to manage people so they'll stay

Hiring the right people, training them effectively and keeping them engaged is good for business. Today’s talented employees are savvy. They have access to unlimited information about employers, hiring practices and workplace culture. It’s no longer enough just to offer a job with benefits anymore – now the organization is responsible to deliver an employee-focused culture. 

An employee-focused culture is one where employees feel valued and fulfilled. Team members are encouraged to work productively across all parts of the company and apply their skills and knowledge to advance the goals of the organization. There’s no more working in silos.

Here are some key steps to create an organizational culture that engages employees.

Communicate clear expectations

There’s nothing more stressful than working in a job where the daily expectations are unclear – either because they aren’t communicated or change on a regular basis. It’s important to clearly outline what a job entails and how a team member will be measured. It’s also essential to involve team members in setting and tracking employment expectations, including regular feedback about their performance.

Choose and train your managers carefully.

Employees are more likely to quit their managers than they are to quit their jobs. Focus on hiring the right people and coaching them to manage their teams effectively. Good managers provide constructive, fair feedback in a timely manner, communicate clearly and regularly and are always open to and realistic about input from their team members. Opportunities for mentoring across various teams are also valuable to share the management role and take advantage of diverse skills on your leadership team.

Get to know your team. Take time to meet with new employees to learn about their talents, abilities, and skills. Ensure members of the management team meet with each member of their team periodically as a chance to recognize their work, but also to keep up to speed on active projects.

When a new associate starts with GoodLife, their manager meets with them on day one to share why they love fitness and their motivation for working at GoodLife. The new person is encouraged to do the same.  This simple yet genuine step helps to establish strong working relationships right from the beginning.

Accept and implement employee feedback. Invite team members to contribute their feedback, then implement their suggestions where possible. Employees are at the front lines of your business, so their input is not only practical, but vital to growth and success. They will spot problems and areas for improvement much sooner and will bring the practical knowledge and experience to implement solutions, based on their day-to-day work.

At GoodLife Fitness we invite associates to take part in regular town hall meetings and provide input via an online feedback tool. Team members are encouraged to suggest improvements, ask questions and provide feedback to improve the clubs, deliver a better member experience and improve the work environment. Working together toward continuous improvement builds connection and engagement.

Invest in your team. Provide the tools, time and training to help your team members do their jobs effectively and to grow professionally. Successful organizations support whatever employees need to get results and be engaged – even if it’s outside their job description. Increasingly, titles and defined roles are just starting points. Employees are more self-directed and will look for ways they can contribute to the business as a whole.

Reward and recognize team members. A career-oriented, valued employee must experience growth opportunities within your organization. They also need to feel like their work is being recognized, whether it’s with a thank you, public recognition, a promotion or a bonus. Celebrate success and be sure to recognize a job well done or when significant effort has gone into a project.

Where possible, employee recognition should be personalized and delivered in a caring way. If you can recognize team members in front of their peers that’s even better. 

GoodLife Fitness offers a length of service program that awards associates with a gift after a certain number of years of work.  There are two options when you present the award. You can leave it on the team member’s desk and not acknowledge it, or you can wrap it and present it to the employee with a card filled with positive comments about how they make a difference to their co-workers and members. The first option has a neutral to negative effect. The second option creates happy, loyal associates who look forward to coming to work. Small, thoughtful gestures go a long way. 

Work-life balance. The work has to get done and you have a team of professionals to do it. The key is to allow your team members some flexibility to ensure they get breaks and can perform at maximum capacity. Flexible schedules, time off to run errands and technology and tools that make work easier are all ideas to ensure team members can balance their lives with their work and be more productive.

The role of HR in engaging and supporting employees is clear. It’s about creating a consistent experience for team members, regardless of what they do or where they work in the company. We foster teamwork across the organization and ensure people at all levels feel valued and recognize opportunities where they can contribute. This way, the HR function nurtures innovation and productivity and helps drive the bottom line.


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