Employee Relations and How to Make a Change

Change Jam Questions from Flickr via Wylio
© 2009 Dreamfish, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio

There are two questions I am repeatedly asked:

  • How do you find good people?
  • How do you motivate them to show up and to do the job right?

These frustrations are common. We have all been there with a holiday weekend facing us and suddenly everyone has gone out to dinner and “eaten a bad clam” or their grandfather has died for the third time. I’m not kidding–we once had an epidemic of “bad clam” sickness!

I encourage business owners to look at themselves and how they welcome and interact with staff. Staff members really are the first clients and the quality of services we provide depend on them. So why aren’t we spending more time to foster a work environment to attract and maintain a workforce that gets it?

Start by identifying the reasons why this keeps happening so as not to become the cliche about the definition of insanity–doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.

Here are a few questions to consider:

  • Have I made the best hiring decisions?
  • Am I attracting the right candidates? (If not, why?)
  • Have I provided my staff with sufficient training and guidance to do their job well?
  • Do I provide proper coaching and supervision?
  • Do I foster an environment with open communication so employees feel comfortable coming forward with questions or concerns?

This is the start to making a shift in approaching employee relations. Once an area of weakness has been identified, it is time to make changes by trying something new.

For example, if the right candidates are not being attracted, then help wanted ads should be reviewed. Are they written in a positive manner? Would you want to work there? Do they highlight all the amazing things your company has to offer a dedicated, loyal and hardworking employee?

I challenge you to pick one thing this month to really focus on changing your approach when it comes to your employee relations. My experience has been that when I start to pay attention to something and am more aware, positive changes occur.

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