In a competitive industry like ours, our people and staff are key to building sales and profitability. Any store that spends its time bringing new talent on board and initial training struggles to build strong relationships with customers or to become more efficient in back of the store remanufacturing processes. If your store cannot keep a stable staff or has settled into a less-than-stellar group of employees because they show up for their shifts, it is time to make adjustments to attracting and keeping great people.

    More Money Won’t Help

    It usually surprises managers to hear that more money will not resolve the issue.  Money may attract talent and make people interested in a job, but it does not create long-term dedication to a job. Of course, your offer has to be right in the market. Offering more pay will not increase your likelihood of attracting – or even recognizing – better talent.

                The top 10% of the workforce say that the most important thing they value in a job is a great boss. They want someone who gets to know them, cares about them and develops them to stay challenged. People want opportunities and personal growth. Employees want a manager who gives them guidance but also lets them take on new challenges.

    Do you keep some tasks for yourself because you are not sure your staff is capable of doing as good a job as you can? If so, you are creating the very conditions where team members feel stifled and start to look elsewhere for opportunities. Your role as a great boss is to be a teacher and coach – not a player – in running your shop. Begin by talking with each staff member and listening to what else they would like to learn in their role. Then explicitly discuss the steps you will take to help them learn more. Set aside time to show them how to do more in their role and help them understand that you will be monitoring their performance.

    Once they show mastery, give them new challenges and new responsibilities. Link new expectations with the original conversation.  Help them recognize that you trust them.  Be confident that they can build a more diverse skill set that will be valuable in the future. Delay conversations about new pay rates until they are truly performing at an accomplished new level. This transition(from do-er to delegator) will free you up to work on your business in more valuable ways. Making the entire business more productive.

    Great people want to understand how their role fits into a bigger picture. Help them see how their efforts connects to bigger goals or making a difference for customers. If your company already has a strong vision or mission, connect it to your staff’s daily work. If not, show how they provide a service to your customers that empower your customers to achieve their goals. The point is, people feel more dedicated and derive a deeper sense of accomplishment when they connect their efforts to a bigger mission. If you celebrate milestones, the staff will make connections between their work and the overarching goals of your business.

    Maybe you are already feeling like you communicate how you compensate your team, develop them and connect their work to a bigger vision. If so, congratulations. It sounds like you have created a positive culture inside your company.

    Do you still find it difficult to attract and retain top talent? Do you tell the story early enough in the hiring process to make sure that strong candidates are interested in your company? Many companies wait until orientation (once the hire is complete) to tell the story about how people are developed, how their growth prepares them for other challenges in their career and how the company supports a bigger vision. Talk about developing talent early enough in your interviewing phase that top tier talent get excited to work for you.

    How your company builds a strong team and supports a meaningful mission can help you attract strong job candidates and build loyalty with your customers. Use your website, email blasts and even advertising to help shout your story to the world. Enter “best places to work” contests and create press releases to build your company’s reputation. Make a long-term employee’s inspiring career story a part of a public work anniversary celebration.

    Recognize Talent

    Let’s assume you can attract people to your open jobs. Do you know how to identify the highest potential talent in the candidate pool?

    First, look at their energy levels. Capable people have ample energy. Note how they engage in the conversation. Do they want to tell you stories and have they thought enough about your company to come prepared with questions? That shows energy around the position. Rather than rely on the time they spent in past positions (which we have already stated comes from having a great boss and a meaningful development) ask them to tell you about when they felt they performed at their best. Talented people will light up to tell you about when they felt most capable and empowered. If your candidate flails and isn’t clear about what conditions help them be their best selves, they may not be mature or self-aware enough to be a dedicated team contributor.

    Finally, don’t be afraid to hire people who seem more intelligent, capable or driven than you are. The best managers are not intimidated by talent but want to be surrounded by it. Bring in savvy people then unleash their energy and drive to make your business better.

    Flora Delaney’s new book RETAIL: the Second-Oldest Profession 7 Timeless Principles to WIN in Retail Today will be available fall 2017. Contact Us to get an early release notification.