As an employer you have your teams emotional and their financial well being in your hands. You owe them to ensure they are happy, challenged and growing in every aspect of their life. You owe them to genuinely make their life better.
Yet the majority of corporate culture that I see is outdated, relying on traditional ways of recruiting, retaining and attracting new talent. Obviously there are some companies out there driving forward with new initiatives. On the whole however our progression in this area is slow.
The loyalty myth
As entrepreneurs, we invest so much into our people. In service based businesses our staff are our costs – yet I seldom see business owners thinking about the subconscious bias towards the myth of loyalty.
Staff turnover is only reduced if our team genuinely love turning up to work, and will say no to another job offer because they are passionate about Bastion Group.
There’s a myth that employees need to be loyal to their employer – and I completely disagree. No employer or individual needs to be loyal – the job needs to consistently deliver a challenging environment. If it doesn’t, the employee should be free to leave with no loyalty or legacy issues.
Questions are asked when a candidate’s CV indicates they’ve moved from role to role, organisation to organisation. Yet businesses very rarely take a look in the mirror and ask themselves how many of their team members are absolutely thriving in their everyday work and life.
Loyalty has to be thought of in a different way. It’s the employers job to make sure it’s a great place for your team to work at. It’s your role to make sure you are directly contributing to the health and wellbeing of your employees – not the other way around.
If your team are not getting what they want out of their job, they’ll go somewhere else. That shouldn’t be a reflection on their ability – it’s more of a reflection on the organisation.
Every time someone leaves Bastion Group it’s 100% our fault. We haven’t provided an opportunity that is better than somewhere else, created something new to challenge them or provided what they need. Make no mistake, its not the candidate who is at fault – it’s us not being able to write the environment or be the right cultural fit for the individual in that particular time in their development.
Appealing to the individual, not the masses
The ‘work life balance’ method to attracting employees is outdated. It’s a limiting mentality, which is an old way of thinking.
The old model of ‘work life balance’ isn’t applicable anymore as people are on their phones 24/7. It seems crazy to me that employers are happy for their team to be answering emails at 10pm at night, yet they can’t leave early to pick up their kids or go to appointments.
Being able to create a lifestyle – rather than a job around a life – that suits employees emotionally, financially and ticks all the boxes of a modern lifestyle (family, home, personal), is what I’m trying to create at Bastion Group.
You need to create a bespoke environment for each individual, depending on their unique situation. At Bastion Group, we have team members who leave at 2pm to pick up their children – finishing whatever they need to finish after dinner, once the kids are tucked into bed or early in the morning.
We have part timers who want to pursue their passions during work hours. We have photographers who don’t want to miss a great opportunity in good weather; sports people who want to keep their fitness at the forefront of their day. We have people who bake and sell their products at markets. They are all some of our stand out staff members, regardless of the traditional working hours being thrown out.
Assigning a value to star employees
You can capture the value star employees deliver in two ways. Revenue growth and reduction in staff turnover.
Clients see a significant commercial return by hiring Bastion Group and a strong culture is the key to producing world-class work. If your staff feel genuinely cared for and supported, then they feel passionate about the business and are empowered to produce work of the highest possible standard.
At Bastion Group our revenue has grown close to 100% in 12 months for the last 2 years, and I have no doubt this is because of both the quality of work and the passion our people put into their work every day.
Paying a wage in return for time is not enough. You also owe them to have a good business that means their financial well being is secure. If you can’t keep them then that isn’t your team’s lack of loyalty. As an employer, it is your inability to create something that challenges and stimulates a new generation of very talented people.
Fergus Watts is the CEO of Bastion Group, one of Australia’s fastest growing communications groups.