John Tschohl, president and founder of the Service Quality Institute, discusses the steps to retain current employees and attract new ones.

Train them

Give your employees what they need to do their jobs. There is nothing more frustrating than tackling a project when you don’t have what is necessary to successfully complete it. When you train your employees on customer service, you are showing them you value them by investing the time and money to ensure they will be successful. That training must be consistent and continuous in order to make an impact.

Listen to them

When employees feel that they have no input on what they do and how they are required to do it, they become discouraged. Ask them for feedback and be open and honest in responding to their concerns. Ask what you can do to make their jobs easier and, as a result, make them more enjoyable. Ask what their goals are within the company — and what you can do to help them achieve those goals.

Respect them

We’ve all, at one time in our lives, had bosses who lost their tempers, berated employees in front of others or disrespected employees in other ways. If you must have a conversation with an employee who is not doing well, do it behind closed doors and do it respectfully. Employees need to feel loved, valued and appreciated every day.

Praise them

When you praise an employee, do it publicly; it will serve as a motivator for other employees. Be specific and sincere. Do it in a timely manner, and do it often. If you wait six months, that praise loses its thunder. Be sincere and specific.

Recognise them

We all like to be recognised for doing a job well. Unfortunately, many employees are recognised only when they make mistakes. Try to catch employees who are doing a good job and thank them for it. My friend, who is an accountant, recently left his job after just 45 days. Why? During his performance review he received only negative comments — even though he had performed well enough to uncover embezzlement in the company.

Motivate them

Money can definitely be a motivator, but it’s usually short-lived. You can pay your employees extremely well, but if you don’t motivate them they will underperform and, eventually, they will leave you.

Coach them

Become a coach, a nurturer. Just as athletic coaches must bring team members together to perform at their highest levels, you must bring your employees together and get them to work as a team to achieve the goals you have set for them.

Be flexible

When the epidemic hit in 2020, many companies had to allow employees to work from their homes. Those employees proved that they could be just as — if not more — productive as they would have been in the office. Now you might be faced with employees who are having difficulty finding daycare or are facing other issues and would like to work at least part-time from their homes. You would do well to make accommodations to help them deal with those issues.

Conduct exit interviews with employees who leave your company. Why? Because they will give you insight about what went wrong. While most employees will tell you they are leaving because they can make more money somewhere else, most are leaving for other reasons. When they share those reasons with you, you will have the opportunity to evaluate them and determine how you and others in supervisory positions can adjust your own attitudes and behaviours and help you retain employees.

John Tschohl is a professional speaker, trainer, and consultant. He is the President and founder of Service Quality Institute with operations in over 40 countries. He is considered to be one of the foremost authorities on service strategy, success, empowerment and customer service.