How to Attract Key Employees: Treat them Like Customers!

As we are all aware, the UK has been experiencing a serious skills shortage in recent years – particularly in the engineering sectors. In part, this issue as we know can be attributed to the lack of apprenticeships and opportunities for entry-level employees, and in part, it may be linked to the fact that our attitudes towards work are changing.

In the past, we began a career with every intention to spend decades within the same environment, growing and climbing the corporate ladder. Today, the average employee retention time is only 4.4 years. Unfortunately, key staff are the lifeblood of any company, without them, businesses can’t hope to thrive.

Knowing How to Treat your Employees: Why It’s Important

The problem today is that too many companies are focused on retaining their customers with great value and experiences, but they fail to offer the same thing to their staff. The truth is, if you want to succeed over the long-term, employees need to be treated with the same dedication to your loyal customers.

According to Richard Branson, world-famous entrepreneur, your employees are the competitive advantage for your business. If you keep your staff happy, then they can keep your customers happy. After all, satisfied employees are less likely to call in sick, they’re more productive, and they’re more efficient!

Most businesses today know that exceptional experiences drive customer loyalty and engagement. They understand that customers want fantastic service, personalisation, and better value. However, they fail to understand that their employees want the same thing. In fact, only 61% of worldwide workers feel engaged in their jobs.

Since businesses, particularly those in specialist areas like building services can’t thrive without the right talent, if you want to be competitive in your industry, you need to put staff experience at the same level of customer service. Invest in your employees, and they’ll boost your business.

So, how can employers treat employees like customers?

Step 1: Personalise the Experience

Today’s customers expect everything to be bespoke, from their service packages to the clothes they buy. People no longer want the cookie cutter experience, and that extends to your employees too. Great mechanical building services engineers don’t want to do the same old boring work; they want meaningful and flexible work that supports them and their needs.

This could mean that workspaces could give employees more flexibility in where they work and meet colleagues, change their roles and responsibilities within their jobs, or simply work on a non-traditional schedule. It could also mean that you personalise by offering remuneration packages that allow employees to access the benefits that matter most to them. Personalisation is easier than you’d think.

Step 2: Listen and Learn

The only way to find out what your customers really want from your company is to listen to them. The same rule applies when it comes to learning what your employees crave. Businesses throughout the building services and renewable energy industries can build loyalty with their customers by making them feel appreciated. If you listen to your staff and make changes based on their opinions, then they will feel that you respect their input.

For instance, companies could hold regular meetings where employees can have their say about common processes and practices within the business. At the same time, your team could vote on new policies together, to help shape ways of working that works for everyone and delivers for the business. You could even speak to your recruitment consultant or company about what most attracts top candidates to positions like the ones you are recruiting for.

Step 3: Encourage Growth and Satisfaction

When it comes to nurturing customers, companies invest in satisfaction, offering new and improved products, better deals, and greater value. Employers need to do the same thing with their employees when it comes to satisfying their need for on-going growth. The process of development for each employee should begin with their first day on the job and continue the whole time they work with the company.

Whether you empower your employees to fulfil their potential with individual opportunities for training, or you simply invest in new resources to help them complete their job quicker and more efficiently, you should always show your staff that their satisfaction comes first.

Step 4: Understand Your Employees

Finally, no matter how great your retention strategy is for your employees, you might find that you end up losing a few team members anyway. When it comes to getting customer feedback, companies are often quick to address complaints and negative comments. The same respect should be given to your employee feedback.

Pay attention to the factors that might convince your employees to leave in the first place, and consider meeting with staff through one-to-one sessions where you can discuss areas where your business might need to improve. For staff that need to leave, conduct exit interviews to help your organisation learn more about where it needs to grow to improve retention. Every exit is a learning opportunity.

Value your Employees

In a world where quality talent in the building services and renewable energy sectors is becoming increasingly hard to come by, it’s crucial to ensure that you have a plan in place for attracting and retaining key employees. The four steps above, along with an understanding of how valuable your staff actually are, should put you on the right track towards a more satisfied workforce.

From recruiting the right people, those who are ready to grow with your business, to ensuring that you encourage satisfaction and understanding throughout the company culture, employee happiness is key to business success.

Attracting more star performers within the energy and building sectors is tough, but you can get some help with the right professionals. Email us here or call on 01743 247774 to start building your satisfied workforce.