How to keep your staff long term

Our staff come and go as they please and they work when they want to. Our staff have also been with us for many, many years and there’s a reason for that. In other articles I talk about making it easy for your customers to buy from you, the same principle applies when you make it easy for your staff to work for you.

In both instances, if you show people something of value and make it easily accessible to them, you have a far greater chance of an opt in. The value in our business is the autonomy they enjoy as team players, instead of running to me with a problem, they come to me with a solution, all I have to do is be the devil’s advocate and try to pick errors in it and most of the time I can’t. As a business owner, you have no idea how much time this saves. While they solve their own problems, you grow your business. The knock-on effect of this is that they share these scenarios at our staff meetings and everyone learns from them. Many things happen then, that staff member feels empowered, they have grown in confidence, they feel responsible for what happens in the business and they contribute willingly. Everyone’s responsible for the business now. Autonomy is a great thing but you have to be cautious because some people see it as a ticket to do anything they want.

Years ago, I worked as a programmer in a glass production factory and the manager was a tyrant, he ruled by terror, I could never understand why … all he ever did was sack people and train new staff, he was always the one who was right – it made no sense. I didn’t realise what an impact that would have on me in the future.

I’m Mark Lait and I can show you how to make money from your photography, join us on our facebook page for loads of tips and information.I treat my staff with respect and always listen to what they have to say, and as a result, they are happy. I treat them as equals, not subordinates which is how I think it should be – it works for us. There’s no need to be a control freak, at the end of the day, my staff know that the work has to be done and they know how much work has to be done, they also know that they have to work a certain amount of time each week, so I leave it up to them to decide. I’ve made it easy for them to work for me.

I also share the business figures with them, they know how much we need to make to be profitable and they also know that if we’re not profitable, they won’t have a job. In a way they own the business. We have a clever scaled commission structure that rewards them as well, the more work they bring in, the more money they will make so it’s up to them what they earn. Incentives always work but you know what, you get people who reach a certain level of income and say, ‘that’s enough for me’ and take their foot off the pedal.

The solution to that is to make sure you have people who are money driven working for you and a good way to do that is to use contractors – they don’t get paid by the hour, they get paid by the result so the more they make for you, the more they make for themselves.

Both systems have their advantages, you need staff who know exactly what they’re doing to keep the business running at its peak and you need contractors who go for gold and achieve the results you want.

To summarise, we’ve created a staff management system which runs itself. I provide the incentives and they do the rest, they are free to come and go as they please and they can make very good money as a staff member while being responsible for the well-being and growth of the company and their own income. It’s a great system.

I hope this has been helpful, as usual, I’d appreciate if you would share this and I look forward to sharing some more with you next week – see you then.

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