HR consultant Clare Long, of Norgay HR Consulting, says a healthy working environment is necessary for employees to work efficiently. From her experience working with businesses of all sizes across various industries, she says this always starts with having strong and effective leadership.
“If you’re working in a role that is doing work you enjoy doing, you’re working in the type of environment you like to work in, [you won’t leave],” Clare says on the My Business Podcast.
As employees work directly under their managers – which in the case of SMEs is often the owner of the business – Clare says this relationship is vital to keeping an employee happy.
“Let’s face it, people do leave managers, not companies,” she says.
“You are creating the best environment possible for that person. It’s hitting the sweet spot with engagement actually, so that individual is going to go above and beyond for your business.
“If you can get everybody in your business going above and beyond their role, you’re going to have outstanding outcomes as a result of that … [but] if you take your foot off the pedal, you can easily lose the value that you’ve created.”
In order to maintain a good relationship with your employees, Clare says there needs to be strong leadership in the business.
“If you’ve got the right leaders in place that are role-modelling what they say they’re going to do and role-modelling the values of the business, that’s critically important,” she says.
“When you’re doing any work around building the right environment in a business, you can’t do that without focusing on leadership and seeing what’s going on there.”
Business owners are not the only people who need to make a good impression on employees. The entire management team matters too.
“Everyone’s looking up and pointing the finger upwards, saying, ‘The way you role-model, or the way I see you behave, is role-modelling to me how I should behave’,” Clare says.
As such, if there has been an exodus of talented employees, it could be worth looking at your own leadership to see if there are procedural and/or cultural improvements that can be made.