Finding and retaining good staff can be a challenge for all employers and was one of the topics up for discussion at the recent Equestrian Employers Association conference. Below we look at advice and tips from some of the speakers on how to be a good employer and how to avoid a high turnover of staff.
1. When recruiting have a clear idea of what you are looking for. Look at prospective employee’s CV’s and how long they have spent in previous jobs — this gives you an indication of how long they are likely to stay with you.
“Staff are your biggest investment. Make time for recruitment and invest in the process,” says Chris Hewlett, managing director at Haddon Training.
2. Check their references are genuine and trust your instinct – you will have a sixth sense as to whether they will fit well into your existing team.
3. Be professional at all times. Ensure employees have the correct employment status, have a written contract and that the minimum wage is observed. Have reasonable working hours and expectations, plan their holidays, be clear on benefits and ensure they are delivered.
4. Get to know your employees. Treat them like another person and find out what makes them tick both personally and professionally. That way it is easier to recognise if there is a problem or something isn’t right.
“Be approachable. Bullying develops because people won’t communicate,” says Rosie Lord, owner of Berkshire Riding Centre which employs 15 members of staff.
5. Recognise achievement in order to install a sense of responsibility and job satisfaction.
6. Go the extra mile.
“We give all our staff a cake and card on their birthday and try to make their day special. Little gestures like that — especially if they are away from home — really make a difference,” says Rosie.
7. Encourage, motivate and inspire your employees.
8. Be patient, flexible and adaptable.
“Without employees I don’t have a business, they are my extended family. I hope they will bend a bit for me and I will bend for them,” continues Rosie.
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9. Show you care.
“I’m always checking my staff have had breakfast, have drunk enough water and have applied sun cream when it’s hot. They are busy and sometimes forget the obvious things like eating and drinking which are so important particularly when they are working hard,” concludes Rosie.
10. Be kind, empathetic and fun.
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