The equestrian industry is notorious for it’s high level of staff turnover. Is this a problem throughout all equestrian yards and businesses, or is there something individual employers can do about it? Follow these 5 top tips to prevent your best employees leaving by Sarah Huntley at Equine Elite.
In terms of staff retention, employee engagement is key. But what does it mean? Employee engagement can be defined simply as:
“…A workplace approach designed to ensure that employees are committed to their organisation’s goals and values, motivated to contribute to organisational success, and are able at the same time to enhance their own sense of well-being.”
So, how does this apply to equestrian employers? It is natural that employers all want to have staff who are happy to come to work in the morning. But recent research tells a different story. According to a recent survey by Gallup, up to 70% of UK employees claim to be disengaged in the workplace. Furthermore, significant links have been made between businesses with disengaged employees and high levels of staff turnover. However, it’s not all doom and gloom; a team of engaged and motivated employees have been shown to improve company profits by as much as 19% – according to a recent study.
The majority of employees start in a new role motivated, enthusiastic and fully engaged. Somewhere along the way, they lose motivation, drive and passion for the job. In an equestrian environment, it’s the yard owner or manager’s job to play detective and work out what has gone wrong. Disengagement doesn’t just happen – it’s most often the result of mis-management.
So – what can you do to make sure you retain your great employees and engage your workforce? Here are five simple tips.
Clear Communication – One of the biggest problems in the modern workplace is a lack of clear and effective communication. Make sure all your employees (from your yard manager to part-time weekend volunteer staff) are clear on what the collective goals and objective are and that it is delivered in a consistent and fair way. If you want an engaged workforce, you need everyone to be on the same page.
Be generous with praise and recognition – Studies have shown money is not the biggest motivator in the workplace. Many people quit jobs because of a lack of appreciation. Employees like to be recognised for their input. Reward your staff consistently and often – be their biggest supporter and they will become yours.
Ask your team for their input and ideas – In business, it is common that decisions are made without seeking input. Whilst this strategy might save you time, it doesn’t always guarantee success. Ask for input from your team around you – they might have some brilliant ideas – just learn to ask!
Understand their motivations – As the team leader and manager, it’s your job to know and understand what motivators will work best for your employees. Instead of financial reward, most employees are motivated by other elements such as a job with a healthy work-life balance. Consider giving rewarding your hardworking employees with an extra few hours off, or encouraging them to do build their life outside of the yard or office. By giving them what they want and need, employee engagement will soar.
Provide good pay, training and a solid career path – Your best employees are more likely to stick with you if they receive the pay, training and job role they desire. Jason Lemkin, founder of two successful businesses advises that business owners “should always pay market rates or above for their top employees – as soon as they can afford to – and make a plan for how key employees can grow their careers within the business (so they don’t leave for greener pastures).”
You need to keep your best employees engaged – be it on the yard or in the office, not daydreaming about a better job elsewhere. By ensuring your team are ‘on-side’ by following these simple tips, you can prevent your best employees from walking out the door.
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