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Do you invest in your team?

Posted on 18/09/2015 by


I'm back... It seems my last blog wasn't a complete disaster, apart from a few teething issues, so let’s go again.

This time instead of addressing what you should do when it is too late and you already have your manager’s face on the dartboard. I want to address the issue before it becomes an issue. What can a manager or company do to attract future employees, retain their current employees and prevent them from wanting to leave? Of course without gluing them to their seat.

At least once a week on LinkedIn, you are likely to see one of the two pictures below:

“Work for someone who believes in you, because when they believe in you, they’ll invest in you.”


“What if we train them and they leave?” “What if we don’t… and they stay?”


Both quotes/images are implying that 

one of the best ways to keep employees happy is to train them and offer them chances to become better. With almost every candidate I speak too it is a big reason why someone is looking to leave and what they are looking for in their next job… Everyone wants to become better, everyone wants to be the best they can, yet some companies do not do this.

Recently a Developer I was working with turned down an offer because the hiring manager refused to give him a book budget… For the Developer, this was a massive deal breaker, as it meant not only was the client not interested in the candidate bettering himself, but also did not want his employees to keep up-to-date with the latest technologies, which can only benefit the company. I asked the manager why he would not do it and his fear was that he would develop him and then lose him to a competitor, yet he was not thinking of the good that the Developer could do for the company while he was there.

A good example for investing in your team… Last year Arsenal paid over £35 million for Alexis Sanchez. Now considering Arsenal are known for not paying large sums of money on players, it was a shock, but the gamble of investing that much on someone was repaid within the first couple of games, as he scored the winning goals, which helped Arsenal to qualify for the Champions League, earning them over £40 million.

A benefits package is a great way to attract new employees and keep existing employees, but let’s be open here, the majority of benefits are the same… I see it every day, we offer:

  • Free fruit
  • Casual office attire
  • Flexible working hours
  • Monthly company events
  • Summer and Christmas party

These are all great, but honestly this should be the standard, that they are not even worth listing… So to stand out and make people stay, you need the exciting packages, something that is different, some of the best ones I have seen:

  • 12 days a year for external training courses, training budgets
  • Midday surfing – Location depending
  • By annual company holidays
  • Onsite swimming pool – Ok not everyone can have this one, but it’s pretty cool
  • Weekly massages

Benefits are just another good way to attract and retain people… Yes massages and a swimming pool could become the norm after a month or two, but time off for training courses, training budgets and by annual company holidays, will be great ways to make someone feel like they belong and are valued.

Another good way and arguably the best way to keep someone happy, is to make your team feel valued, to feel a part of the company, like they have a say and are truly a part of something special.

How can you achieve this? How can companies and directors make sure that their employees feel like they are truly contributing? It can really be as easy as giving someone praise on work that they have done. Other ways:

  • Flat hierarchies – Directors, actually have your door open, let them know you’re approachable
  • Giving them the power to have a say in the company or office – Hence why my director has agreed to us installing nap pods in our new office… Can’t wait for these.
  • Getting to know your employees - Know their favourite sports team, know if they have kids, know that they are a chess champ, whatever it is, get to know your them as a person
  • Give them the ability to adjust the technologies they work on or have a say in a project.
  • Realising your staff are not just a cog in the wheel, and making them feel like they are part of something special… Howard Schultz calls all 182,000 Starbucks employees, partners... Maybe this is why Denise was so friendly this morning when I ordered my extra shot pumpkin spice latte. Or maybe she just loves serving coffee, I don’t know, but being called a partner of a company with a stock value of over $77 Billion, must be pretty cool.

We have only addressed three ideas on how to increase staff retention, some may work, some may not, but it would be great to know what makes you stay at your role or what you do to make your employees feel special…

Until next time!