The first month of the year is gone and before you know it will be the end of the financial year, then time for Christmas party invitations. As an employer, what will 2015 bring for you? Will you be the person your staff look forward to seeing when they come to work? Will your staff be engaged, happy and willing to go the extra mile for you?
Here are eight easy things you can resolve to do in 2015:
Conduct your staff appraisals on time – don’t put them off, whether you are giving good news or bad. And remember that appraisals are to cover off the last 12 months, not the last 2 weeks. And if someone is not performing, before you leap into performance management consider whether coaching or mentoring will be of benefit first.
Review your policies – check that they are up to date and reflect your firm values and promote you as an employer of choice. Are you able to exercise discretion if needs be in situations of hardship?
Review salaries on the basis of gender and level – are you sure your staff are paid based on merit? Conducting a comparative review of salaries based on year level and gender will show you where there are problems if you have a staff member at risk of leaving, and also if there are discrepancies based on gender. Ask yourself honestly if differences are really based on performance or bias.
Deal with complaints or allegations of improper conduct immediately – remember the standard you walk past is the standard you accept. If someone trusts you to open up to you about a concern they have with someone else’s behaviour, don’t betray that trust by not confronting it.
Adopt the Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation mental health guidelines (http://www.tjmf.org.au/raise-the-standard/) – review where you are and honestly commit to where you want to be. Open up a conversation with one of your staff members if you are concerned about their mental health.
Make your promotion procedures transparent – are your promotions criteria and the performance criteria for senior associate and partner known? Some firms keep this a deep dark secret but transparency of process and standards has a lot going for it. It allows for honest conversations about promotional prospects and gives staff something to aim for.
Keep your stars engaged and stretched intellectually – if you have a star performer, it is imperative to make sure they are not only engaged, but busy and also stretched intellectually. Introduce them to clients, give them responsibility, and stretch assignments to give them new skills and a challenge.
Commit to flexible working – Flexible work is the way of the future. It is the way of work now for many workplaces. Don’t be left behind. Check your own assumptions and biases about how people work. Commit to measuring output not hours in the office. For roles that genuinely require attendance in the office offer flexibility in terms of start and finish times. Your generosity will be rewarded with loyalty.
Doing things the way you have always done them will result in the same output. What can you do differently this year to enhance your performance as an employer?