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In my experience as the owner of Transcription Outsourcing, there are certain things that business owners need to be doing to ensure they fall in the latter category, successfully finding and holding on to the best people in the industry. With the right measures in place, you’ll be able to create a business that everyone wants to work with and for, allowing you to scale and grow faster than ever.
1. Treat your people well.
This is the number-one secret that shouldn’t be a secret: If you treat your people well, they’ll stay. This goes for vendors, clients and the people who work directly for you, whether they’re contractors or employees.
It’s important to note that the people who work for you directly will ultimately guarantee the quality of the work being created, and will influence your customers’ and often your vendors’ experiences with your business. If they aren’t paid fairly or treated well, they’ll be unhappy and start giving less than 100%. This leads to a rapid trickle-down effect that sends everything spiraling and can eventually result in massive turnover, loss of the best vendors and clients walking away.
If customer service is important to you — and it should be — then you need to start by treating your own employees well enough that they never want to leave. We have a policy that as long as our people get their work done, they are free to do whatever they want. From there, we let employees branch out with their own ideas and/or processes that can help the company.
2. Set clear expectations.
Establishing and managing expectations up front is a fantastic way to improve working relationships from all angles. Make sure everyone knows what to expect so there are no disappointments or missteps.
As a business owner, you should have clear policies in place for every situation you can imagine, ranging from what happens if deadlines are missed by your team to what you’re willing to do to resolve various customer service issues. Does your team have a three-strikes-you’re-out policy for freelancers? Do you have a penalty or education system in place for employees who lose too many accounts?
Educate employees on these policies during the onboarding process. If everyone is on the same page from the beginning, they’ll understand how your business operates and what is expected of them. There’s no confusion or doubt, which is a great place to be.
3. Hire the right people.
Imagine running a restaurant that has an unreliable vendor and ends up not getting a huge order of shrimp before a big event. Everything would come screeching to a halt, and there wouldn’t be much you could do. Choose employees, contractors and vendors that are reliable in terms of quality, timeliness and attitude; they will take you a long way.
Hiring can seem like a big challenge, but once you’ve got the right people on staff, more of them will come to you. This has taken us almost nine years to figure out. During our interview process, we test candidates with difficult work on purpose to see how they respond. If they don’t say anything and get the tests done on time and accurately, we take it as a sign that they know how to do the job and do it well. When candidates complain or have an excuse as to why they couldn’t get the tests back to us on time, we know they don’t have the right attitude to work with us.
If you have a team of great people, your business will run smoothly, positively impacting everyone involved. This will be easy to see, and other great people will want to join the team. After all, people are excited to announce that they work for companies like Google, Netflix and Apple, all of which consistently hire such talented people that it’s considered a mark of great skill to be hired.
4. Make it part of your branding.
When you think of Zappos, what comes to mind? My first thought isn’t that it sells shoes, amongst other things; it’s that it offers incredible customer service. Zappos has branded itself as a people-first business and is known for having an incredible company culture that leads to outstanding customer experiences. It has backed this through action for years.
Being a great business to work with is part of Zappos’ branding, and this should be a strategy you prioritize. Make it clear that your customers come first and that you truly value the people who work with you.
You can send these messages in easy ways right from the beginning, even in how you write up a job listing. Many listings, after all, feel cold and a little like a hostage negotiation before the interview has even started. If you can add some personality and warmth to yours, that’s a good first step. Talk about supporting the future team member, for example, instead of just making demands for skills and number of years of experience that might leave someone feeling inadequate.
Business is personal, and no matter how great your vision is, you can’t succeed without the right people in your corner. Treating and managing your team well should be a core part of how your business runs. If it is, you’ll be able to scale more effortlessly with an enthusiastic team and network while you create an incredible experience for everyone involved.
April 16, 2019 at 08:10AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs