Today’s blog is all about your team. As the new year is well underway, I’m having lots of exciting conversations with clients old and new about recruitment and team expansion. I, therefore, thought it timely to put together a feature with the help of an industry colleague and HR expert, with practical tips for you on nurturing your wedding venue dream team. I’m delighted to introduce you to Soniamarie of Event HR.
Over to you Soniamarie …
“When choosing a wedding venue, couples want to be submerged in an experience which allows them to imagine what their wedding day will be like. So it is not surprising that they pay close attention to the venue i.e. the furnishings, the cleanliness, the set up and the service.
The people who provide the service are of course the staff who are the faces of your business and are on the frontline. They are the very people who couples, guests, and visitors will see and judge your level and quality of service on. It is therefore really important that your staff are enthused, friendly, professional, are A+ in customer service and happy. There is nothing worse than having to interact with someone who does not look or act like they love their job at all.
As an employer, it should already be one of your key priorities to nurture a fantastic culture in your business and to focus on attracting and retaining a loyal, engaged and motivated team; standing out as an employer of choice and a place that people will want to work. Having a great team is one of the best assets in your business.
Let’s face it, managing people is no easy task and creating the right work culture takes time. But, you may be surprised at some of the simpler things that you can put in place and do as a business, which will go a long way to fostering a positive, engaged and thriving working environment. You want your staff to enjoy working for you and to enjoy what they do. It can only be of benefit to your business, right?
It starts from the top down and everyone needs to be on board in terms your management team and supervisors. It must to be part of your strategy and a part of your Company ethos which will drive how you manage your staff and how you do things. Good leadership and a collaborative effort will go a long way to making lasting change.
Here is what you can do….
Below, I have given you 4 things to consider. Which, if you manage them well, will really make a difference to how you make your staff feel about working for your business. They are not quick wins, but a step in the right direction if you do not have anything in place:
Good Induction and Training Program
The induction into your business is a crucial part of the employment cycle, yet so many businesses fail to give it the attention that it deserves. Think about your first day at a job, maybe you had a good or a bad experience. What things contributed to this? Having run many inductions over my years working in HR and I can certainly tell you what will make for a good induction.
– Making your staff member feel welcome – this can include having their desk and stationery prepared for them and telling reception who they are so that they can be greeted by name on arrival.
– Ensuring that their access to your IT systems has been set up and they have been provided with the logins.
– Giving them a welcome pack full of information on the business and how they fit in.
– Providing them with their job description and an organisation chart so that they can see who is who and know from the offset what their role and responsibilities are.
– Introducing them to the team and sending out an email to everyone or holding a quick team briefing to announce that they have joined.
– Making sure that they have been provided with all of the company policies and procedures covering HR, Health and Safety and operations. This can be a bit of an overkill so it is wise to highlight the key ones that they need to be aware of.
– Pairing them up with a buddy so that they do not feel alone and can learn through working and watching a more experienced member of staff.
– Giving them the tools that they need (whether it’s a nice fresh uniform, name badge or PPE). Having this all at the start of employment can make them feel like you have been expecting them and they are already part of the team.
– Plan out their induction week (at least) where they will spend time with and meet key people to get a feel of the business, how it all works and start to foster positive working relationships.
Providing the training that they need and setting specific dates to have progress review meetings (also known as probation reviews), where you can assess how they are doing and give them a space to provide you with feedback and raise any concerns or training gaps. If you set goals, you set expectations and provide clarity.
Remember, your existing staff members need to be trained and developed also. Seek to provide opportunities for them to continually learn and grow. People thrive in an environment where they can exercise their brain and improve their skills or even learn new ones.
Do you pay your staff the current market rate? What benefits do you provide? There is a common misconception that money is the only motivator for people and it actually isn’t. Many studies and theories over the years have clearly indicated this, (Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and the Hawthorne Effect are the most obvious ones that springs to mind). This is why I used the words “remuneration package” as this is the sum of the employee’s complete compensation package including basic pay and both financial and non-financial benefits.
Paying the National Minimum Wage and/or New Living Wage (set to increase in April 2019) may not necessarily be enough to attract, retain and motivate staff. Why? Well, people want more and want to be on par with others in the industry. If another wedding venue pays more, provides benefits and has better prospects, then they will be more attractive to job hunters and even attract members of your team. You certainly do not want to lose a good staff member. So, what can you do?
Before you rush out to increase pay, you can explore incorporating less costly benefits to your staff package such as:
– A monthly or quarterly team lunch.
– Team away days or fun days.
– Having small department or company socials – you can set up a social committee.
– Set up an employee or team of the month scheme to publically recognise achievement.
– Celebrate your staff.
– Implement a job swap scheme where employees can work in another department or role for a period of time. This can also be called secondments. It allows employees to learn new skills and show that you care about their development.
– Have a ‘treat day’ of the week where you provide lots of goodies like cakes etc on a particular day of the week.
It needn’t be anything too costly. It’s the thought and effort that will actually go a long way. I have seen the positive impact it has had many times.
Of course, there are financial benefits that you can offer too. Such as ride to work schemes, employee assistance programmes, offering company sick pay, enhanced annual leave entitlement or online benefits via a third party to get discounts on shows, entertainment and attractions.
Whatever you choose is up to you and needs to be relevant to your staff and their needs/wants. You can even ask their opinion and do a staff survey giving options to choose from. You will be surprised how well this will go down. There is no point implementing a benefits scheme that no one will use or want.
Your employees are people with voices. They want to be heard and equally, want to feel a part of the business and know what’s going on. Regularly sharing company news and information can up your staff engagement. This can be done via regular team meetings, newsletters, setting up an intranet or notice board.
For upward communication, you can create a suggestion box where staff can anonymously make suggestions and comments on how to improve the work environment.
Having a performance management process in place can also assist with communication as it involves regular one to ones with your team and performance reviews which can be used to share information and raise concerns both ways. A good performance management system is directly linked to your business objectives, which feeds into department objectives, which then feeds into individual objectives. So staff performance contributes to the success of the business and they can see just how vital their role is and how it connects to the overall achievement of the business goals.
Creating and maintaining open communication lines with your staff fosters a culture of trust, loyalty and engagement. Some of the most successful businesses have really great cultures as a result of implementing strategies like this.
Outside of the welfare facilities that you need to be provided by law, you can also look at other ways to create a more pleasant work environment and workspace. How can you do this? Well, you can make a breakout or lounge area, provide books or magazines and buy a few bean bags if you need to. Anything to make your staff facilities inviting and comfortable.
I have worked with clients who used colour, quirky looking chairs and even a revamp of the staff crockery and glassware to spruce up the environment. It doesn’t have to be costly but can make a world of difference to how your staff feel. Fresh fruit, soft drinks and even plants will contribute.
I hope these tips have given you some food for thought. Managing people is not always easy but it is worth it when you see a return on your investment. There are many things that you can do to increase your team loyalty, engagement and motivation. Some things go a lot deeper than what I have mentioned here, but it’s a start and I want to show you how straight forward it can be.
After all, when you recruit, you should be recruiting to attract the best team and then work to retain them. People are the cogs in the wheel, and without them, you cannot run your business”.
Thank you Soniamarie ….
If you want to know more about how you can foster good relations, set your company culture, implement some of these changes or even review existing practices, then you can book in a HR Health Check, training workshop or a HR-Hour to talk about it with Soniamarie.
Soniamarie is a fully qualified HR Consultant with 18-years’ experience supporting businesses with everything HR orientated. Coupled with her 10-years in organising and planning weddings and events and running her own wedding planning business as well, she understands both sides of the coin.
You can get in touch with Soniamarie and schedule in a call with her to find out how she can support your venue and find the right service for you. Click here firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to join in the discussions, you can also become a member of her free Facebook page HERE.
We do love a vibrant Facebook community – if you’re not part of OUR Facebook group, just for venues, then do come on over as there are stacks of training resources and plenty of collaborations going to help you grow your wedding venue successes.
Join Wedding Spaces Going Places HERE.