How to retain and motivate your staff even if you can’t pay them more

Keeping your best staff is important for your wet leisure business and money needn’t be the key factor.

Good employees are hard to find and well worth keeping.

Good staff can be a key asset to your pool, spa or sauna business.

Not only do they have the technical and product knowledge, but they also develop relationships with your customers that keep those customers loyal to your business.

Good staff know your customers likes and dislikes, they are often the public ‘face’ of your business and so staff turnover is something that you want to avoid.

In the olden days, the way to retain your staff and motivate them to excel was simply to pay them more money.

Getting the cheque book out isn’t always the easiest thing in the world these days and anyway, there are often better ways of achieving the same results.

So what would those no-cost ways to staff retention and motivation be?

Be flexible.

Long hours or even a strict adherence to 9 to 5 isn’t necessarily the best way to do business these days.

People talk a lot about the work-life balance and, to a large extent, the best way to facilitate that is by having flexibility in your working hours.

As long as the work gets done, the showroom gets opened and the service contracts are fulfilled then doing it between 9 and 5, Monday to Saturday, may not be the most important thing in the world.

You will find that people work harder if they are allowed to take time off when they need it.

The secret to successful flexi-time is that both employee and employer should be happy with the arrangement; it needs to work for both parties.

To that end, the subject needs to be discussed honestly so that both you and your staff understand what is important to each other and how a more flexible work schedule can be drawn up.

Be a leader.

There is a lot more to being a good boss than simply signing the pay cheques and laying down the rules.

People want to be led.

That is, they want to know where the business is going and how it’s going to get there.

If you have a dream for the future, then share it. If you have a plan to survive tough times, share that too.

People enjoy being part of a team and sharing common goals.

Research often shows that being part of a well led team with a clear vision of the future scores more highly with employees than their pay cheque.

Have fun.

Business is serious and important but that certainly doesn’t mean that it can’t be or shouldn’t be fun.

There is a direct correlation between workplaces that are fun and those that are most productive.

A great member of staff will be someone who enjoys their work.

As long as it is appropriate, you should let people have fun at work and actually encourage them to do so.

Be fair.

People have an innate sense of ‘fair play’ and nothing is as destructive in the workplace as favouritism or discrimination.

Give, and get, respect.

As the employer, if you respect your employees you will soon earn their respect back.

It’s about respecting their skills and their contribution to your business – and making sure that they know that you do.

It’s about respecting them as people and individuals.

In surveys, respect often scores higher than money in importance.

Flexibility, leadership, fun, fairness and respect.

None of these things are particularly difficult to achieve.

None of them seems that unreasonable.

The sad truth is that they score highly with employees because it is unusual to find a workplace with all these qualities. The pressure of modern business is such that these simple ways of motivating, retaining and rewarding staff are overlooked or forgotten.

If you can bring them into your business, then you will have people saying, ‘What a great boss,’ and, ‘What a great place to work’.

That will reflect in how your staff behave and how much they achieve and that will reflect on your bottom line rather than the wage bill.