Business Advisory

7 ways to add value to your employees in trade

Paul Kerins
29 July 2022
4 min read

29 July 2022

Trade Business owners have a number of challenges they are facing, including grappling with supply restraints, project setbacks, raising costs and staffing issues. All these are causing delays and making planning and completion dates very difficult to achieve. Some of these challenges are out of your control, but there are ways that you can add value to employees and thus retaining your current ones, and attracting quality, new ones.   

1. Retaining existing employees 

First and foremost, you need to look after the people you have before chasing new employees. The cost of recruitment can be significant, up to a third of the employee’s salary. Plus, it will be very time-consuming exercise. 

Your number one priority is to look after your own people, hire great people and pay them well. But understand where market rates are, and that you are comfortable your rates are competitive. At the same time, you can look at increasing your charge out rates to cover wages increases and to keep your margin. 

2. Create a Winning Culture 

It’s your core role as a business leader to focus your time, energy and resources on creating a culture that will get the best out of your people. 

A winning culture is where employees are engaged, empowered and align to your vision and strategy. Your culture is the sum of your behaviours and behaviours are driven from the values of your organisation. 

Empower your people with trust and responsibility.  

3. Develop a well-being benefits package

In todays’ competitive hiring market, it’s important  to offer a generous benefits package. Employee benefits have shown to boost both recruitment and retention efforts, while maintaining a greater satisfaction among established workers. 

Here are some ideas 

  • Flexible working conditions, eg four-day week or a nine-day fortnight. 

  • Health perks such as healthy food and gym memberships. 

  • Additional leave for birthdays or long weekends. 

4. Clear career pathways 

If you do not have a regular performance review process, this is a great time to implement one! As a manager you need to unpick what your employees’ key drivers are – what do they want from the company and their role. Then you need to give them the tools, resources, and training to achieve this. 

Provide clear expectations on the career pathways. What does the employee need to do to advance in their career? 

Meet regularly, both formally and informally, to check-in and provide support. 

5. Communicate 

Clearly communicate expectations with your people, both at the team and individual level, and set a regular meeting rhythm and agenda with your employees. Use the meeting as an opportunity to share information on how the business is performing, both the good and bad, discuss upcoming projects and initiatives, and hear about any lessons learned. 

Have an open – door policy and encourage your people to ask questions. 

6. Technology 

Technology and innovation are key drivers of productivity. In a tight market, technology saves time, improves performance, and allows your staff to complete higher value and productive work. Being ahead of the curve in trends and best practices also helps you stand out to potential employees- attracting innovative workers and building your business reputation. 

7. Create Recruitment Incentives for Staff.

Your staff are your eyes and ears on the ground and often having strong networks of talent from your competitors. Offer enough of a financial incentive and they will likely perform better than any recruiter. It’s a great way to spread your business reputation - through the mouths of your happy employees.  

For help with your trades business and facing these turbulent times, contact us here.

Author: Paul Kerins | Partner

Paul works with a large number of farming clients, advising them on livestock valuation options, benchmarking and succession planning. Paul enjoys working with farming clients and helping them manage their business and the every day risks the farming community faces.