Accountability: The Best Cure for “Quit and Stay” Employees

Does your staffing service need a shot in the arm?

If you haven’t heard already, our country has been through a pretty hefty recession. From coast to coast, businesses have paid a price – and not just in terms of lost revenue. Conventional wisdom would lead you to believe that tough economic times make staffing teams leaner, meaner and stronger than ever. But that’s not necessarily the case.

For many organizations, a shortage of resources has limited leaders’ ability to provide raises, promotions and other perks. At the same time, a shortage of opportunities has forced many employees to stay in their current jobs. These two factors have altered the normal, healthy cycle of turnover, leaving many staffing firms with an ailing team of “quit and stays”: employees who show up for work and go through the motions, but are thoroughly disengaged.

That’s a tough price for any business to pay.

Have Your Employees “Quit and Stayed”?
Could you have “quit and stay” employees on your staffing team and not even know it? Consider these questions:

  • Do your account managers think beyond themselves, to create unique solutions for your clients’ toughest business challenges?
  • Do staffing coordinators go the extra mile to consistently make great placements?
  • Do your key managers intend to stay with your organization long-term?
  • Does everyone on staff actively endorse your staffing company as a great place to work?

If not, it may be time to inject more accountability into your organization.

Creating a Culture of Accountability
At PrideStaff, we’ve experienced amazing growth over the last several years – in spite of tough economic times — by creating a culture of accountability.

What, exactly, is that? A culture of accountability is one in which every employee takes ownership of, and responsibility for, achieving measurable results on both an individual and organizational level. In a culture of accountability, employees bring empowerment, commitment, creative problem-solving and a sense of urgency to every task.

Simply put, they care!

If you want to build a team that’s more engaged and committed, give them a “shot in the arm” — by creating a culture of accountability. Use these tips to motivate true performers, drive “quit and stays” out the door, and develop responsible employees who work hard to achieve your company’s goals:

  • Start by looking in the mirror. Cultivate the culture you want by modeling your company’s standards and values. To inspire initiative and responsibility in your staff, take initiative and be responsible yourself. While doing so, reward others who demonstrate the attitudes and actions you desire. In time, the tides of your culture will shift to a more robust, performance-based organization.
  • Translate your staffing firm’s overall strategy into specific objectives. Clarify priorities and translate these into specific department goals. Clearly-defined department goals facilitate individual goal-setting, which enhances accountability.
  • Never assume that your employees know what’s expected of them. Most employees don’t even know what their organization’s goals are, much less why those goals exist. So spell it out for your staff. Make sure they understand your mission, how their jobs fit into the big picture, and what they need to do to help your staffing firm thrive.
  • Create a performance mentality among team members. Your staffing coordinators and account managers won’t deliver superior results if they see themselves as just doing a job every day. Foster a performance mentality by showing your employees why their efforts matter — and what’s at stake.
  • Use SMART goals and regular performance reviews to stay on track. When you meet with employees to set expectations and goals for the next quarter or year, teach them to create Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound goals. By their very nature, SMART goals create accountability and are more likely to be achieved.
  • Eliminate excuses. Eliminate the external factors on which employees often blame their poor performance by: ensuring employees have the resources they need to do their jobs; ensuring employees are adequately trained to do their jobs; and setting clear, mutually agreed upon performance expectations for each employee.
  • Hold one another accountable. High-performing teams know their goals and expect one another to live up to commitments. So when someone drops the ball, don’t turn a blind eye. Instead, provide timely feedback. Help the team member understand what caused him to miss his goal, and even more importantly, what he can do differently to prevent it from happening again.

Creating a culture of accountability will yield a team that’s engaged, cohesive, results-focused and takes pride in the work they do.

Tammi Heaton
Tammi Heaton is COO of PrideStaff. She can be reached at theaton (at) pridestaff (dot) com.

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