Respect! Why it’s vital to keeping staff today

Employees have been voting with their feet since the pandemic.

Respect! Why it’s vital to keeping staff today

Many people have simply waved goodbye to their jobs, with no intention of going back. Some have taken off travelling, some are working for themselves, and some are just getting by on what they’ve got.

Many are in revolt against being seen as simply ‘human assets’ like just another item on the balance sheet. They have lost faith in employers who see them merely as another tool, like a computer or a machine, to make money.

What unites them all is an underlying feeling that employers do not respect them as people. Any franchise that uses front line employees needs to realise what a risk this is. In the care sector I can see the direct connection between respect for staff and respect for clients.

Moreover, at Walfinch we know values like respect help us attract more franchisees and carers, contributing to our expansion. I believe that franchisors who develop this culture of respect will see the same effect.

Disrespect for your staff kills their respect for you, and that’s a dangerous situation. In some cases this disrespectful attitude will show up in the way they treat customers – which can have immediate and potentially disastrous effects on both clients and ultimately the business as a whole.

What does respect look like?

Respect is about making your business a community, a caring culture in which you keep in touch with staff so you know if they have any problems, and being there to listen.

It’s also about keeping them informed about the company through regular meetings, listening to their ideas and taking their advice.

The key here is ritual and repetition – putting on presentation ceremonies for great performance, regularly celebrating successes, birthdays and weddings.

Respect attracts new employees

Employees who respect their employer recommend them to other people, in person and online. A reputation as an employer who respects their staff is a huge selling point.

Make it easy for staff to turn this initiative into recruitment. There are apps that allow staff to recommend friends and, if they get taken on, earn rewards. This is the best way to recruit new high-quality staff who are more likely to stay, and it’s more effective than any number of faceless, soulless vacancy ads. In the care sector there’s an app called Care Friends that rewards staff who recommend new candidates – look for one in your franchise sector.

Attract people from outside your sector

Recruit for attitude and trainability, not just experience. Make it clear in that you are open to newcomers to your sector and ensure you offer training. When times are tight it looks like a quick win to restrict recruitment to people who already have experience of your sector, but this reduces your potential field of candidates.

So, prioritise respect for staff. My mum always says, ‘respect goes a long way’. She is right – and that extends to business too.

Amrit Dhaliwal
Amrit Dhaliwal