Webinar takeaways: Carol Wood from Homebase

August 23, 2017

It’s no secret that happy employees are crucial to small business success. In a company of 30 people, staff turnover can cost upwards of $18,000 each year. So, keeping your team invested serves not only to increase customer service, but also to keep your bottom line in check.

Carol Wood, Director of People Operations for Homebase, is no stranger to the field of employee retention. As a former Director of Human Resources for Fuddruckers, she’s got a ton of wisdom and experience that she graciously shared with the Clover community in a recent webinar.

In her presentation, she discussed key points you should consider as your small business grows:

Empower your employees.

Take a cue from Nordstrom, who takes this idea to the extreme. In their employee handbook, they list only one rule: “Use best judgment in all situations. There will be no additional rules.”

While this may seem too hands-off for you, the takeaway here is to let your employees shine. Allow them to intuitively develop their own customer relationships, learn from them about what they experience on the floor that you, as owner/manager, may not be privvy to, and leverage their diverse talents to offer the very best to your clients.

Recognize your employees and celebrate them.

Celebrations for your team can take many different forms. Simple first steps include recognizing birthdays and milestones that are important to your team members. Expand on these traditions, however, to include celebrations for staff accomplishments or goals met. Also create space for employees to recognize each other when good things happen, rather than save that power purely for management.
If you’re creating a staff appreciation event, make sure that it meets the desires or needs of your team above and beyond the needs of the business.

Include employees in your business.

To build loyalty and trust in your team, it’s important to share with them the goals of your business. Articulate how each team member contributes to the goals, and be as transparent as you are able about the financial risks and successes the business experiences. Consistent outlets for communication go a long way to establishing a deeper connection with your employees, keeping them invested in your business

Provide consistent scheduling.

Work/life balance is something everyone struggles with at every level of business from owner to temp. If you are able to establish regular schedules, and communicate them to your team, your employees will be grateful. Knowing when they are working and when they aren’t allows them to schedule other aspects of their life, and return to work (hopefully) rejuvenated.

Take a few moments and watch the webinar for yourself. There are many more tips and specific suggestions to help you keep your team happy and your customer service top notch. Carol also takes a few questions from live webinar participants, and answers questions like “What do you do if you’re worried about your employees building such loyal customers they take them elsewhere?”

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[image: food trucks Oakland museum by Archie on flickr]