Are you constantly fighting employee fires?

Chris McLaughlin, MD of MIS AMS

It’s a chicken and egg situation, if you invest in employee development, your staff want to stay with you. And if they stay with you, you have more time to dedicate to staff development instead of constantly fighting employee fires. If you don’t invest, you spend blood, sweat and tears on a time and effort treadmill looking for new talent.

Generations that came before us reveled in the gold watch that was presented in a nod from the MD for a staff member’s dedication and longevity of service. In 2016, does such a celebration still exist? Are there individuals who work their whole career in one company – starting at the bottom and working their way up through the ranks? Many successful household brands built their foundations and owe their ultimate success to retaining the same members of staff across decades, by harnessing their true dedication and commitment to the cause.

Fast forward to 2016 and many sectors are seeing people jump around from one job to another like kangaroos after too many red bulls, with some spending as little as six months at one firm before leaving in a bid to further their career. This often boils down to the basic economics of finding a larger pay packet. So is financial gain the real motive behind people jumping ship? Or is it the lack of attention, training, guidance and not a hint of a team spirit or morale?

It seems organizations are spending too much time looking for staff, whilst hemorrhaging them at the same time. It’s a constant battle to find the best talent to join the team that is in the meantime struggling to handle client expectations whilst being a man down. Continuity of service whilst training or bedding-in the newbie, takes time and effort and arguably removes focus from the other tasks at hand in terms of employee development.

There’s no doubting that continuity of service to the organisation means the same to the customer too and this is ultimately our driver at MIS AMS in our employee-training program. We’re lucky to be a company that is bucking the trend. Earlier this year the team celebrated a combined service of over 300 years, with many staff members proud to say they have worked for the company for over 15 years, and seen it grow, develop and welcome me to my MD role three years ago. In the last few months, our Northwich-based head office has hired five new individuals to strengthen the existing team as demand increases for new products and the market continues to grow.

I have promised my team a plethora of training programs and a fun work environment whilst remaining an active member of the team myself. It’s a cliché, but my door is literally always open. We all have company celebrations, marking milestones, birthdays and national sporting occasions with a dearth of pizza and cakes, usually. Staff retention is key to growth – our customers like dealing with us because they have built relationships with our upbeat, dedicated team members who aren’t constantly changing with the whims of the job market. That alone, pays huge dividends.

So yes, keeping the team motivated, trained and happy to be at work has been a winning formula for MIS AMS and as a consequence of a happy, skilled workforce, I don’t have employee fires to fight.

I can focus on more important things, like what pizza topping to choose…