As an employer, you’re likely up to your ears in checklists and organizational charts. First and foremost among those should be your own company “gut check”  – an internal check-in evaluating how you’re doing as a business.

Your customers, in this case, are everybody who works there.

While it’s always important to know what your staff is thinking, it’s even more critical in 2022, when employers understand that it’s not enough to just attract the top talent. It’s important to retain that talent during a time when openings are plentiful.

“You need to survey your workforce and know what they think,” said Sarah Fulton, Vice President of Operations at The Lee Group. “That’s people at all levels, not just people in the boardroom. Not just the leadership. Everyone.”

Most likely your website already conveys the core values of your business. But your self-check needs to probe the hard questions. Are you hiring, reviewing, rewarding and firing around those core values or are they just words?

“It’s one thing to have core values,” Fulton said. “Are you making decisions based on them? To be truly representative of who you say you are, you have to hire, fire, review and reward around your values.”

While almost every business follows a process for how it does business with customers — the “insert your company name here” way, has that process been named and visually illustrated? Is everyone in your company aware of it?

“Most of the time people want to understand where they fall in the wheels of a healthy organization, and if they don’t, they’re going to make up their own way,” Fulton says.

For the organization to operate efficiently, everybody has to be on the same page. If not, inconsistencies in business practices ultimately hinder productivity.

Employers need to make sure everybody is in the right seat. That’s an evolving question. “Not only do you have to be the right fit for your organization culturally, but you have to have the capacity to do your job well,” Fulton said.

The pandemic has raised the profile of this question. A high performer in the past struggling with productivity might be over capacity given an outside work stressor, such as illness or childcare issues.

“To be able to do the job well in the right seat, you have to get it, you have to want it, and you have to have the capacity to do it,” Fulton said.

This ties back to core values. Because if an outside concern is impacting an employee’s performance and as a company you stress a friendly, flexible culture, you have to put into practice what you preach in order to be authentic.

Finally, no matter if your employees are all in-person, hybrid, remote or a combination, communication remains key. Making sure everybody does what they need to do to meet goals must remain the priority.

“You should have a clear structure for meetings, a process you’re following for them,” Fulton said. Employees want to know what they’re being measured on and what remedies to follow should obstacles prevent them from meeting their goals.

Meetings can be sit-down sessions or informal huddles, but the focus of them should be on talking to one another to ensure everyone tasked with meeting a goal is on pace to do that.

Going through this basic checklist to take your company’s temperature is essential to moving forward in today’s competitive talent market.

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