4 easy steps to increase staff loyalty and retention

Every tradie knows how difficult it is these days to hire a suitable employee. An awesome tradie will fit in well with your business culture, isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty, and has a great track record with customers. How can you improve your chances of keeping them? The answer is simple: optimise your onboarding process.

What do we mean by this?

Well, your onboarding process is the steps you take to integrate your new hire into the business.

A structured and streamlined onboarding process will have a massive influence on whether or not your new hire will stay long term. When you put so much effort and money into finding and hiring them in the first place, you would be silly not to try and keep them around for as long as you can.

Do you have an onboarding process? Is it up to scratch?

Here are 4 easy steps to optimising your onboarding process:

Step #1: Create a map

Before your new recruit starts, map out a draft plan of your onboarding process.

This may look like:

  • Day 1: Breakfast and meeting with the team. Present with uniform, phone and tablet.
  • Day 2: On-the-job training with old staff member (ongoing).
  • Day 5: OH&S training.

And so on.

It’s important to note having multiple points of contact with yourself and the rest of the team in the first month is paramount. Making them feel like a part of your “family” will increase loyalty over time. Having a rough (or even better, concrete) idea of what the new hire is going to do during their first month will ensure they have enough tasks to do. It will help avoid boredom and any hiccups along the way.

Step #2: Ask someone

Once you have your draft, ask your current employees (or if you are a sole trader, ask a mate) for feedback.

Asking employees means you’re getting feedback from people who have actually been through your onboarding process in the past (or perhaps they didn’t and wish they could have?). You will get awesome insights as to what is lacking, needs improving, or what works great by asking them.

Step #3: Finalise

Using your feedback, finalise your onboarding process and begin collecting all the necessary paperwork, tools, and equipment you need to provide your new hire with.

This could include:

  • Technology such as a phone or tablet
  • Paperwork such as their contract of employment, and employee information requirements (divers license, bank details etc.)
  • Tools, equipment and resources such as a uniform, truck, First-Aid Kit, EFTPOS machine, notepad, Tidy mat, clean boots etc.

Step #4: Onboard!

It’s your new hire’s first day at work. We all know how daunting that can be (for them and you!)

Welcome your new hire and run them through the onboarding process. Explain to them what (and why) you’ll be doing over the next few weeks/months to help get them settled into their role. This way, there will be clarity as to what is expected of them and what they can expect of you!

Throughout the process (planning and implementing) of onboarding your new hire, you need to remember that it is not an overnight process.

You can’t expect to throw all the information, tools, and equipment necessary at them and hope for the best…

Take your time, check in with them over their first six months and give them regular feedback. The time you do invest in onboarding your new hire will reap massive rewards later down the track. Hello, employee loyalty!

What’s next?

  1. Join our Kick-Ass Tradies Facebook Group, for access to trade business specific conversations, tips and resources, plus a like-minded community of tradies.
  2. Book a 15-minute Game Plan Call with Andy, owner of Dr. DRiP plumbing and co-founder of Lifestyle Tradie, to clarify your priorities and get clear action steps.