With all the work you’ve been putting in to get ready for GDPR, it’s likely you’ve had less time and headspace to be the leader you want to be. And the double whammy is that GDPR has just made your recruiters’ jobs a lot harder, meaning employee morale is likely taking a bit of a dip at this moment in time. So what can you do about it?
Remember that stressed and worried leadership will often lead to stressed and worried employees. If you’re not able to lead your team effectively through the changes, they’ll jump ship pretty quickly – and losing good recruiters is never good for business.
If you’re noticing a dip in your team’s motivation, performance or general attitude to their job post-GDPR, here are a few things you can do about it:
You might think this advice is old hat, but you really can’t underestimate the positive effect is has to keep proper tabs with your team – and it’s crazy how many leaders don’t communicate the way they should.
One of the best ways to give your recruiters a consistent boost and ensure you’re not missing any issues is to have a 5-minute team stand up each morning.
Get everyone in the team to take 30 seconds to say…
- What they achieved the previous day
- What they plan to achieve today
- If there’s anything getting in their way of achieving that daily goal.
This also gives your team an opportunity to voice any issues or concerns they’re having (and post-GDPR, there’s likely to be many!) and helps you get to grips with what your team are actually doing with their time.
If someone on your team is experiencing a motivational dip – these 5 minutes together in the morning will be the opportunity to spot it.
Another communication point to mention is that sharing positive feedback from clients and candidates with the whole team is always going to be a great motivation booster. Genuine feedback reminds recruiters why they’re in the profession and helps them understand their value in the bigger picture.
It's likely your team have been putting in a lot of time and brainpower into understanding what's required of them in moving forward as a GDPR-compliant recruiter. And that will be adding extra weight to their already-increasing workload they're trying to juggle.
Offering a bit of respite amongst the hard work will be welcomed with open arms, and give your team a bit of a motivation injection to keep them going.
We recently had a GDPR focus day to do just that - we got together as a team to reflect on all the hard work we've been doing to get prepped for GDPR, discussed plans for the next six months, then took the afternoon off to do something fun.
Here's the video:
Develop your team
Spending time and cash on your team’s personal and professional development pays off in two ways: First, it helps employees improve their skills, which is always going to be good for business, and second, it shows employees you’re investing in them, and that matters more to morale than you can even imagine.
The stats are there to prove it too: Recent research has shown that career development was the second most important factor that would pull a candidate to a new job (a better work-life balance was number one, just FYI!). So, if you’re committed to retaining your recruiters, personal development is a must.
The right budget and time allocation will depend on your business, but regardless of the amount, it’s worth it in the long run – especially when you consider how much each replacement recruiter costs the business when an unsatisfied employee jumps ship!
Also, don’t forget to include management and leadership coaching in your development programs. Once you equip your team with more skills and experience, it makes it easier to promote from within – which also helps solve the ‘lack of advancement’ morale problem that’s so common within teams.
Assess your own management and leadership skills
The definition of an effective Manager is to achieve results while retaining your team members, so if you’re not managing either of those things, it’s likely you need to do some self-reflection.
To kickstart this process, it’s a good idea to get perspective from someone else, as (for obvious reasons) it can be really difficult to gain an objective perspective on ourselves as leaders.
Reach out to a business partner, a mentor, or a colleague you trust and ask for feedback. One thing’s for certain, you have to make it safe for them to share honest feedback, otherwise you’re defeating the purpose of asking in the first place. It’s true that their perspective may hurt at first, but awareness is the first step towards fixing a problem.
In my first review as a manager, current and past colleagues said I was good at coaching them to reach targets, but I wasn’t making it fun. That wasn’t nice to hear, but taking it to heart meant I was motivated to make a change in my management style.
Communicate growth plans to give them vision
If your business only has ten people, there’s not much room for promotions – everyone’s doing a bit of everything, and it doesn’t make sense to have a large layer of middle managers. In contrast, a 50-person business typically has plenty of room for employee advancement.
If you’re currently operating as a small business and will likely remain a small team for the near future, be honest about your plans. Some people will choose to leave, but you can turn it into a controlled departure instead of a sudden departure.
If you’re growing, map out the future organisational chart and potential team structure. Identify where you’re going, what the transitional roles might look like and present this to your team so they can see where they potentially fit in to your plans and can discuss their goals with you.
Commit to solving the problem
If you’ve observed an employee morale problem – or suspect one is festering – you can solve it. To do this, you need to identify the underlying cause(s) and then act. The solutions are often free or inexpensive, but they require you to commit to improving as a leader and a manager.
Leadership development can feel painful at first, but it will pay off in the long run when you're retaining your best recruiters, getting consistently good results and ultimately, enjoying your job more!
Cameron McLennan works within recruitment technology industry. Outside of work, he loves spending time with his family and playing golf.