We all face the skills shortages in South Africa for our industry. Most of the employees are self-taught. Most of us are too. With ever changing technology, all we can do is keep up to date by self-learning or reading up on the new developments.


Retaining these skilled employees is a major challenge. We often think that by giving them a raise or lavish gifts will make the employees happy.   It sure does, but only to a limited extent. In fact, my personal experience indicates that by fostering a culture of inclusion and openness with my employees, I have reaped benefits from an engaged and happy workforce.


A simple method I have always used is to use certain words and phrases when speaking to my team of employees. I will share some here in the hope that it benefits your business as much as it did to mine.


  That was my fault
We all make mistakes. The pressures we face are immense. Many times you need to make split decisions which may not always go your way. By you owning up to your mistake in accepting responsibility of your failure will gain you more respect compared to if you ignore the failure of that task.


I’m glad to have you on the team
Showing appreciation is a very motivating and powerful method to ensure high productivity rate in an employee.


Here is a road map of our company and our future goals

Communication within the company is extremely important. The horse cannot be leading the carriage without the driver knowing where it is going. Your employees drive your company, and you lead. You need to inform them as to where you want to head so they can accompany you in your journey.


Thank you

Show the staff that you are giving them good attention, and you notice the task she has completed. The words  €œthank you € make people happy.

 ‘Thank you for solving the technical issue promptly yesterday’ or  ‘Thank you for submitting that tender on time’ can go a long way.


This is why

Make your employees understand what you are doing in the company and why you are doing it. If they understand this, they will follow your lead and help you achieve what you want to achieve.

Sometimes the  ‘why’ can be difficult to explain, but they need to hear and understand it. Other times, your idea and  ‘why’ you are doing it may be motivational and staff will be excited in oining you in the project.


I know I can always count on you for  ‘something’

People love to be recognized for their unique strengths and talents, for those things that we notice they do better than anyone else. Even if the talent is simple for you as you may have developed it over the years, your employees are still developing it. Motivate them by telling them that you have noticed this specific talent of theirs. It may be trust, accuracy in numbers, excellent telephone manners or any other talent.


I believe in you


Some employees will go through difficult times. By you supporting him and believing that he can get through it will stretch a long way in developing a relationship, building loyalty and motivating him to improve his performance.


What do you think?

As a 50-person firm, everyone’s contributions are important. Since we all work on many projects simultaneously, it is vital to get input and feedback from multiple team members, so asking others’ opinions is crucial. You may have missed something they will pick up on, or they will look at the project form a different angle. As the saying goes, 2 heads is better than one.


Have a great month!