Exhibition News October 2017 - Page 53

COLUMN: PEOPLE MANAGEMENT Know your people Dale Parmenter, CEO of drp, shares his tips on hiring and retaining top employees W e live in a competitive world. Companies are in the business of competing every day, mainly for pitches, but for talent too. Even if we win top clients and hire the best people, we still must compete and stay ahead to retain each one. Retention is vital, and there are ways to achieve it, and achieve it successfully. At drp we’ve had a staff retention of 90 per cent over the past four years – perhaps it is safe to say that we understand our people, and what they require from us, their job, environment and team on a day-to-day basis. However, no company can get always get it right, and we try to accommodate our team as best we can. Here is some advice on to how to hire and retain the right people for your business. Hiring Experience: In an ideal world, every recruit matches the job description perfectly, but in reality this doesn’t always happen. So, look for skills, not just experience. How can the skills that they have accumulated over the past (however many) years translate into the role that they have applied for – are they transferable? Sometimes it isn’t about how much experience a person has, but the quality of it. Opportunities: At drp we offer plenty of opportunities to learn on the job and be fully immersed into the company though work experience, internships and apprenticeship placements. Most recently, we have been blazing a trail with other events agencies to establish an events assistant apprenticeship. This is a great way to invest in your people too, because everything they learn is in line with your company’s ethos; they are embedded into the culture, and teams, quite quickly. Values: Always employ people who have your values – we ensure that everyone at drp has the ‘anything is possible’ mindset. Values are not necessasrily something you can force upon people, so choose candidates with the right attitude, who align with the overall team, and the team they are joining. Retaining Career Progression: It is imperative that there is a clear path for each individual to grow, learn and develop in their role and within the company. To keep track of progression, make sure to have regular reviews (every three or six months) to assess development and achievements. “Ensure you know what is happening on the ground in your organisation – at a day-to-day level” Flexibility: If it is possible, and it should be in this digital day and age, give your employees the chance to work fl exibly. Working from home, working remotely or working alternative hours to the norm. It of course depends on projects, workload, and colleagues – but this can all be discussed within the team! This might not be possible in all businesses, but at drp we are fortunate to have a multitude of departments and roles. Th is means that, if a team member is eager to try something else, then we let them if it is practical. For example, we have had someone from within the warehouse go on to become an extremely successful as an event producer. Listening to Your People: Listening is vital! Make a conscious effort to ensure you know what is happening on the ground in your organisation, on a day-to-day level. At drp we hold two conferences a year to assess where we are, where we have been and where we are going together as a business. There is a chance to ask questions to the board face-to-face too. We also run the confi dential Best Companies survey each year, to get feedback on what’s working and the areas we need to improve. Environment: Does your work environment make people want to stay? Last year, we invested £400,000 on an expansion at our head offi ce, doubling the complex in size with £650,000 spent on new facilities and technology. It’s a better place to work, collaborate and spend our days! Sometimes though, it isn’t just about the décor and aesthetics, it’s the perks too (such as subsidised lunches). Training: Similar to career progression, where an employee is invests time in progressing in your company, make sure that you provide the tools and means for them to do so. Training – whether small snip-bits, or something more substantial, such as management training – is essential; invest in developing your people – for their own good and, in the long term, yours as well! Rewards and Benefi ts: What are the benefi ts of working for you? Are there rewards for performance? Recognition for hard work or for long terms of service? There should be! After working with you for a number of years, do they get extra annual leave? Are there awards for those who have gone above and beyond for your company or your clients? Recognise them! We have monthly drp heroes, and at the end of the year we have the drp awards, where the biggest prize last year was a three-night trip to Hong Kong! In summary? Find the right people, and treat them right too. exhibitionnews.co.uk | October 2017 53