In my interview with Muoyo Okome (a man that started his app business thanks to taking one of Trey Smith’s classes), he said something that I found quite profound. Okome stated that whenever other up-and-coming indie developers ask him if he can provide them with contact information for good workers to outsource, he is hesitant to do so. Okome told me that because he has spent so much time trying to find the best outsourced employees for his studio, he doesn’t want to risk losing them.
And who can blame him? Unfortunately, the best employees anywhere are usually the first to leave – and the same goes for the outsourced employees that you hire. When employees leave a company, they usually leave because of management. Perhaps they haven’t been pushed hard enough, they feel they could prosper under the management of someone else at another company, etc. The best workers in their field will never have a problem finding a new and better job, meaning you need to do your part to keep your best employees happy and feeling satisfied while knowing new challenges that will improve their craft are always up ahead. How do you keep your top employees from leaving? Here are a few tactics to use.
As stated a few moments ago, top employees usually quit management – not a company. Make it a habit to assess your role as the leader of your studio. Make no mistake about it: managing an entire team is hard. Each person is different, and you need to invest your time into finding the needs of every team member at your studio.
Listen to them. What do they want to do at your studio versus what they are doing now. What are their goals, their passions, and what type of role would they prefer to have at your studio? Find out from them, and make it your goal to provide them with the resources to make their goals realized. Does a programmer want to move up the ladder and become one of the top programmers at your studio? Explain to them exactly what they need to do to impress you and move up the ladder, what you expect from them now (and if they were your top programmer, what you would expect of them in that role), and more.
Give them the tools and the insight on how to become your top employee. Make them feel as if sticking with your studio is beneficial to them in addition to you. Complete this with a feeling that your employees are all ‘in this game together’ (no pun intended of course) and without one team member, the project is less than satisfactory.
There is nothing worse than working at a job and feeling that other employees are given special attention and care over you. It’s enough to make you throw up your hands, shout, “screw this,” and find another job. And 99% of the time, your best workers will do this, and they will be successful in finding another job they feel is better for them. Thus, assess your role as the leader of your studio, and give your employees exactly what they need.
Assess your employees regularly
To keep your best employees, you have to obviously have great employees. The best way to ensure you have quality employees is to assess them regularly. Do performance reviews and find out exactly what is working and not working. From there, you can accurately identify when it is time to replace a new employee or of course, when an employee is working out awesomely.
But that’s beside the point. These reviews can not only benefit your studio, but they can also benefit your outsourced employees. Show them that you are willing to be flexible enough to accommodate them whenever they need it in an effort to help them to improve. Moreover, use a proper tone. You may tell the employee that you will accommodate them to help them improve, but if your tone tells a different story (i.e. “improve, or else,”), the most understanding words in the world won’t make a difference.
- Help your employees to understand that you will help them improve when applicable.
- Ensure the tone of your words is telling them, “I value your work and I want to keep you here, but a few tweaks need to be made to ensure you are at your best.”
Communication is vital
That’s really the central theme to keeping your best employees, isn’t it? You need to be approachable at all times, and you need to listen to what your employees are telling you – about everything. Have you ever worked at a job where the boss seemed completely unapproachable? It killed morale, didn’t it? Avoid this by letting your employees know that they can come to you for anything – and then proving it by being understanding and doing everything that you can to help them. There is a huge difference between telling everyone that you are 100% approachable, then failing to follow up with the concerns of your employees when they come to you.
Provide constructive criticism and rewards at all times (via ‘thank you’s’ in most cases). Communicate appropriately, provide challenges for your employees that you truly believe they can conquer, and watch them be perfectly pleased with staying with your studio as they watch their career blossom.
How do you keep your top outsourced employees at your studio? Let us know in the comments below!