Here’s how you can fix the problem.
That kind of burns, doesn’t it? Even so, it’s the truth: if you are having a hard time keeping your outsourced employees from leaving your indie studio, you need to re-evaluate how you conduct business at your indie studio. You may think you are being fair, giving the outsourced employees a great opportunity to develop awesome games, etc., but people don’t leave just because they feel like it. On the contrary: there’s always a reason behind an employees’ departure (no matter who they are). We’ve discussed how to keep your outsourced employees from leaving before (well worth reading), but according to Bob Farrell, CEO of Kewill (a transportation software company), the method he used to increase employee retention was insanely simple. Here’s how he did it:
“I listened more,” said Farrell. “I’m just amazed at how often people don’t take the time to listen. All the technology we have has facilitated our ability to know about things and to be productive, but it does sometimes decrease the ability to listen and to be effective.”
Farrell continues with another nugget of valuable advice:
“I may want to make comments and interrupt [during meetings], [but] one of the techniques I use is to take a lot of notes during meetings. A big reason I do that is to hold myself back, to keep my head in the meeting.”
Farrell also says the best way to listen to his employees is to hire quality employees in the first place:
“Is this somebody I would be comfortable with sitting in my living room, having a drink on a Saturday night with my family?” asks Farrell. “If I wouldn’t want this person in my house, why would I want them in my office?”
It makes sense: after all, if you are not comfortable with the person you hired, are you really going to seriously listen to them when they talk to you? You can try, but you probably won’t take them as seriously as someone you’re more comfortable with. Sad, but probably true for most of us.
So there you have it: the secret to retaining your outsourced employees isn’t as difficult as we might have thought. It doesn’t involve interesting productivity hacks, nor does it feature neat, free tools for making your indie studio run more smoothly. Instead, it just involves two things:
- Hiring employees you’re comfortable working with.
And that’s it! Always keep these two facets of running your indie studio in mind, and the rest will fall into place.