How to attract talent and build a winning team

As a leader and a manager, I’ve learned that building the right team is one of the most important, yet challenging factors for any business to be successful. The recent quarterly American Express Canada Small Business Monitor revealed business owners have the same sentiment, with over three quarters (77%) believing that recruiting and/or keeping talent is important to their company's success. This notion of building a cohesive and productive workforce to drive business results is universal but rings especially true in the grocery sector where multiple departments must cohesively work together to deliver quality service and products.

Here are my tips for attracting the best talent and building a successful team:

  1. 1. Listen. Businesses can learn a lot from employees, so it’s important to engage in an open dialogue and create opportunities for employees to give constructive feedback. This information can be used for things like improving internal processes, determining the best team structure and ensuring talent is used in the best possible way. Managers should seek to understand the concerns of employees of all levels because when an employee has been heard they feel valued.

  2. 2. Be willing to adapt. We are witnessing a shift in demographics within the employee landscape and it’s clear that millennials are emerging as a driving force in the job market. According to our Monitor research the top two social forces SBOs believe will influence staffing in the coming five years are aging boomers (51%) and young workers' demands for greater flexibility and new benefits (43%). It’s important to understand the demographics you want to attract and adapt your corporate culture accordingly. For example, if millennials are seeking health and well-being support, consider coordinating group exercise activities or catering healthy food options into your overall employee offerings.

  3. 3. Offer more than a job. A career is about much more than a pay cheque and the best candidates look for an employer that will offer long-term growth, development and support. This can be delivered in a variety of ways including mentorship programs, leadership and skills development opportunities. My career and personal development has benefited greatly from mentorship and sponsorship opportunities at American Express. An investment in talent is one that will surely pay off.

Successful grocers know that people are at the core of every business. By focusing on creating a positive internal culture that supports employees and offers growth opportunities, you will inevitably build a business that attracts and retains the best talent. In an industry built on service and employee/customer interaction, happy employees translates to happy customers.  

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