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The Good Soul Guide to Staffing and Retention

By Emma Barry

The world of staffing and retention has been rocky (to say the least) in the last couple of years. Finding the right staff is hard enough, but retaining staff has proven to be even more difficult. The Great Resignation saw 38 million Americans leave their roles, causing many businesses now to be understaffed and overworked. In fact, according to the Grant Thornton Survey, 21% of people left and started a new role in the last 12 months, and 29% are actively looking for a new role with another company. 

So, how do you find and retain staff? Here are seven steps to keep your business staffed and successful.

1. Tell your story

It’s the age-old adage: Money isn’t everything. One major thing we’ve found is that people follow a purpose, not a paycheck. While compensation is important for most, it’s a connection to a company’s mission that keeps staff around longer. That’s why being clear about your values when looking for candidates can ensure you find the right person. Take a look at some of your recent job listings. Have you highlighted your company mission? Have you outlined your vision for the future? You can also look at workplace reviews to learn how your brand comes across to potential staffers. Many candidates use Glassdoor to learn how previous employees enjoyed their roles, and what some strengths and weaknesses of your company may be.

2. Seek good souls

The answer should always be yes whenever someone asks if you’re hiring. You’re always looking for good souls, new talent, and people who connect with your brand! Especially those who take the initiative to talk to you about a job even when they aren’t sure there are positions available. While no two people are the same, considering friend groups can help you attract people with similar values. When an effective, trustworthy, employee has a friend interested in a job, your ears should perk up. Referrals not only take a lot of the legwork out of the process but also increase the chances of finding someone with the same valuable qualities. Not to mention, having friends at work is a huge retention booster.

3. Live your brand

Authenticity is key when it comes to branding. Your employees and your customers want to see the company's values being implemented in every aspect. For example, if your business emphasizes sustainability, but your studio, salon, or spa is filled with single-use plastic, that can be a red flag for both potential candidates and customers. Staying authentic and living your brand is one of the most powerful tools for attracting staff that connect with the mission and work hard to uphold company values. (And don’t forget, happy staff = happy customers).

4. Cultivate joy

As a wellness business owner, you can create the backdrop for people to do their best work. Cultivating an environment of joy, kindness, and support gives employees the tools they need to perform at their highest level. A simple way to design a positive workplace is to play to your employees’ strengths. If you’re looking to fill a role and prefer to look internally, the staff member with the most substantial background—not necessarily who has been there the longest or brings in the most money—should be at the top of your list. Keeping roles aligned with what an employee does best boosts morale and flattens out an otherwise steep learning curve. What’s more, allowing staff to personalize their work gives them flexibility and reinforces the value of their contributions. Encourage them to find creative solutions, add personal touches to their space, and come to you with any new ideas.

5. Stay curious

In the wellness business, you have two options: innovate or die. It may sound harsh, but the truth is, the most successful companies are the ones that adapt and innovate as necessary. And because your staff have unique insight into business processes, they are an exceptional resource as you try to pinpoint weaknesses. Your employees should feel more than comfortable coming to you to share ideas, opportunities for improvement, and any concerns they may have.

6. Deepen connection

Becoming a better listener can transform the entire management experience for both you and your staff. It’s easy to dismiss complaints and put a band-aid on an issue—what’s difficult is genuinely seeking to understand the problem and find a long-term solution. Sometimes, simply hearing your staff out is more important than anything else. Strengthening your listening skills can make all the difference in your staff retention efforts. That being said, not every issue is one that requires your intervention. It can be beneficial to coach your staff on conflict management with one another to give them the tools to problem-solve independently. Ultimately, transparent, authentic communication remains paramount to employee happiness and retention.

7. Satisfy wants

Everyone has a checklist of things they look for in a position they’re considering. Prioritizing workplace well-being goes a long way when it comes to keeping your star staffers around. Benefits like health insurance, 401k matches, or even an employee discount show your employees that you value them enough to take a bite out of your budget. You also want to ensure your staff members know there is a clear growth path for them as they continue to gain more knowledge and skills surrounding the business. And lastly, having a strong DEIB program can foster an inclusive environment and attract a pool of talented candidates. 

Business owners have an opportunity to provide a motivating, joyful work environment that attracts and retains top talent. Will you answer the call?

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About the author:

Emma Barry Headshot

Emma Barry

Co-Founder and Chief Creative Soul

Good Soul Hunting

Emma wears three complementary hats serving fit-tech, well-tech, health-tech and sports. Co-founder & Chief Executive Soul at Good Soul Hunting, Senior Advisor US Market for The Fit Tech Company, and Global Health and Fitness Authority. Emma is an international bestselling author of and keenly-courted-keynote and facilitator for business forums, trend panels, podcasts, and phygital events. In past lives, Emma was a founding member of group exercise programming giant Les Mills International and Director for the luxury-lifestyle brand - Equinox. Emma's cocktail of impatience with the status quo, infectious energy, and innovative flair unlocks and activates the greatness in others. As a provocateur of ideas, Emma deals in the currency of people, passion, and purpose. She delights in digging for game-changing insights and setting souls on fire in stellar companies that are in a hurry to impart health and happiness to the world. A kiwi living in LA and commuting to the UK/Europe, Emma is also partial to a Mojito.

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