Tips from the Top - September 2015
Stop Capacity Crisis Hiring
If you’re like most business owners, your organization has developed almost haphazardly. You’ve hired who you could when you could, usually in response to your most immediate capacity crisis – your most urgent need. You call the plumber to repair the gushing water pipe. Face it. Despite all of your most grandiose goals and visions, you are reactive…Read more
Retaining Employees Requires Creativity
Employee turnover can be challenging and, for many business owners, an ongoing issue. As difficult as it is to terminate an employee, we often forget how difficult it can be to find ways to retain good employees.
Business owners know they must offer competitive compensation packages, benefits, incentives and bonuses in order to attract strong performers. However, retaining employees also requires some creativity. Here are some suggestions you can use in your business to keep one of your greatest assets from leaving…
Math Skills and Problem Solving
Finding employees that enjoy solving problems is very important to our business success. As many of our client projects are customized by design, persistence in problem solving is required. We need employees that enjoy non-routine work and can capably connect the dots. While our business does not generally require a high level of math skills, I have begun to realize that good math skills correlate well with a high level of persistence and an interest in solving problems. My interviewing script now includes more questions that help me assess the individual’s interest in math.
Recognition Promotes Loyalty
The larger a company becomes, the more difficult it is for employees to gain recognition. Therefore, even simple and inexpensive recognition can be a powerful motivator and promote loyalty.
When Hiring, Think Globally
With modern technology – the internet, VPNs, e-mail, VOIP, etc. – it is operationally and economically feasible to situate many positions virtually anywhere in the world, wherever the best talent can be found. Especially for companies with wide-spread customers, this can work for jobs that do not necessarily require ongoing face-to-face contact with other staff – sales, marketing, PR, R&D, systems development, etc. The concept goes beyond telecommuting. We have also recruited remotely and have had key staff located in several locations all over North America, South America and Europe. Of course, as for any employee, to make this work you need to find the right person for the job, and one who brings the right attitude to the position. This relationship requires a results-oriented management team and a lot of faith in the employee. Close monitoring of the employee’s results, especially during the first year, are important to ensure that the employee is the right fit.
Consider a Company Cooking Class
If you are looking to add some fun in your workplace here are some ideas: bowling, potlucks, and contests are typical. But our best "bang for the buck" was a cooking class. Everyone has to eat, so why not cook and eat together? And it levels the organization – the owners are just like the employees. You can pick teams to compete against each other or not. Either way, fun and food is a great retention strategy!
Do You Live Your Company Values?
We had a presentation by a gentleman at our recent TAB meeting and he talked about the values of Happy Bank in Texas. Their first value was "family first." Their second value was "get the job done, dammit." Based on these values, someone could conceivably be fired for not attending their son’s or daughter’s sports event. It also meant that the bank was open extra hours so that if you did attend the sports event you had the opportunity to come back to work and get your job done. Sometimes it is difficult to live up to your values so you need to carefully think about what they are and make sure that you live them.