Motivating and Retaining the Best Employees
To become a promising small business, CEOs need to develop the skill of hiring, training, and motivating people. This can be a time consuming and an expensive proposition for any company. How do you retain the best people and keep them motivated?
The key is to remember that when the employee’s career goals match what the company is trying to achieve, they stay and effectively contribute to the team effort. As soon as this varies, great employees who were outstanding in the past leave for another company.
Here are 10 ways to motivate and retain the best people:
1. Challenge them weekly.
Every top-performing employee really does want to be challenged. As expectations are raised, their level of performance (and job satisfaction) will also increase.
2. Reward for attitude, not just skills.
With a great attitude, new skills can always be learned. With a lousy attitude, not much will ever be accomplished.
3. Give an opportunity to build a career, not just make money.
Show every employee where they can go from here. I will never forget in the late 1980′s how my IBM Branch Manager, Jim Corgel once took his business card and scratched out his name. He then wrote my name in its place. Jim was showing me my future at IBM.
4. Be one of the leading places to work.
Give them bragging rights at every party. How do you think the employees at Apple, Facebook, and Google feel right about now? Like business rock stars? Everyone strives to stay on a winning team.
5. Pay well. Employee payroll is not a long-term place to save money in business.
Give the best employees “golden handcuffs” by paying above market rates and provide incentives to be the highest paid employee in their field. If you pay the best, you can expect and achieve the best.
6. Give the ability to make their own decisions.
“Empower” is such an overused word in business. But, we still need to give employees the ability to make their own decisions and be responsible for their outcome. Surveys show that employees that are able to have control over their daily environment have a higher level of job satisfaction and stay longer.
7. Be the boss that communicates effectively.
Be someone that all employees can talk to without fear of judgment. Know when to be the coach and when to be the boss.
8. Clearly state the company’s beliefs and values.
Publish a company manifesto to ensure that every company action is in harmony with these stated goals.
9. Recognize that employees have personal goals too.
Katrina Markoff, Founder of Vosges Haut-Chocolat (www.vosgeschocolate.com) always asks her employees about their personal dreams over the next 3 years. Her company then works with them to accomplish these personal goals along side the business ones.
10. Fire bad employees.
There is nothing more debilitating to hard working employees than a peer that is not doing their job. Weed out the non-performing employees quickly (Everyone knows who they are anyway!). Constantly assess the teams’ skills and add complementary staff.
How have you been able to keep the best people at your company?
Helping private businesses grow.