You’ve Hired Great Employees How do You Keep Them?

In part one of this article we discussed how to find the right job candidates. In part two we discussed how to interview your finalists. In this article I would like to share with you some ideas on how to retain the people you hire.

Having the new employee complete a work style assessment can give you some excellent information on his or her work behavior tendencies. This can help in shortening the time it takes to understand this new worker’s style of doing the job. There are several assessment tools on the market from which you can choose.

With new hires, start them out at a slightly lower wage or salary with the understanding that their performance will be reviewed in 90 days, and at that time, based on their progress, they could be offered a raise and/or additional incentives. This provides some built-in motivation for them to do their best in the first three months on the job.

To keep good employees you must pay them well. While money is not the only motivator, it is important. If you pay too little, don’t be surprised if your new hires leave for greener pastures. Like the saying goes, “If you only pay peanuts, you get monkeys.”

When possible, tie compensation to performance. Not just profit sharing, which rewards everybody, but monetary increases for specific job excellence.

Once the person is on board, make sure they have the opportunity to go through a thorough new employee orientation. Make sure they get a chance to meet all pertinent people throughout the company. One system that still works extremely well is to use the buddy system. Assign one experienced employee to show the new employee around and be a “go to” person for any questions or help. This technique can shorten the time it takes for a new person to become more comfortable and productive in their new company.

As reported in the Wall Street Journal, provide some small perks. “Free bagels on Fridays and dry-cleaning pickup and delivery may seem insignificant to you, but if they help employees better manage their lives, they’ll appreciate it and may be more likely to stick around.”

Instead of conducting only exit interviews, why not conduct “stay interviews.” Ask employees who have been with you two years and longer, why they continue to work for your company or organization? Ask them what makes them feel good about working for your company and what would cause them to leave. Find out how the company could improve the work environment for them.

“When they are green they grow and when they are ripe they rot.” Invest not only in training for new employees, but all employees. Find out how they would like to grow with your company and support them with the right kind of training and development opportunities. It has been said over and over again that your employees are the best investment you can make. It has been reported that Xerox Corp., on average, gets a return on investment of $22 for every dollar they spend on training. IBM gets a return of $28 for every dollar they spend on training and Motorola receives $33 for every dollar they spend on training their employees. In other words, investing in training your employees and managers doesn’t cost, it pays!

Make sure your new hires know and understand your company mission statement. People can be inspired and motivated to do their best when they are working for a company that is in harmony with their values. If your mission statement needs some updating, make it part of your next company strategic planning session, and give your employees a chance to be part of the revisions. People support what they help create.

Finally, don’t play favorites. New employees are sharp and can easily see where special treatment is being given to certain individuals or departments. Nothing kills an individual’s motivation than this kind of favoritism. I remember early in my career working for a company where the business owner overtly favored certain people. It was so overt that he allowed unethical behavior by these individuals to go unnoticed. One of the adverse effects of this type of management was that it angered and demoralized the other team members. Don’t make the same mistake with your company.

Implementing some or all of these tips can go a long way in helping to ensure that the new employees you hire not only stay, but also excel in their new jobs.

Tom Borg is a Michigan-based business growth specialist and consultant. For more information, contact him at (734) 404-5909 or [email protected].