Point of Beginning

Editor's Note: Job satisfaction.

April 30, 2002


I like my job. Fancy that. And I know that many (I hope most) of you like your jobs. Yet company owners—especially in this turbulent environment—are still concerned with employee retention. Ignore recruitment for now; there’s always time for that. Another factor to “perfect” is keeping those employees you do get in your door.

But how? To answer that, let’s look into Lieca’s Book of Ways to Retain Employees, Volume 1.

Show Them the Money
Money is important to workers, plain and simple. Make sure you offer a good compensation and benefits package—and maintain that promise or improve upon it. Don’t stimulate the impulses for individuals to seek jobs in other markets!

Just Ask and Just Do
Sit down with your staff. Ask them what you could do to help them out, how procedures could be changed for efficiency and effectiveness. I bet you’ll be surprised on how much that conversation will matter. The key to this advice, however, is this: follow through with implementing their suggestions. No, not everything will work our for the best, but you won’t know unless you try.

Think Outside the Box
This is one of my favorite phrases. Find ways for your staff to use their creativity. Encourage different ways of filing paperwork, working with clients, taking phone calls. Encourage a light, perhaps humorous atmosphere. Staying with the “same old plan” will turn daunting. Many of the best practices for your company are most likely being used at other firms. Steal, that’s what I suggest. (Why do you think history often repeats itself?)

Consider Role Reversal
How about inviting your boss (politely) to go out in the field with you? Most of them have “been there, done that.” But times also change; they may have forgotten what it’s like. Challenge him or her. (Again, politely, it is still your boss.)

Train and Educate
Personal and professional growth are motivators. People want to learn, to improve and to keep themselves at a high level of employability. Challenge, challenge, challenge. Most workers will continue to stay in their current jobs if they see room to grow. If they don’t feel that they can grow, they’ll leave.

Motivation and Rewards
You can’t motivate others; they have to motivate themselves. But, employers can create motivational environments, providing appropriate support and giving suitable rewards to those who perform well. Consider a good system of rewards and recognition. A simple, “Thank you” or “Good job” couldn’t hurt.

“Do unto others…” is a good rule for the workplace. People need to feel wanted, valued and appreciated. They want to do meaningful work and have some say in how their jobs are designed, managed and measured. Employees—especially today—want to feel stable. And they want some satisfaction.

To contact the editor,
send an E-mail to brownl@bnp.com or mail to 755 W. Big Beaver Rd.,
Ste. 1000, Troy, MI 48084.