Monday, July 14, 2008

If You Find Them, Keep Them

Roy Prevost gave an excellent talk on retaining and motivating employees in a small business. His first words of advice? Dump your mission statement.

Out of eight different workshops he’s asked, not a single person in any of them has ever been able to recite their company’s mission statement. Instead, he recommends having a slogan or mantra that your employees can easily remember and live by. One of his personal favorites is, “We create happy customers.”

It’s important that the statement you choose be something you and your employees truly believe in. He also suggests you let your employees be involved in the process of determining the mantra. “Once they do it, they own it,” he said. “Once they own it, they won’t want to leave, because they own something.”

He also says that when you do find a great employee (a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10), always communicate with that person to make sure he or she is happy, and find out what will keep him or her on your staff.

Another idea is to play to their interests outside of work. If your best employees are really into movies, reward them from time to time with free movie tickets. You should also always remember to offer positive reinforcement, too. Lack of recognition is the No. 1 reason employees leave jobs, so letting them know they're doing a great job will ensure they stay with your organization for a long time.

You can also set up a Kudo Board -- essentially a chalkboard or white board in a common area of the store (like a lunch room) that employees can use to personally thank coworkers who have helped them with a task or project at work.

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