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Recruiting and Retaining the Best and Brightest

We know our local workforce is challenged by shortages in several categories, because we hear about it from our Human Resources managers, colleagues and news media. Yet, so many of us hire people without a proven process, which is often times predicated by a lack of formal training and on-boarding, resulting in frustration, turnover and a lack of productivity. It’s a vicious circle, but it can be broken!

I recently attended an outstanding event hosted by Club Entrepreneur and Upsize Magazine, who assembled a panel of experts focused on the above discussion. Here are some tips that I felt compelled to pass along, knowing that so many readers will benefit if they’re put into practice.

Prospective hires are looking for opportunities for advancement and your company needs to articulate what it offers in its search for the ‘best and brightest’, along with emphasizing what kinds of employee development programs you have. You’d think it’s all about the money when it comes to attracting and hiring great people, but it’s not. Most people want more than a job, they’re looking to make an impact, by developing their skills and talents to help the company who hires them to succeed. When employers provide what candidates are looking for, the ‘best and brightest’ will land in your office for an interview. 

When we think about employee retention, many times we think about discretionary bonuses and golden handcuff programs, but what about methods that don’t involve compensation? We’re talking about Culture development; keeping people engaged through efforts that make them feel their contribution matters. This is the opposite of ‘top-down, authoritarian’ management. The ‘sink or swim’ method of managing people went out with the buggy whip and turnover is expensive, so let’s take care of our people. They will in turn take care of us.

Results Oriented Work Environments or “ROWE” focuses on just that, results. It’s about communicating clear expectations and allowing some employees to get the work done on a schedule that suits their lifestyle. As long as the work is done and done well, where it gets done isn’t a concern when the employee’s physical presence at the office is not essential. 
Recognition was also a big topic at the Club E/Upsize event. Using tools like “Office Vibe” which helps measure and track employee engagement, productivity and job satisfaction or a “Kudo’s Board” that employees can use to recognize each other going the extra mile. Not a lot of cost here, but very high returns….

When seeking to hire the ‘right’ person, the panelists agreed that EQ was more important than IQ. You want your new hire to fit well with your company’s Core Values and Purpose. If you have alignment there and they seem to be a good fit with the rest of the team, you can teach the tactical stuff along the way. You really can’t teach motivation; either they have it or they don’t. 

You can watch the Club E panel regarding this topic here:

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Julie Keyes
Julie Keyes

Founder & Owner at KeyeStrategies, LLC

Julie is a Certified Exit Planning Adviser and Value Growth Advisor with 30+ years of experience. She works with business owners who seek to understand and maximize their exit and critical transition options.