June 10, 2014

5 Steps To Keep Your Best Employees

By Paul Bieber

Step 1. Let them do anything they want.
Step 2. Double their salaries, annually.
Step 3. Give 10 vacations weeks a year.
Step 4. Have them participate in your bankruptcy procedures.
Step 5. When you start your next business, follow the next set of 5 steps and you really will succeed.

Enough of the corny humor.  There really are 5 great ways to keep the best employees in your business.  You don’t want to keep every employee.  Some will not rise to their potential, some will have wandering feet no matter what you do, and some are just trouble makers.  You know who is worth keeping; now let’s do something about it.

Step 1.  Listen to your employees.  They usually know more about how to improve your business than you do.  Give your best employees a chance to speak and then implement many of their ideas to improve your company.  They will appreciate the fact that you listen and will be more invovlved in the improvements that you implement.  This is called a win-win and you know what—this works.

Step 2.  Eliminate the speed bumps.  Every company has them.  The requirements for unnecessary paperwork or endless meetings. Or, the restrictive rules you put in place a long time ago when one rotten apple did spoil your barrel and now you don’t even remember why you are doing what you are doing, but it has become a habit.  Take the clutter out of  the day for your employee and you will see their productivity and enjoyment of work increase.  This retains employees!

Step 3.  Make your company safe.  We are in the glass business, an industry where more people get injured more than in an office environment.  A lot of people are afraid of glass, including some of your employees.  Give a safe working environment and your employees will respect you for it and be eager to work.  Get rid of the clutter; give the proper safety equipment to your team; teach safety and then preach it relentlessly;  do drug and alcohol testing to get rid of the folks who are a danger to themselves and to your other workers and don’t chase the jobs which you are ill-equipped to handle.  Every time an employee is injured, not only do you lose productivity and dollars, another good employee decides to take a safer job somewhere else.

Step 4.  Improve your supervisors and foremen.  I have read surveys that say the most common reason for an employee to leave a job is an inadequate direct supervisor.  It is not money or benefits.  It is a foreman who yells too much, or treats employees like his personal slaves, or doesn’t teach or try to improve his team.  Work on your supervisor’s skills and your employees will be happier.  I used to give a bonus to supervisors who had someone promoted from their area of responsibility!  Encourage your leaders to grow other leaders; not to hold back the good ones so the supervisor’s job is easier.

5. Give your employees goals and then reward them when the goals are reached.  These goals should be modest for some folks and larger for others.  It doesn’t matter.  The motivator is working to reach the goal.  Give help along the way, share resources if needed to reach that goal.  The rewards can be simple—a gas card for a simple goal, or a weekend vacation for a major goal.  Share the reaching of the goal with your entire company.  Make a big deal of it.  The employee involved will feel like a million bucks and be proud to work for you.  You have improved your company by reaching a goal, and your employee feels great…it doesn’t get better than that.


A special follow-up to my blog a couple of weeks ago when I announced our family got bigger because our daughter became engaged.  Well, it was contagious.  Our son became engaged last week to a wonderful lady and we are so very happy for him and our new daughter-to-be.  In the space of a month, our family went from four to six…it doesn’t get better than this, ever.