Keeping and Attracting Employees

How To Maintain Loyal Employees

Want more specifics about attracting and keeping workers? Check out these expert tips:

1. Sell job applicants on working for you. Desirable job applicants usually get multiple job offers. Up your chances of winning the best workers by using the interview to sell them on your company, says Roger E. Herman, an Akron, Ohio, management consultant and author of Keeping Good People (Oakhill Press). "You'll hire more of the applicants you want if you take time to tell them why your company is right for them," Herman says.

2. Know your mission. The more dramatically you state your business's mission--whether it's to make the world's best bagel or to outperform Wal- Mart--the easier it will be to hire and retain good employees, according to Charles Garfield, a management consultant in Oakland, California, and author of Second to None (Avon Publishing). "Employees want to know why they are working so hard," Garfield says. "The mission [statement] tells them." Bonus: Being part of a business on a mission is exciting for most workers.

3. Get your name in the local newspaper. People want to work for businesses they have heard about, so getting local publicity can be a big plus in recruiting staff, says Winning. Just a little ink will win you visibility and enhanced credibility with prospective employees.

4. Offer benefits. Many small businesses scrimp on benefits. Big mistake. "You won't attract quality workers if you offer nothing. You don't have to match what big corporations offer, but cover the basics," says Winning, who considers health insurance and paid vacations mandatory.

5. Give employees the right tools. "Without the proper equipment, employees can't perform to their or your expectations," says Mary D. Lee, a performance consultant with Creative Courseware Inc. in Kansas City, Missouri. Don't pinch pennies on computers, photocopiers, phones and the like. The money you save on equipment may be spent replacing lost workers.

6. Give regular feedback. "Employees want to hear how they are doing, and they really value pats on the back," says Lee. Research is emphatic that one of the best--and cheapest--motivators is sincere, specific praise for a job well done. So when workers perform, tell them!

7. Train for success. "A terrific way to reward workers--and benefit the com- pany--is to invest in them by paying for training," says Christopher Hegarty, a Novato, California, management consultant. Training pays off by boosting loyalty and job performance.

8. Match the worker with the job. Whenever possible, Lee urges, "put workers on tasks they want to do and are good at." The payoff is a happier worker--and better work.

9. Let workers design the work. "Whenever a worker can choose how to do a job, let him. It substantially raises satisfaction," says Hank Karp, a management consultant in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

10. Give bonuses. Money talks when it comes to keeping high-performing employees, and the best way to reward them is with bonuses, says N. Elizabeth Fried, a Dublin, Ohio, compensation consultant. "When employees are performing at high levels, they'll prosper--and so will the business."