No matter what you do, good help is hard to find. Keeping it is even harder. Someone is always willing to do what they must to take them away. If you can ever find them however, keep them happy and they will stay. How do you do that? It can be difficult, and there is a fine line to balance, but these tips are a good start.
Show Them the Money
Of course pay is going to be at the top of the list. Pay means not only fair wages, but competitive wages, with tangible possibilities for making more. A lot of times a job will have a great starting salary, but 2 years later employees are still making the same wage or have only received a cost of living adjustment. Lay out a plan for quarterly, bi-annually, or annual evaluations that are directly tied to compensation. If you get a great evaluation, you get a worthwhile pay bump. Knowing they will be compensated for doing a good job is a huge motivator for employees to do their best and stick around.
Go Beyond Salary
Of course benefits are another no-brainer, but consider this; you might get better work out of a part-time employee if they at least enjoyed partial benefits. Maybe offer health insurance or at least a health savings plan, or offer a handful of personal leave days knowing that even part-time employees get sick or have kids that do. Make certain all employees are afforded the best possible benefits you can offer, and train them to understand the benefits available to them so that they can take full advantage.
This is where a lot of employers fall short for one simple reason. They try to practice flexibility with poor workers. This only works with the best of the best because quite simply, the best workers will not take advantage. However, flexibility is also a vital ingredient to attracting and keeping the best, and a few bad eggs are bound to fall into the basket along the way. Do not let this keep you from being flexible, just throw out the bad eggs. Afford employees the flexibility to live their lives. If they need to come in late or leave a little early, if they need to change their schedule entirely or make a quick personal phone call on occasion, allow for it as best you can. There will be times it isn’t possible, but a tad of common sense flexibility can go a long way.
Make them Comfortable
I mean, you don’t want them so comfortable they sleep, but allowing for certain comforts can help a lot. You want them to be hydrated and not hungry, and it helps to have a place for a nice break. Offer free tea and coffee when possible, and maybe a few snacks reasonably priced for those who forget a lunch or who need a fix between meals. These are nice gestures that will not go unnoticed.
The Mood at the Top
Management should be approachable, friendly, and appreciative of hard work. When negative comments, also known as constructive criticism, are necessary, they can be handled better if they are sandwiched between two positive comments. Also, giving orders with a sincere smile is much nicer than barking them like a drill sergeant.
Many seasoned managers may read this and consider it the fast way to having employees run all over you, but remember, this is how to attract and keep the best. The rest, those that would try to take advantage, can be sent packing.