Top Ten Ways to Attract and Keep Good People

Building and Maintaining a Loyal and Winning Team

One of the biggest challenges facing businesses in the 21st Century is finding and keeping loyal, talented and conscientious employees. Our highly-tuned economy will be in constant demand for the high-octane workforce.

This list will help not only the manager or owner who wants to meet this challenge head-on but also the employee who wants to seek out companies dedicated to developing a supportive, win-win corporate culture.

1.  A Game Worth Playing. People want to be part of something bigger than they are. Earning a good paycheck isn't enough. The new millennium demands a clear mission that everyone buys into. If you don't have one, create one.

2.  Honesty. Nothing fosters dissatisfaction more than unfair treatment or dishonest communication. There should be no secrets in the organization. Keep things in the open. Most progressive companies have open books. Nothing is off-limits. Make it safe to tell the truth—the good news and the bad.

3.  Recognition. Something as simple and easy to do as praising and showing appreciation should be a no-brainer. But you'd be surprised at how poorly this is done. Share the credit and acknowledge people and departments for their success. If you look for reasons to praise, you'll find them. What gets attention gets recreated.

4.  Clear Purpose. Simple Rules. Make sure everyone knows the game so they can keep their eye on the ball. What may seem obvious to one may not be to others. Talk about where you and the company are going and why. Everyone needs to know the game and the rules in order to win.

5.  Opportunity. Make opportunity more important than security. Once basic needs are met and a certain security level achieved, what will attract and keep good people is the opportunity to move up with greater responsibility and more income potential.

6.  Unique Benefits. With a little brainstorming, you can create unique and valuable benefits to your staff that costs little or nothing to provide. People appreciate and will stay in a job that offers benefits that show you care about them.

7.  Exercise Leadership. Lead people, manage projects and nurture leadership. If you lead with ideas, people will follow. Leadership will be evident across the board, not just top down.

8.  Training. Train people like they will stay forever, treat them like they could leave tomorrow (they can!). A valuable employee becomes more valuable through experience and training.

9.  Know Your People. Practice MBA—(Management By Wandering Around). The more your people know how much you care, the more they will care how much you know and listen to you. Know them, know their wants. Know what works and what doesn't. Help them get what they want.

10. Have Fun. Today's worker doesn't want to just put in his or her time and collect their paycheck. They want to enjoy the process. Find ways to celebrate progress. Schedule regular activities that foster community. Make it fun.

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