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Protecting Your Most Valuable Assets

(June 2013) posted on Tue Jun 04, 2013

How to make your employees happy in your workplace and ultimately hang on to the best ones.


By Marty McGhie

Rewarding the best and the brightest
We all know compensation is extremely important to retaining your top employees. Suffice to say, you need to make sure your employees feel like you’re being fair to them. Avoid giving out “cost-of-living” raises to all your employees as a blanket approach to compensation. This is a cop out and it does nothing to boost employee morale – in fact, it does just the opposite.

Instead, your best employees should get the best raises and the highest compensation. Yes, it might take a few years for employees to work their way up to the top of the ladder on comparable compensation, but this should be your goal.

Have open communication with your employees about their wages or salaries. Ask them if they believe you’re being fair. If your company has had a rough year financially and cash flow is tight, you might let your employees know this will affect their raises. But, similarly, when business is great and cash is flowing into the business, don’t be greedy. Take that opportunity to reward your employees with wage and salary increases, particularly to your stars (and stars on the rise). Open communication and fair treatment will always go a long way to making your employees feel like they are being fairly paid.

Recognizing work above and beyond
One of the most rewarding parts of an employee’s job is when he or she is recognized for doing a good job. Now this might seem kind of silly. Shouldn’t everyone be doing a good job? Yes, of course. But deeply rooted in our human nature is the desire to be recognized and appreciated when you do something well.

The nice thing about running a business is there are a lot of chances to recognize the value that individual employees provide to the company. For instance, this can be in the form of annual service awards you give out recognizing employment milestones – 5-year, 10-year, 20-year, etc.

You can also reward employees for simply going above and beyond the call of duty on a given project. And you might consider having an “employee-of-the-month” designation. The point is, you should actively look for opportunities to recognize and reward.


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