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Getting and Keeping the Very Best

Attracting and retaining high quality employees continues to be one of the most important human capital management issues. What should you be doing to make sure that your organization is doing all that it should to attract and retain the best talent available?  Based on a recent examination of this issue, here are some key thoughts that may help guide your initiatives.
  • Become an employer of choice – Survey your employees to learn what they think about your workplace.  Analyze the data and initiate changes to improve your work environment.  Repeat the survey periodically to ensure that these changes are having the desired effect.  Employees are more attracted and less like to leave a company where they have a good relationship with their manager, where they are recognized for their performance, challenged and developed, and where they have friends.  Pay, while important, is not the primary reason why people change jobs.
  • Know your jobs – You might say, ”of course we know our jobs”, but with technological, procedural, and organizational/staffing changes, jobs evolve over time.  It is easy to become out-of-touch with the nuances of a job.  One must know the expectations of a job, the prerequisite education and experience that are needed, and the talents that are required to be successful in order to be able to choose the best employee. Identify specific jobs and employees that are mission critical, where turnover would have a measureable impact on the company’s success
  • Know your employees – In most cases, it is better to hire from within than from the outside.  To do that effectively, you have to know each employees strengths and developmental needs.  Hire internally based in qualifications, not impressions.  In a recent study of senior leaders, over 75% acknowledged that favoritism played a role in making promotional decisions.  Twenty-three percent admitted allowing personal preference for a candidate, apart from hard qualifications, influence a selection decision.
  • Actively promote diversity – Diverse points of view promote creativity.  Effective teams successfully engage persons with different points of view.  Some may be extroverts who hate details.  Some love digging into the data, researching and discovering new ways to address issues.  Some have years of experience.  Some are just launching their careers.  In this global community, recognizing cultural differences can be the differentiator between a successful product or service and mediocre effort.
  • Shape Compensation and Benefits – Pay and benefits need to be competitive and they should reflect your culture and operational priorities.  Perform regular audits of your compensation and benefits package.  Make changes in areas where you are lagging behind your competition. To the extent that you can, appeal to your employees’ needs.  More and more, companies are looking toward enhanced benefits for both full and part-time employees to help attract and retain key people, and recognize employees’ desire for greater flexibility.  Part-time employees frequently earn paid vacation and holidays, prorated according to the number of hours worked.  Quality of work life benefits are also key, such as EAP services, flexible schedules, child care referrals, elder-care referrals, tuition assistance, family/work seminars, wellness programs and telecommuting.

By focusing on these key areas, you ensure that potential and current employees see your company as “THE” place to work.

-- Joel Myers
Posted: 7/24/2012 9:11:09 AM | with 0 comments
Filed under: attracting, big, blog, business, chamber, employees, good, human, ideas, memphis, quality, resources, retaining, rewards, small, workers

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Your business may be small, but that doesn't mean that your impact can't be huge! The Greater Memphis Chamber's Small Business Council serves to encourage, support, recognize and be a resource to small- and medium-sized businesses in the Memphis area. Here, our talented panel of contributors will present big ideas that could make a huge difference to your small business. And don't be afraid to ask questions ... no matter how small.

Sales & Small Business Ownership
Voss W. Graham is CEO and Senior Business Advisor for InnerActive Consulting Group Inc. He is known by his clients as "a knowledgeable partner who helps our team achieve business growth." He provides practical experience as a small business owner for over 29 years, yet is often engaged with Fortune 500 companies in the development of their people and business strategies.

Public Relations
Several professionals and strategists from the local Obsidian Public Relations firm provide excellent advice on everything from research to media relations to event planning. They believe that all companies, no matter how big or small the company or its budget, should have a public relations plan driving how they manage their relationships with key stakeholders. Public relations is an integral part of doing business the right way.

Human Resources
Joel Myers is a career Human Resources professional, with over 40 years in the field including 26 years in consulting.

Small Business Advice
Tom Pease is a small business owner of an office equipment dealership called e/Doc Systems, Inc. He has also owned a full-line Kawasaki dealership as well as a document shop. He used 30+ years of experience in owning a business to author two books, including: Going Out of Business by Design: Why 70% of Small Businesses Fail and Small Business Survival 101. He also has published 85 columns in The Memphis Daily News as the Small Business Advisor.

Marketing & Public Relations
Lori Turner-Wilson is CEO and Founder of RedRover Company, a sales development, marketing and PR consulting firm. Lori works with companies large and small, from start-ups to mature organizations, to help them improve the productivity of their sales force and the return on their marketing investment. Lori writes a weekly syndicated column for the Daily News, Memphis News, Nashville Ledger, and Desoto Times, among others, titled “Guerrilla Sales & Marketing,” for which she won a 2011 Summit International Award and 2012 International Communicator Award.

Design and Digital Strategy
Founded in 1999, inferno provides brand development, advertising, public relations, design and digital marketing services to clients across a broad spectrum of industries. Headquartered in Memphis with a satellite office in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the award-winning firm produces results-driven work by passionately combining strategic thinking, creativity and culture to ensure the success of its clients. For more information, visit

Labor & Employment Law
Fisher Phillips attorneys are ready to help you take a stand: in court, with employees and unions, or with competitors. Fisher Phillips has the experience and resolve to back you up. That's why some of the savviest employers come to the firm to handle their toughest labor and employment cases. The firm has 350 attorneys in 32 offices, including Memphis. For more information, visit

Since its founding in 2005, Paragon Bank has maintained a solid focus on the community and customer service. For more than 10 years, Paragon has delivered innovative products and financial expertise, convenience, and a deep understanding of what both businesses and individuals need from a ban, in order to provide solutions that make a difference. In the areas of business or personal banking, lending options or wealth management, Paragon delivers cutting edge technology, an experienced team and the most service-oriented staff of any community bank.