Now for some good news. A recent survey the Insight Performance team conducted with SBANE (Smaller Business Association of New England) found that an increasing number of small to mid-sized businesses in New England are planning to hire employees this year and offer base-pay increases. This indicates that optimism is beginning to resurface--along with business opportunity--at least in the New England area. What does that mean for small and mid-sized business owners? Now for some tough news. The same game rules apply as before--you have to compete against larger and better-funded organizations to land the best candidates. But, it doesn't have to be an uphill battle. Here are some ways you can be successful:

  • Play to your strengths. There are many benefits to working in a smaller environment. Employees have opportunities to take on more and varied responsibilities, and typically have more access to top management, who often work side-by-side with them. Make sure you are offering these opportunities to candidates and current employees, and communicating these benefits to them.
  • Make your workplace the place to be. Any organization can create an exceptional workplace. It entails being respectful to all employees, engaging team spirit, creating a family/friendly atmosphere, and facilitating open communications. Be available and walk around your office. Solicit input from employees and truly listen to what they have to say. Understand what motivates them, what they care about and offer them opportunities to develop and achieve their goals.

Now for a challenge and an opportunity. As we all know, when employees aren't happy, they leave as soon as opportunities emerge. It looks like opportunities are beginning to open up in the job market. Are your employees happy? Are you doing all you can to create a workplace of choice? Now is the time to focus on your number one business asset: your employees.

Read more about what Nancy and her team are doing to develop Exceptional Workplaces at or on their Facebook Page.