Creating jobs is one thing. Keeping your top performers in them? Entirely different.
Entrepreneurs are fulfilling a crucial role by creating jobs. That’s great for our economy, and for our society as a whole, but for entrepreneurs themselves the real challenge is often retention. The key task, from an entrepreneur’s point of view, goes beyond creating jobs. It's creating jobs that will not only attract good people but also allow the company to retain, over time, the best and brightest.
As an entrepreneur, you may bring people into your business before you really know what you need them to do. You may not be able to pay them as much as you like or as much as they’re worth, and they often wear many hats. Often, they come in on the ground floor and accumulate critical knowledge. And when you need them the most, it’s only too likely that the market will drag them away.
That means you need to get directly involved in retention. Employees won’t stay because of the size of the paycheck. They’ll stay because they feel they are recognized, engaged, challenged, and part of a team.
Start by deciding exactly who you need to retain. Be honest. Some people are more valuable to your company than others, so focus on the things that are important to them. To keep the best in your corner over the long haul:
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Samuel Bacharach is a professor of labor management at Cornell and director of Cornell's Institute for Workplace Studies. He co-founded the Bacharach Leadership Group and blogs at The Bacharach Blog. Among his books: Get Them on Your Side and Keep Them on Your Side. @samuelbacharach