By: Jill Palm Lynch, Sr. Vice President of Human Resources
We are often asked how we retain our employees at all levels of the organization. Like most companies, we are continuously looking for ways to attract new talent and retain the outstanding employees we already have. We call it “creating a stickiness” with our employees.
One method is through the annual review of our employee benefits, which is designed to maintain a strong program that is competitive and cost-efficient for our employees. For example, when we evaluated our list of paid holidays, we found the need to expand it to be more competitive. We also have an annual Profit Share program that our owners have generously supported for 39 consecutive years. We make sure our employees know about it and the history behind it. Your approach to your own employee benefits can reflect the core values of your business, and continuous communication of these benefits is key to your success. Flexibility is a “must-have” for many employees in today’s world. Be generous in providing a work/life balance. Avoid the “we’ve always done it this way” attitude. Be open to what today’s employees want.
At Duro-Last®, we celebrate company performance achievements or record months with lunch for everyone. A long-standing annual Steak Fry each summer and a Christmas luncheon are also ways to appreciate our employees. We may be “old school,” but we still hand out turkeys at Thanksgiving – our employees love them!
Employee Recognition is also a must. We created ways to recognize even the little things with our “High-Five Awards.” It is a mechanism in which an employee can acknowledge another employee for supporting our core values – Safety, Teamwork, Integrity, and Respect. We award Employee of the Month at each of our locations based on nominations from their management team. We created a Veteran’s Wall where all the names of our military veterans are listed along with their branch of service. These are just a few examples of that much-needed recognition.
We also make it personal, creating a tracking system for birthdays and service anniversaries. We share employees’ life events such as marriages and new babies. We also share news of condolences so our family of employees can support that team member.
Each year we give employee appreciation gifts such as water bottles and clothing items with our company logo on them. We have even given our employees an Administrative Paid Day off to appreciate their many contributions.
So how do you foster a positive work environment when your employees are not all working out of the same location? Over these past couple of years, we have learned that communication is essential, and communication through a variety of channels is necessary. Person-to-person, Zoom, phone, email, hard mailings, etc. – each method serves a purpose. Getting your employee’s input is also a must. They want to be heard and know that their input is considered. Focus group meetings are a great way to listen to their suggestions.
By doing these things and constantly tapping your employees for input, you can help retain your talent and, with their help, attract new talent to better position your business for a prosperous future.