Retaining Key Employees – Creative Management Thinking

Automotive & HD Business Management Articles.
Bob Greenwood. September 10, 2014. ( over 7 years ago ) 1,643 views

The acute shortage of competent employees is making many owners nervous about their future. Owners think they might be held for “ransom” style demands. Consider that when the communication “gates” are fully open between management and employees, a complete visualized understanding of each person’s role, and how using each other’s talent, not only secures the business’ success, but their own personal financial stability as well. In turn this creates an interwoven mutual respect throughout the shop. The maturity level of the shop has been raised. It’s when management doesn’t communicate, educate, or involve the employees in daily decisions affecting the processes, direction, or outcome of the business, and potentially the employee’s personal income, negative perceptions can begin to settle in, as the employee doesn’t “feel” they’re part of the enterprise.

That being said, we’re entering an era where pressure to provide strategic compensation packages are starting to become very important in ensuring the best people are retained. Wages can be taken only so far considering the costs of government legislated employer burdens which, this year, is a minimum of 17.69% of gross wages earned, so benefit packages are starting to play a larger role in rewarding/compensating key business personnel for their talent, contribution, and stability.

 Customize benefits to the individual employee. Set a specific dollar limit for the employee and then discuss how the employee would like to see the money spent on his/her behalf as a “benefit package”. This gives the employee a say in what’s important to them, and ensures valuable business dollars are being spent effectively. Some ideas of benefit packages include family medical, dental, long-term disability and life insurance packages which are relatively common today, but consider some “out of the box” thinking i.e. tool allowance assistance, registered education savings plan for the employees’ children, educational tutors, if required, for their children, percentage of daycare costs, percentage of the employees’ personal car insurance, percentage of a leased vehicle, fitness club membership to promote health and well-being, a home computer, high speed internet access fees at home, financial, tax, and/or estate planning counselling, etc.

 Discuss the tax reporting treatment with your accountant first so you’re aware of all the facts pertaining to your particular business situation. Remember, the bottom line is to deliver “value benefits” to the employee through displaying and expressing, your respect and appreciation for their contribution to the business’ success, and the stability they bring to the shop. “Effective” benefit packages can assist in retaining the best employees for your company at a controlled cost.

 With the current way of thinking about the lack of choice by most owners/managers, the better shops consider the following statement as fact: “We are continually faced by great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems”. Your best/key employees are the opportunities to secure the business’ future success, so consider always embracing their well-being, which in turn will retain their focus, energy, and loyalty for the balance of their career.

Bob Greenwood

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Bob Greenwood
Surrey, British Columbia, Canada