Growing up in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Montana, it seemed as though we were always doing “outdoor” things. One of our activities was to go out to the range and look for Indian artifacts. We often found arrowheads in fields. We also looked for crystals and other stones that we could polish up and add to our collection. We went through a lot of plain ‘ole rocks before we found an arrowhead or a crystal but once we found it, it made the tedious search worth it.
Hiring a good employee is a lot like looking for a prize in a pile of stones. You have to go through a lot of people until you find that one person that consistently goes above and beyond what is asked of them. Once you have found that person, it is imperative that you treat them well.
- Compensate them well. A good employee or business partner is worth his/her weight in gold. Compensate them accordingly or they will take their skills elsewhere.
- Give them opportunities to grow. A person who consistently goes above and beyond what is asked is also the person that will appreciate opportunities to grow. Volunteer to pay for continuing education. Help them develop a specialized skill.
- Give them more responsibility. As they demonstrate that they are dependable and hard working, give them more responsibility. Solicit their opinion on a project.
- Practice random acts of kindness. Nothing promotes loyalty more than an employer that shows that they respect and appreciate the hard work of their employees. Treat them to something special. One example I know of was an employee had put in numerous hours of overtime to meet a deadline. The project was successful and the owner of the company gave the employee a long weekend at a resort (all paid for) for him and his family. Another employer I know of allowed one of his top programmers work from the hospital where his wife was on bed rest prior to the arrival of their triplet daughters.
Loyalty goes both ways. It’s the golden rule – Treat your employees as you would be like to be treated!