What in­no­va­tive steps is your com­pany tak­ing to re­tain your top talent?

Cap­i­tal Ideas mem­bers share tips for keep­ing great people around

Edmonton Journal - - CAPITAL IDEAS -

“We have an amaz­ing group of su­per­stars in the firm that want to feel em­pow­ered and know they are mak­ing a dif­fer­ence. We of­fer as much per­sonal and pro­fes­sional flex­i­bil­ity as pos­si­ble in the jobs they work on, their daily work sched­ules and how they can in­di­vid­u­ally con­trib­ute to the com­pany’s suc­cess.” — Linda Banis­ter, pres­i­dent of Banis­ter Re­search & Con­sult­ing Inc. — banis­ter.ab.ca “The key to keep­ing tal­ented people is cre­at­ing a cul­ture that is hard to walk away from. One of the ways we do this is by cre­at­ing per­sonal con­nec­tions with our team. We also in­ten­tion­ally cre­ate ex­pe­ri­ences for us to have fun to­gether.” — Brandi Bartlett, di­rec­tor of hu­man re­sources at Quer­cus So­lu­tions — quer­cus­so­lu­tions.com “Per­haps not very in­no­va­tive, but when I started my com­pany 18 years ago, I vowed to not end up own­ing a com­pany that I wouldn’t want to work for.” — David Borodit­sky, owner of Emer­gence by De­sign — emer­gence.com “Good em­ploy­ees work for the wages or salary; great em­ploy­ees are pas­sion­ate about the work they do, and work pri­mar­ily for peer and su­per­vi­sor recog­ni­tion. Man­age­ment needs to meet these needs by pay­ing good em­ploy­ees rea­son­able com­pen­sa­tion to re­tain them, and pro­mot­ing the great ones.” — Kees denHar­tigh, founder of Or­ganic So­cial Me­dia — or­gan­ic­so­cial­me­dia.ca “We pay them well, al­ways re­spond to their ques­tions or con­cerns, and re­spect their pri­or­i­ties. In essence, we make sure to treat our people like people and not just like em­ploy­ees. At the end of the day, we all pay our staff about the same as ev­ery­one else in the mar­ket, but what the best people value most is re­spect.” — Anuj Gupta, pres­i­dent of Anu Homes — anuhomes.ca “Re­ten­tion is the key to our suc­cess for sure, but it is not all about money; for us, it’s about our cul­ture. We treat all em­ploy­ees equally, sup­port them, and help them grow both pro­fes­sion­ally and per­son­ally… We try hard to mak­ing sure all staff feel like they’re val­ued and lis­tened to… Re­ward­ing, rec­og­niz­ing and ap­pre­ci­at­ing all your em­ploy­ees is the key to re­ten­tion.” — Bruce Kirk­land, gen­eral man­ager of Lexus of Ed­mon­ton — lexu­sofed­mon­ton.ca “I don’t dis­crim­i­nate be­tween my staff. I of­fer them all the same thing: Paid train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, daily chal­lenges with in­creas­ing re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, and con­stant and rel­e­vant feed­back.” — Kevin MacDon­ald, sound­ing board at PU Tech­nolo­gies Inc. — putech­nolo­gies.tk

Chris Vilc­sak, pres­i­dent of So­lu­tion 105 (so­lu­tion105.com) is in­ter­ested in hear­ing how other com­pa­nies re­tain staff, which is why he posed this ques­tion to the com­mu­nity. Here’s how Vilc­sak re­tains his top talent: “Suc­cess­ful com­pa­nies rec­og­nize that team mem­bers must fit and func­tion well to­gether… and un­der­stand that people have a life out­side of work and en­cour­age that. Be flex­i­ble with work hours… and when times are busy and em­ploy­ees are work­ing hard, rec­og­nize the ex­tra ef­fort, too. Fi­nally, com­pen­sate fairly… when the com­pany does well, so should the em­ploy­ees.”

“If your em­ploy­ees are your No. 1 as­set, do ev­ery­thing you can to make them feel that way. Con­duct reg­u­lar sur­veys to see what keeps them en­gaged and makes them happy… con­sider an em­ployee stock own­er­ship pro­gram or profit shar­ing, and look at what best-in-class com­pa­nies are do­ing in your in­dus­try. Fi­nally, mea­sure — that’s the only way you’ll know if you are im­prov­ing in this area.” — Ashif Mawji, CEO of NPO Zero — npozero.com “We hire keep­ers and em­power them to do their jobs. When they make a mis­take, we help them iden­tify the stum­bling block and find ways to get past it. Let’s face it, ev­ery­one has stum­bling blocks; the best way to re­tain top talent is to cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment where they can learn from their set­backs and grow stronger as a re­sult.” — Bar­bara May, founder of Stum­bling Blocks at Work — stum­bling­block­sat­work.com “If you’re look­ing for in­no­va­tion re­lated to em­ployee re­ten­tion, look to tech­nol­ogy. There is af­ford­able, cloud-based soft­ware on the mar­ket to­day that al­low com­pa­nies to de­ploy a scal­able, con­sis­tent so­lu­tion to the en­tire or­ga­ni­za­tion that helps man­agers man­age their people. Man­agers are a key part of this equa­tion, be­cause em­ploy­ees don’t quit jobs, they quit their boss.” — Ali­son McMa­hon, co-founder of TwoFold — gettwofold.com “The key to sus­tain­able em­ploy­ment in­volves proper em­ployee se­lec­tion first, then sub­se­quent in­vest­ment in an in­di­vid­ual’s on­go­ing growth and de­vel­op­ment. At Psy­cho­met­rics Canada, we use as­sess­ments to hire the right people for the right jobs, and help em­ploy­ees suc­ces­sion plan, train, and de­velop their skills within the or­ga­ni­za­tion.” — Ai­dan Mil­lar, talent de­vel­op­ment con­sul­tant at Psy­cho­met­rics Canada — psy­cho­met­rics.com “Hire smart people — skills can be trained… Have reg­u­lar and fre­quent com­mu­ni­ca­tion, and al­ways give recog­ni­tion of good work. It’s that sim­ple. Take care of your people and they will take care of your prof­its.” — Pat Mussieux, founder of Wealthy Women Lead­ers — wealthy­wom­en­lead­ers.com “My busi­ness is a solo oper­a­tion, but I re­mem­ber be­ing the ‘talent,’ and here’s what I would like to have seen from my em­ployer — trust. Many times, talent is hired then hand­cuffed from do­ing any­thing in­no­va­tive or for­ward-think­ing be­cause of pol­icy. The com­pany doesn’t trust their talent, so the talent be­comes bored or frus­trated. Many com­pa­nies say they want people to think out­side the box, but they shut down ideas when they are of­fered. Trust who you hire to move your com­pany for­ward.” — Deirdre StLuke, owner of Deirdre StLuke — dstluke.com Have an event that Cap­i­tal Ideas should know about? Con­tact us at [email protected]­i­tal­ideased­mon­ton.com “First, be very clear on ex­pec­ta­tions so you hire the right people for the job. If they are do­ing what they love and you are valu­ing them with money and praise for a job well done, they will stay in a cul­ture where their tal­ents are ap­pre­ci­ated.” — Con­nie Warner, founder of Con­nie Warner & As­so­ciates — launch­in­glead­ers.ca “We don’t tie them to our com­pany; we’ve struc­tured our busi­ness so that we col­lab­o­rate with our se­nior col­leagues on projects, but give them the free­dom to do the same with other com­pa­nies. It’s a fan­tas­tic so­lu­tion for ev­ery­one — tons of free­dom, lots of va­ri­ety in the work, and our clients ap­pre­ci­ate the fact we only work with se­nior prac­ti­tion­ers in the field. It’s a dif­fer­ent take on re­tain­ing talent, and in a mar­ket as hot as Ed­mon­ton, it works well for all con­cerned.” — Marliss We­ber, owner of Par­o­dos Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Inc.— par­o­dos.ca

P H OTO S U P P L I E D BY C H R I S V I LC SA K

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