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Flexibility and Culture Creates Happy Employees

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July 10, 2017 at 7:51 a.m.

RCS Influencer Trent Cotney says that employee retention can be accomplished through clear definitions and the willingness to be flexible with your team’s needs.

Finding and hiring good employees is hard enough with the lower unemployment rates the country is experiencing. Once found, retaining those key employees can be just as challenging. Losing talented employees doesn’t just affect your company’s productivity; it can also impact team morale, causing other employees to question whether the grass might be greener outside your organization. Once you have found the right person, it’s important to think about creating an environment that doesn’t have them thinking about leaving after only a short time.

First, be sure to clearly spell out the benefits your company offers in employee manuals and in offer letters. Clearly define what the benefits are – such as health insurance, retirement plans, health savings accounts, etc. – and explain what the company’s contributions toward those benefits will be and what the responsibility of the employee will be. Also include information on working hours, travel, leave, time off and vacation time accrual and redemption policies. Having these basics clearly defined can eliminate confusion or misunderstanding by employees down the road that can lead to a negative experience.

Beyond the policies and procedures, it is equally important to look at the culture of your company to be sure you offer an environment that helps employees maintain a healthy work/life balance. In my office, I have a lot of younger professionals from the millennial generation. Having a career that offers a good work/life balance is a recurring theme among my team, so to meet that need, I offer a flexible time off schedule. We offer employees a lot of flexibility with their schedules as long as each one is doing his or her part and getting his or her work done. In short, I am more concerned with quality work and good customer service versus having set working hours.

Talk to your employees and find out what their needs are in regard to their working environment. It might not always be possible to offer the flexibility or balance they seek, but then again it might. And your team will certainly be glad that you cared enough to ask.

Finally, it is essential for your employees to feel that they and their work are valued, appreciated, and fairly compensated.  Be sure to stay up-to-date on salary trends for your industry and market and aim to pay employees in line with or even a little more than your competitors.  In addition to competitive salaries, my firm offers associates a generous bonus structure, a percentage of collected billings from clients generated by the associate, and the opportunity for advancement to partnership. We also offer and pay for continuing education classes, association membership fees and dues, and office parking.  While these retention incentives may seem costly in the short term, a little extra compensation and similar perks can pay off in the long run with satisfied, harder-working employees and less turnover overall.

Trent Cotney is the founder of Trent Cotney, P.A. Construction Law Group, specializing in construction law. See Trent’s full bio here.



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