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5 Tips for Attracting, Retaining, and Developing Employees

By Intertek Alchemy   |   

Regardless of the particular industry, it’s becoming more and more difficult to attract and retain good employees. Potential employees look for the money, stay for the relationships, and talk about the development they get at work. Good managers are critical, and your company culture should always be a primary area of focus. Keep the following five things in mind when determining your corporate employment strategy.

Candidates look for incentives.

Most people looking for a job want to know how much they can earn. If you aren’t near the top of your local market in employee compensation, how are you going to lure top talent?

Alter your approach to the interview process.   

Remember, your company is on display to the employee not the other way around. Too often we lock onto the idea that a candidate needs the job and we are there to fill that need. But what if we took the stance that we must show ourselves as the best option, and prove that accepting our job offer is the right choice?  

Turn the tables and make the interview an experience that every applicant will be wowed by — make it memorable. Make the process less about specific details and more about the value you place on your team. If you do, you’ll have candidates building you up to their peers as a place they’d like to work.

If you start things off by making a memorable first impression, candidates will remember you as different from other companies. You’ll come across like you are looking for the best candidate and not just a warm body to fill a role.



Employees stay for the relationships. 

Pause right now and consider where you work. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about why you like to come to work? I bet you thought about the people you work with.

If you just look at the arithmetic of work-life, we spend more time with our colleagues than we do with anyone else in our lives (and we didn’t even get to choose these people). Enact a “fun factor” plan in your corporate employment strategy. Work to improve the interpersonal dynamics of your team.

Consider things like:

  • Team building activities
  • Potluck lunches
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Group lunches at a local restaurant
  • Company sponsored food trucks
  • Holiday parties

Get people out of their normal routine from time to time, and make meaningful connections between co-workers. When you think about leaving your current job it is the friends you have made at work that will be the hardest part of starting over with a new company. So develop a retention plan that takes into account building positive, lasting relationships in the workplace. 


Employees talk about the development they get at work. 

When you invest in the development of your employees, they talk about it with people outside of work. Think of the last impactful training that you were involved in at work. Did you come home and tell your spouse or kids about it?

Remember when putting together your corporate training plan that you need to develop the whole person, not just focus on basic work-skills. Bringing in outside resources to conduct engaging, impactful training is easier than you might think. It doesn’t have to be excessively expensive. Think about simple and easy classes that local business owners would come and do just to receive some exposure.

At Genysis Brand Solutions we’ve had a yoga instructor teach a class on chair yoga. We’ve had different types of meditation classes—some lead by live instructors, others via video. You could have a personal trainer come in and talk about how to eat healthy or how to put together an exercise plan.  Or have a local health food store owner come in to talk about healthy family meals you can prepare in 30 minutes or less.

Give your team a monthly or quarterly half-hour or hour-long break to experience something they will tell all their friends about. Then your current employees’ rave reviews will help generate interest in your company.


People don’t leave companies, they leave managers.  

Stand for people. Not a product or service or metric or number. 

If we stand for real, living, breathing people, we will change the world.

-Simon Sinek

There is absolutely no question that the most important person to every employee is his or her direct manager. With a good manager you have a high probability of developing a good team. Have a bad manager and the likelihood of having a good team is almost nonexistent. Even good team members will complain or disengage if their leader is bad.

What makes a good manager?  

Think back in your own career; reflect on a time when you had a manager that you would say was exceptional. What did he or she do to be a good manager in your mind? Work to be that manager yourself. Teach other managers in your organization to do the same.

Enable managers to invest in their people. Recognize the good managers, and above all, recognize their efforts.


Culture eats strategy for breakfast!  

This is a quote from Dr. Ivan Misner (the father of modern networking) and it is the truth: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast!”  

The executive team can come up with a brilliant strategic plan for the initiatives they wish to accomplish each year, but if the people who make up the organization don’t believe in it, those plans will fall flat. There is no question in my mind that the single most important quality in an organization is its culture. How can this be true? Well, an organization can make money with a poor culture for a while, but eventually people will get burned out and leave.

A positive culture of accountability and recognition will create happy employees that generate greater profits than any other single initiative.

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