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May 30, 2003

"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a little better; whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is the meaning of success."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
One of today's greatest challenges facing business operators is retaining qualified, valuable employees or staff members.  Because of the high costs, increased time and stress of training new employees resulting from high turnover, savvy business operators are always looking to improve their relationship skills and business practices in order to retain their valuable employees and maintain a long-term satisfied and dedicated staff.  The following 10 tips will help the business operator have a Staff that Lasts. 

1.     Give quality time to your valued employees.
The more quality time you dedicate to your employees, the more valued your employees will feel.  Increase the quality of this time by making eye contact with them during your interactions, and remember to take time out of your busy day to stop and communicate with your employees. 

2.     Really LISTEN to your staff members.
Pay close attention to what your staff members are saying.  Repeat back to your staff members what you heard them say to make sure that you heard them correctly, and also to show your staff members that you've been listening.  Empathize with your staff members experiencing difficulty, and empower them to take actions to consistently produce positive results. 

3.     Verbally acknowledge your employees regularly.
Let your employees know that you appreciate their hard work and dedication.  Verbally acknowledge them for their contribution and celebrate their successes.  This will motivate your employees to continue maintaining an optimal level of performance. 

4.     Motivate your staff to take risks and try new things.
A staff that is motivated and allowed to take risks will be more creatively engaged and satisfied with their duties, and their innovative creativeness will produce profitable results.  They will never be bored, and they will look forward to working on Monday. 

5.     Recognize your valuable employees with Employee
        Recognition Programs.
Implement an "Employee of the Month" program or you can choose an award title that will be more applicable to your business practice. Award recipients love to see their name on a plaque hanging on the wall and see an article of appreciation written about them posted for all to see.  They feel successful and appreciated. 

6.     Be honest with your employees.
Be straight up and honest with your employees.  No one wants to walk on pins and needles worrying about what the boss is really thinking.  Your employees will respect you and be more likely to stay with you forever if they know that they can count on you to tell the truth.

7.     Train your staff members to be able to take your place.
Your staff members will rise to the standards you set for them. The best staff members are the ones who care about the business as much as you do, and can jump in and do whatever it takes to have the business run smoothly.  Train them to be good enough to take your place.  They will feel great about themselves and your business will run smoothly. 

8.     Teach your staff members to communicate positively
        and effectively.
Most people have never learned how to communicate their feelings, perceptions, needs, and goals.  They automatically assume everyone can read their minds.  Give your employees a safe space to learn how to say whatever is going on in their minds.  This will facilitate clearing up any miscommunications or misperceptions in the workplace. Open lines of communication also lead to a fun, productive and committed environment. 

9.     Spread the wealth.
Implement employee incentive programs, wherein your valuable employees earn a bonus or share of the increased sales or profits. This will result in your employees staying motivated and dedicated to the business' success, and they will also feel that their contributions are rewarded and appreciated. 

10.    Create and motivate a continued positive, energetic
         workplace environment.
Your employees will take your lead.  They will learn their accepted behavior patterns from how you are being.  Maintain a positive, high energy frame of mind and expect the same from your employees. Teach all of your employees to support each other in staying in the positive zone.  As a result, you will all consistently experience a  fun, successful, and committed work life.
Copyright 2000-2003 CoachVille  
In these times of "right-sizing" and high unemployment, it may not seem so important to take care of your staff.  The economy will change and you want the people you have invested in to continue to be part of your team. 

This week take some time to look at your team and how they are being treated by you and your company.  To have a "Staff That Lasts," what change will you adopt this week?

Find out how you can be more successful in our 45 minute free coaching session.

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