Foosball tables. Card tables. BBQs. Monthly outings, including cruises. Sounds like a nice, relaxed lifestyle? Let me add a bit more and perhaps it will create a clearer picture of what I am talking about. Matching contributions to 401(K) and defining clear career paths. Put all of this together and you have an ideal company to work for. But this not just idealism. Recently, I was very heartened to hear that there actually are many companies, many staffing companies, that are focusing on taking care of their employees and trying to bring that notoriously high turnover rate within the industry down.
Sometimes, when I talk to staffing company executives about improvements within their companies, the conversation gets hijacked by talk about improving customer relationship, improving the product offering, truly partnering with clients. Agreed, this absolutely critical to the success of the company. But let's not forget about the people that make these customer service improvements possible. Your employees. A happy employee is equivalent to a happy customers, because this is the person who is going to work hard, go beyond call of duty to make sure that the needs of his or her company's customers are met.
Every year, we do a list of fastest growing staffing firms in the United States. In talking to these firms, I was quite struck by how seriously they are taking the issue of employee retention. While these firms are growing in leaps and bounds, they are trying to do it right from the very beginning by establishing a company culture that will make their firm a fun and rewarding place to work. They are implementing some time-tested best practices in retention (of both employees and customers) and also doing some very innovative, out-of the-box thinking. My personal favorite is the concierge service - someone who will not only pick up my dry cleaning, but also return that tea kettle that I don't really need! It's really these small little things that show you care.