Recruiting my team
In 1986, when I left my coaching job I was recruited by a very large international company in Cleveland called premier industries. My job was going to be recruiting and training sales managers. Premier had a problem with their sales managers because most of them had been promoted from being salespeople. Premier recognized that working in the role of a sales manager required a different set of skills than working as a salesman. Salesmen don’t necessarily make good sales managers. The big problem that Premiere had was that their sales managers had a hard time retaining salespeople.
For the first time in my career, I was shown data that revealed how costly it was to lose employees, have to re-hire and eventually retrain them. This experience taught me the importance of recruitment and retention and that the hidden/high cost of turnover and retraining can significantly affect the financial growth of a company. When I started my own business, I immediately incorporated strategies in my recruitment and retention efforts. If a business doesn’t adopt a recruit and retain strategy they will surely face an uphill battle financially.
Retaining for keeps
After owning my own restaurants, I created a concept called EOM (Employee, Ownership, Mentality). I recognized that in order to retain good employees I had to train them and treat them like they were the owners, thus EOM. I had to create the mentality that they had to think like owners. This helped my employees feel part of the plan, as well as, certain employees would be offered equity ownership. The other unintended benefit is that my employees treated our customers/clients like I would treat our customers/clients.
In 1991, the turnover from my pizza restaurants were 9%. The average in the pizza industry was 201%. My secret was that I lived by the golden rule of treating my employees like I wanted to be treated. As an owner, you should always have an employee mentality. The owner should always work harder or as hard as their employees and should never ask their employees to do anything they wouldn’t do themselves. Although some business people don’t mix personal with business, I personally believe the pros outweigh the cons. A business owner should pay attention to their employee’s personal lives.
One prime example of this is when my old restaurant set up an emergency loan fund. If an employee needed a loan he or she could submit their reasons to us and we had a committee of 3 who would decide if we’d give them a loan, no interest. My employees never forgot it, and held the highest amount of respect for my staff, customers, and I.