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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Finding and Keeping Good Employees

In today's economy, it isn't too difficult to find people to come work for you, but finding quality help is still a challenge. Top notch electricians don't tend to change jobs very often. They get settled in with a company they like, one that treats them well and offers them the things they need.

Some of these things are good pay, health benefits, retirement benefits, paid holidays, paid vacations, advanced training and opportunities for advancement.

All these cost the employer money. The employer has to match the social security contributions made by the employee as well as the Medicare contributions. Worker's Compensation is based on a percentage of total payroll. Therefore it is in the company's best interest to keep payroll costs down. The lower the costs to do business, the easier it is to win jobs and winning jobs in a down economy is a cut-throat business.

Good electricians are the last ones to be let-go when companies are downsizing. The dead-wood is always first to go (unless they have a special relationship with the owners). Attracting the cream-of-the-crop isn't easy. You may have to offer substantially higher wages, a company vehicle, a company gas card, or other enticements. But once you have these people, profits should go up. The elite electricians work harder and smarter than the average Joes. They inspire their coworkers to work a little harder or smarter too.

Elite electricians strive to be at the top. They deserve a little extra. They are better teachers for our young apprentices. They are also better role models for proper work ethic.

On the other hand, it's bad for morale when companies keep deadwood during times of lay-offs simply because they are friends with someone higher up. When good employees get cut and slackers stay, the remaining employees lose their drive and willingness to do a good job. They lose that sense of fairness. If Average Joe can keep his job when he sits around all day hiding out, then what incentive is there for Elite Joe to continue to strive to make the company better?

Building a strong team environment is tricky. Getting personalities that get along and work together instead of a few "friends" that cause friction amongst the entire group. Remember, a business needs to make a profit in order to survive. Attracting top talent and keeping them is key.