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Tips for Hiring, Training, & Retaining Top Talent

For any business owner, reaching the point of business growth that results in a need to hire employees is an exciting and exhilarating time, yet also terrifying and risky. Finding just the right people to help grow your business is an arduous task. What’s more, once you find them, you want to keep them! In today’s “Up in Your Business,” check out our top tips to take care of your tribe, increase employee retention and satisfaction, and reduce the headache of constant employee turnover.

“If you take care of your people, they will take care of your customers, and your business will take care of itself.” – J.W. Marriott

Tip #1: Character Trumps Experience

Weak companies hire the right experience to do the job. Strong companies hire the right person to join their team.

When hiring, it’s tempting to focus solely on experience. Consider a mind shift. You can provide experience, you can’t teach character. Bottom line: the success of your business can only be as good as the character of your best employee and character can’t be taught. Look for employees with strong character, then teach them the technical aspects of the job. Do this, and you’re on your way to building future leaders that can manage your business the way you do (so you can finally take that relaxing vacation you’ve been dreaming about, while they run operations).


Tip #2: Lead, Don’t Manage

Forget most of what you have heard about managing people. “Things”can be managed but people must be led.


Tip #3: Forget the Pyramid

Traditional “pyramid”, top-down style management is a great way to push your best employees right out the door. Few people thrive under that style of management. As a business owner and leader, involve your best talent in decision making. Inviting your employees into the management of the business, rather than under the management of the business, goes a long way toward building a team that is invested in your business and their own success.


Tip #4: Replacement Value

There’s an old saying that, “The goal of every good leader is to train people to replace them.” Do you want the best employees? Empower them to become leaders in your company. Make it your goal to train up people within your business who can, and will, replace you. Weak business owners are intimidated and fearful of this strategy. Strong business owners are motivated and energized by it.


Tip #5: Forget About Your Title

You may be “the boss,” but true leadership is more than just having rank. Leadership is a function, not a title. If leadership isn’t your natural strong suit, get help! Consider reading books, listening to podcasts, or attending training seminars (like Sashco’s Zero Failures Business Focus) to help you become the kind of leader people will follow!


Tip #6: Can You Care?

Being “in charge” means caring for the people placed into your charge. Always be on the lookout for ways to care well for your employees. Keep in mind the word of Mr. Marriott — when your crew is well cared for, they’ll care well for you!


Tip #7: Authority Is Not the Same as Leadership

Owners have authority but that does not necessarily make them leaders. Becoming intimately familiar with the difference between authority and leadership is crucial to improving employee retention. Do you understand the difference?


Tip #8: Get in Touch with Your Softer Side

Fact — most contractors are transactional by nature, not intuitively relational. If communication and “getting in touch with emotions” make you a bit squeamish, learning to get a bit comfier with your softer side will yield huge dividends when it comes to employee retention. Refine your communication skills and emotional intelligence, and your employees will learn to do the same with your clients!


Tip #9: Don’t Try to Clone Yourself

Another common mistake among business owners is the tendency to look for themselves in potential employees. When hiring, look for people who are strong in the areas where you are weak. It’s a tight labor market; prepare to hire people unlike yourself.


Tip #10: The Riskiest Tip is Your Top Tip!

Hire people who are smarter than you! Trust us on this one.


Want more information on this and other business-related topics? Consider attending our next Zero Failures Business Focus Seminar. Learn more or register at