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New Kid on the Block

New Kid on the Block: The Art of Retaining Good Employees


Every business operator can appreciate the value of a new hire.

It can take a lot of time and resources to find the right person for the job. And new hires, especially when they are new to the industry, can be particularly beneficial for business.

We recently hired a technician for our natural stone care business who is an amazing addition to our team. He exudes the enthusiasm and wonderment that one might expect from someone who has chosen floor inspection, cleaning or restoration as a temporary or permanent profession. His zeal for learning proper technique, his jovial disposition with customers and fellow team members, as well as his optimism for what the future holds for his new position are an inspiration to us all.

In our particular situation, our “New Kid on the Block,” is actually studying to become an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) two nights a week for the next two years. During the day, however, he is an exceptional Customer Service Technician who performs admirably in every business interaction and on every task.  

However, the challenge after finding an exceptional hire is employee retention. How do business owners retain the good new hires they have been blessed to find? We have identified three critical keys to retaining a truly great hire:

  1. Provide instruction and inspiration
  2. Give employees a stake in the business
  3. Encourage new employees in their personal and professional aspirations

Provide Instruction and Inspiration

The very nature of our business dictates a tremendous amount of busyness throughout the day. When a new person joins the team, this is the time to make certain that extra care is taken to provide instruction and inspiration. Nothing is worse for a new employee than to begin a job without having the right tools or proper instruction. A lack of tools and insufficient instruction can set the employee up for failure.

The key to proper onboarding is to make certain that employees have access to their own tools. New employees also need to receive instruction, not from fellow employees, but directly from the Owner Operator, Trainer or Lead Technician. The goal is to ensure that employees are not cutting corners, learning poor technique or developing improper motivations.

Taking time to properly instruct new employees provides inspiration that will set the tone for their employment with the company. This occasion can be leveraged to talk with them about the company’s goals, vision and mission. Sharing your passion for the business can be contagious and gives all employees the enthusiasm they need to perform well while exhibiting the right motivation and attitude.

Give New Employees a Stake in the Business

This topic may seem a bit touchy. It does not necessarily mean that you should make your employees co-owners in your business or that you should provide profit sharing opportunities. It could be as simple as giving employees an incentive to go beyond expectations throughout their day.

When employees perform well, it leaves a favorable impression on your customers which bodes well for business. Almost anyone can “do their job”, however, an employee who is resolved to go the distance to achieve the incredible is something that money cannot buy. These efforts should be rewarded with a spiff, bonus or formal recognition in the presence of their peers. Employees who have a talent for exceptional customer service deserve to feel that they have a stake in the business and are appreciated for their valuable work.

Encourage New Employees in their Personal and Professional Aspirations

As previously mentioned, our new team member has chosen to become an EMT. He expressed his desire to “help people” and we want to encourage him to pursue his personal and professional aspirations, whatever they may be. If our company can provide the bridge he requires to fulfill his dreams, we are more than willing to accommodate his needs. In fact, we are honored to have his valued contributions day-by-day and take pride in what he intends to accomplish.

One day our new Customer Service Technician will take flight to pursue the path that life will lead him. Until then, we will enjoy the benefits of having him on the team and will do our best to keep him fully engaged and excited about working with us.

Leslie Morrow is an IICRC Instructor and co-administrator for Relationship Building Academy. She is also an owner of Stone Care of Arizona, LLC, a natural stone care business.

*For helpful tips and resources to market your business, visit the Certified Firm only section of the IICRC website. If you don’t have your login information, enter your Certified Firm number as your username and the last four digits of your primary business phone number on record with the IICRC as your password. Please email if you need more information.

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