How Do You Keep Your Best Employees?


Offering Career Paths & Compensation Packages
that Keep Employees on Your Team 

Management Training Series #2

By Aaron Schuh, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, SPM
Opportunity Interactive, Inc.

Do you ever wonder why employees really leave a job? Sure, you’ve probably heard the standard explanations: “seeking additional responsibility” or “looking for a new challenge;” but what does that really mean? 

Here are the top reasons employees really leave a job:

1. Compensation. Wages have fallen behind in our industry, to our own detriment.
2. Perception of very limited opportunities for advancement.
3. Lack of senior leader role models and leadership.
4. Excessive workload, especially attributed to bureaucratic and management inefficiencies.
5. Non-competitive rewards and recognition.
6. Lack of respect for their personal life and keeping a work life balance.

Employee recruitment and retention is one of the most important long-term factors to the success of your business. High employee turn-over will stall your company’s growth, which means retaining top employees is just as important as finding new ones.

If you want to start retaining your top employees long-term, you need to stop and take a look at your current organization. 

Ask yourself the following questions: 

1. Are your employees in the right position? Keeping a good employee in the wrong position creates a bad situation. Make sure you have all team members in their optimal roles. Just because an employee is your most experienced technician does not automatically mean he or she will become a top service manager.

2. Do you have team members on board who should be “upgraded”? Underperforming team members bring productivity down for everyone.  

3. Is the job description for every position up to date? As your company grows, the duties for each position can change. Consequently, do your current employees know your expectations of them and their positions?

4. What are the future needs of the company? Consider which positions you will need to fill in order to be able to keep up with anticipated company growth. Filling positions can take a bit of time. On average it takes 8-12 weeks to successfully recruit a service technician. Don’t wait until you are already slammed to start the recruiting process.

5. Have you outlined career paths for each role within your company? Do your current employees have a vision of their role as their company grows? 

What makes a good job description? 

A good job description provides a clear picture of the job and how it fits into the company as a whole. It should include the following: 

  • Clear expectations for the position. 
  • Job leveling or accurately weighing the value of the position within the company based on duties, responsibilities and skill required.
  • Five skill levels for technicians & installers. The skill levels should start at entry level or apprentice and end with master level.
  • The skill levels should show a structured path to increased earnings. 

What about compensation?  

Good employees naturally want to climb the ladder within a company, making understanding of a clear career path essential. You must show them how their job can truly become a career with your company. Compensation is more than just the hourly pay on their paycheck, it is a whole package of income and benefits.

  • Benefits – medical, dental, 401K, etc.
  • Work / life balance (very important to the millennial group).
  • Quality of the trucks.
  • Amount, or lack of, “On Call” time (few senior level technicians will want to be on call anymore).
  • Tool programs.

How do I build a true career path for employees?

  • Clearly communicate the starting position, including compensation. 
  • Provide them your most current and updated job description. 
  • Develop and execute a standard training process. 
  • Use pre-determined achievements to determine advancement. 
  • Communicate that compensation is tied to advancement achievement. 
  • Build the dream of what a Level 5 Master position and compensation will be!
We will discuss how to Manage Millennials in Part 3. 

About the Author: 
Aaron Schuh founded Opportunity Interactive in 1998 and serves as CEO & President. He is a SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources) and SHRM-SCP (Senior Certified Professional) in the HR field. Aaron has conducted countless seminars on employee management and recruitment, driving profitable growth for his clients’ businesses. 

About Opportunity Interactive: 
Opportunity Interactive is an authorized training provider for International Comfort Products.