My friend of fifty-four years, George, is a very remarkable person. In a recent conversation I had with him, I realized that George defines the “quintessential employee.” Why? He makes the “quintessential employee” easy to spot. Just follow him around when he works.
As George was telling me about his history with his company, he related how the company owner came to visit him unexpectedly to thank him for his service of 29 years. When I asked him why he thought the owner appreciated him, he described for me all the things he did over that period.
Consequently, what George told me was the definition of the “model key person.” A person that every business owner wants, and needs, in their organization.
You can spot a model employee in a heartbeat because:
They are the first ones to come to work. They almost never take time off. They volunteer time when needed to cover for others. They learn more than they must and are eager to learn. They are so good at their job (s) you would think that they were the owner.
Key employees like George are valuable for the owners because, they always make life easier for the owners. Key people bring so much to the table, and are the most valuable asset in a company.
Intrinsic rewards examples in the workplace
Below are some intrinsic rewards that may affect your workforce. Fostering these activities and feelings in the work environment could help your team grow and thrive. A key person exemplifies these values.
- Completing meaningful tasks
- Letting employees be selective
- Gaining a sense of competence
- Making noticeable progress
- Feeling inspired to be more responsible
- Being an important part of an organization or team
- Feeling accomplished
- § Proficiency in knowledge or a skill
- Feeling pride
I have frequently suggested to many business owners that they groom talented people in their firms who have the take charge values and attitudes which parallel the owner’s. They normally get it, want it, and can do it.
A key thing an owner can do is to surround themselves with like-minded and value driven employees and build from there. The key person has the values of the owner, and the key person influences other workers over time. They set the example of the company’s culture and the value of the owner and the company.
- How do you find such a person?
- How do you keep them?
Finding is the hard part, keeping is the easy part.
Finding the right person really comes down to the culture which the company portrays to the public. Like Costco or Trader Joe’s, who have the reputation of a wonderful place to work. They continually enhance their reputation of wonderful places to work. By having a well-known culture, companies attract like-minded individuals. Also, having the sense of value, the company can immediately filter applicants who apply for a position. Knowing the company values, is a built-in filter and a screening tool for the company when hiring. Question: “Can this person develop into a key person”? And “Does this person have the values that represent this company?”
Small family businesses can build that type of culture by hiring based on value, creating good compensation, benefits, giving respect to workers, positioning them in the right seat, (also taking them out of the seat if it does not fit, and putting them in another seat the is more appropriate), respect for the workers, along with other factors.
Retaining employees can be accomplished through benefits, time off, respect, vested benefits, ownership interests, and several other ways.
The importance of developing and keeping key people cannot be overlooked.
- Creates more business value
- Purchasers of a business want to have middle management in place
- Builds reputation and culture
- Key people tend to impress other employees as a good example
- Key people, as described, are also likely purchasers of the business, or
- Likely to run the business while the owner enjoys life, but still has the control and wealth
My suggestion to many small business owners over the years has been to find ways to build a key group as quickly as they can and to build the group around the values which the owners have.
If you have an interest in learning other ways of keeping your key people, this video will be of value.
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