In today’s competitive business environment it is essential to find ways to reduce costs and increase revenues while keeping productivity and quality high. One of the best ways to achieve this is through hiring and retention of outstanding employees.

Far too often hiring managers rush through the hiring process due to being reactive rather than proactive when filling positions. With some preplanning in the hiring process and implementation of sound strategies once people join your organization, you will lower the cost of doing business by considerable amounts.

As you prepare to hire consider the following:

• What type of person are you looking for?
• What are the values that drive your company?
• How difficult is the job you are filling?
• Do you have anyone internally who can do the job?
• How long will it take to find the right person for the position?
• What are you willing to negotiate with the potential candidate?

In looking for potential candidates you may want to try more than the traditional employee search. Tap into your network of professional connections. Some of your best candidates may be working for your competitors. Be careful about hiring someone just because they are a friend or family member. Not that friends and family members don’t make good employees – often they can be fantastic. And yet, if you are hiring them only because they are a friend or family member, you are setting yourself up for some big problems. With the wrong choice morale with other employees can go down. With the right choice it is just as likely to go up.

Think through the compensation package. Are the wages fair for the job, industry and market? Make sure your benefit package is competitive for your industry. Find out what other companies are offering as far as compensation and consider matching or beating their offerings.

There are occasions when someone may take a position without thinking through income, benefits or fit. Once they have gotten settled in and are feeling comfortable with the position and the company, they may realize the compensation and the job is not all it could be. That can cause some discontent on their part. To avoid this, do your homework.

Another key to keeping good employees is to make sure they are treated with respect, dignity and appreciation. This may seem like common sense and yet, it often doesn’t happen. I consult with various types of organizations employee retention and how to gain more commitment from the staff. I often will meet individually, in private, with a cross section of the staff. I spend at least an hour with each employee in a confidential meeting to find out their view of the company. Inevitably, the areas that are most lacking for the employee to be fully satisfied are communication and appreciation.

Once the area of discontent has been identified I design programs for the company in which to address the problems. What is amazing is the problem is often on the way to being solved by virtue of the fact the organization has brought me in. A common comment is, “Finally, someone is listening to me.”

Often, a company’s problems can be lessened with some good coaching and training of management. It is amazing how many managers and supervisors were put into their position without any training in interpersonal skills, management and supervisory skills, and how to communicate effectively. Nine times out of ten the people who need the most training are the ones who think they need it the least. And, they are often the biggest obstacle to the success of a company.

In order to stay competitive on all fronts you must keep your entire team on the leading edge. By doing so you will be in business for years to come with a happy, dedicated and productive team. And that will equal profits

coachJust as your clients are all individuals who need individual approaches, strategies and motivation, so to are the many ways you can create the irresistibility factor in your Coaching Program.

1.  Create a Price Point that is Irresistible – Both to You and Your Client!

Your coaching service fees can make or break attracting the right client – but plunging your prices isn’t always the big draw you might think.  In fact, you might actually need to raise your prices in order to land the clients who will get the most out of your services.

Think about it:  Would people used to eating at five-star restaurants eat at a fast-food concession booth and expect a five-star, seven course meal?  Of course not.

And if you provided it, how could you afford to do so for a return-on-investment that barely paid for the ingredients in that home-baked brioche?

Think also about who you would attract:  People expecting hot dogs might not appreciate the delicate edge that star anise gives to your béchamel sauce.  “Where’s the ketchup?” might be the angry cry, instead.

And your gourmet dining connoisseur would pass any hot dog booth by, not even seeing that yours was different.

Your price point has to balance with the clientele you want to attract.  It has to align with their goals, expectation and budget.  And it has to be worthwhile for you, otherwise you’ll start to resent them – and the time they take.

Make sure you pay yourself well – so you’ll have less stress and more energy and joy to give your clients.

And don’t reduce your rates:  Offer installment-based payments plans instead, if you must.

Remember, give extra value – not half-price discounts.

2.  Learn From your Past Coaches and Mentors

Be observant.  Think about your past coaches and mentors.  What did they do that you absolutely loved?  What did they do that you weren’t so keen about?

Make an actual, two-column list with the two questions as your headings:  Then decide which technique, action, communication style in the “Absolutely Loved” column would work well with your coaching program.  (Make sure you’re absolutely clear on why these things would work for your clients.)

Analyze your current style – and make sure it contains no habits from the “Weren’t So Keen About” column!

3.  Be Prepared to Learn Something New Every Day

Take courses.  Go to workshops.  Train with your own mentors and coaches.

And read, read, read.

Top coaches are never complacent.  While being well aware of their own assets and skills, they never assume they have nothing left to learn.  They are able to put ego aside while looking for new methods, new opportunities, new tips and new ways of doing things.

They are innovative, open-minded – and they keep on top of their industry and niche.