<i>Dear Workforce</i> How Can A Bricks-And-Mortar Company Retain IT

August 5, 2001

Dear Workforce:

What retention strategies could a bricks-and-mortar company use that islosing its skill base to the IT industry?

- HR Manager, industrial boilers company, India.

A Dear Boiling in India:

While money is, and always will be, an important factor in deciding where towork, an increasing number of today's employees are looking for something morethan cash. People want to feel a part of things, to be involved. They want to beappreciated and know that what they are doing makes a difference. They want tosee the results of their work. All these things are possible inbricks-and-mortar companies. While you may perceive that employers are losingworkers to IT, the IT people will tell you they're losing people to yourindustry.

Ask your people what is important to them, and why they work for you whenthey have so many other opportunities. Listen carefully to what they say, and thengive them more of what they want. Use those same factors to recruit, recognizingthat the people you want will have similar desires to those who have chosen tobe part of your team.

A great deal of your retention success will be based on the personalrelationship between your employees, you, and others on the team. Encourage thepositive aspects of those relationships. Build a strong corporate culture arounda clear mission, vision, and goals. Support your employees as they work to gettheir jobs done well. Give them opportunities for learning -- on and off thejob. Build in creative benefits as part of your compensation package. Learn about employee needs and be responsive to them.

SOURCE: Roger Herman, The HermanGroup, author of "Keeping GoodPeople" and "How to Become an Employer ofChoice," Greensboro, N.C., April 9, 2001.

LEARN MORE: See, "Knowing How to Keep Your Bestand Brightest"

The information contained in this article is intended to provide usefulinformation on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice ora legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.