USIS launched a few years ago with just a few employees and now boasts over 60. Legato credits the employee growth and development to a commitment to training.
“We decided to take an internal approach,” he said, as opposed to leaning on outside resources. Through in-house training Legato said USIS has been able to instill brand-specific commitment to “the little things like leaving dust or tools behind” as well as pride in the company.
Consider Apprenticeship Program
From the audience, Westbury National’s Brock McGinnis shared that his firm recently launched a unique apprenticeship program aimed at nurturing “digital natives” accustomed to writing code and dealing with software than hanging TVs or pulling cable.
Employee Stock Ownership Programs
While launching an employee stock ownership program (ESOP) is a unique structural decision that isn’t for every integration firm, some level of employee ownership is a reasonable goal.
Unified AV Systems, which days prior to CI Summit 2016 announced that it had become 100 percent employee owned through its ESOP program, has seen employee investment lead to high retention, shared an audience member from Unified.
— Jay Myers (@jbmyers) November 4, 2016
Be The Masters of Gift-Giving
A memorable gift to a valued employee will deliver return on investment, said Jay Myers of Interactive Solutions. “We make a big deal when employees reach 5 years in the business. At 10 years we make an even bigger deal,” he said.
One example of a very big deal Myers made was giving an employee tickets to a round at Augusta National for The Masters. “He told me he’ll never work for anybody else!”
Don’t Be Taken for Granted
Sometimes employees are lured to greener pastures that turn out not to be as green as they thought. Rod Andrewson shared that a few years ago CCS Presentation Systems has “a huge retention issue” that it has since resolved.
The firm saw that employees were often leaving for relatively small raises in salary. “We realized they had no idea what they were walking away from,” Andrewson said.
“We put into place a process for explaining their benefits package so when they get offers they understand what they’re getting that they may not see in their base paycheck. That has made a huge difference in us keeping our guys.”
One way to make a meaningful connection with employees is by supporting charities that are near and dear to them, pointed out Advanced AV’s John Greene. His firm has encouraged employees to educate leadership about charities that are important to them.
In turn, Advanced AV will help raise awareness and encourage employee participation in charitable events.