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29 Ways to Love Your Employees

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, this article offers 29 different ways into an employee’s heart so that successful organizations can continue to attract, grow and retain the brightest candidates.  Happy employees are, after all, much more productive!

Attracting Talent

Topping the list of 29 are food and drink items, which will most certainly find its way to an employee’s heart, albeit with a slight detour through the stomach first.  This includes coffee (#1), tea (#2), chocolate (#3), soda (#4), fresh fruits (#5), ice cream socials (#6), catered lunch and/or dinner (#7), and cake (#8).  (One of the coolest machines we have here at LawLogix is the Starbucks Interactive Cup™ Brewer.) Casual attire (#10) is more commonly found in the tech industry everyday and only Fridays in the mainstream business world, but is nevertheless a perk for many.  Good health insurance (#27) and 401(k) matching (#16) are also big attractions for highly sought after candidates.

Growing Talent

Once talented employees come on board, smart organizations actively employ strategies to mold and grow that talent. This means giving them the latitude and space to be creative, to learn and to contribute to the greater team. Offering training (#11) and classes (#15) helps to improve employee skills, which leads to short and long-term gains for the employer.  Allowing non-traditional work arrangements such as telecommuting (#13) and flextime (#14) allows employees the freedom to complete projects while not binding them to physical space constraints.  Providing corner offices (or any office for that matter) (#12) is another meaningful way to acknowledge employees’ need for privacy and concentration in order to excel at their job duties. Providing employees with the best software available (#17) also increases productivity and reduces stress levels.  What makes software awesome?  In the immigration world, awesome case management software is easy to use, robust, cost-effective and provides long-term support for growing clients.  Awesome software is backed by a financially strong and solvent company who provides continuous enhancements that consistently improves the user experience.  Believe it or not, this software does exist and successful organizations are secretly harboring it (I’m sure of it).  The right case management software helps employees manage their workload, their time, and track all pertinent data.  It screams “professional” without saying a word.  It says “I love you” to employees by providing them with the right tools to be productive and organized.

Retaining Talent

Personalizing the employee work experience is another way to make employees feel valued.  The returns on this value system are two-fold: prolonged loyalty and increased productivity.  For special occasions, shower employees with flowers (#9), gift cards (#18) or birthday cards (#20). Or give them their birthdays off as an extra perk (#22).  If employees are required to entertain or travel, help them make traveling less stressful by allotting them an expense account (#21) or a private hotel room (#19) (as opposed to a shared hotel room). The least expensive and most impactful way employers can retain talent is to provide substantive performance reviews (#24) that contain clear instructions on how, and in which areas, employees can improve.  Set goals together and follow up on those goals on a regular basis. For the talented employees, salary increases (#23), promotions (#28) and bonuses (#29) are also effective (but expensive) retention methods.  On the other hand, saying “thank you” (#25) and giving praise and recognition (#26) are priceless and cost very little.  (Did you notice our “Star Paralegal Contest” this month to recognize your paralegals?) How does your organization compare this Valentine’s Day?  Is your organization on track to attracting talent?  What efforts has your institution employed in growing talent?  What other retention methods have you utilized?