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Becoming the Best Place to Work
By Gregory P. Smith, President, Chart Your Course International

Creating and managing a good organization takes an entirely different approach. Indeed, one-third of the executives surveyed by Robert Half International Inc. now say the work environment is the most critical factor in keeping an employee satisfied in today's business world.

The United States has changed more dramatically during the past two years than the previous 20 years combined. A falling stock market, terrorist attacks, and subsequent war in Afghanistan, not to mention the Enron and Arthur Anderson scandal, have redefined our mental landscape regarding how we play, live, worship, and work. Because of these sweeping changes, the expectations and demands of the workforce are overwhelmingly different. The workplace of today must put high priority on human resources. Businesses can make their organization the best place to work by following the five-step PRIDE model:

Provide a positive working environment
Recognize, reinforce, and reward each individual's efforts
Involve everyone
Develop the potential of your workforce
Evaluate and measure continuously

Provide a Positive Working Environment

Creating and managing a good organization takes an entirely different approach. Indeed, one-third of the executives surveyed by Robert Half International Inc. now say the work environment is the most critical factor in keeping an employee satisfied in today's business world.

A key aspect is workplace flexibility. First Tennessee National Corporation started taking family issues seriously, and made them top priority. They reshaped the rules they had forced employees to live under, added many family-friendly new benefits, and sent managers through three and one-half days of training. Result--Employees stayed twice as long-and the bank kept seven percent more of its customers.

Recognize, Reinforce, and Reward Each Individual's Efforts

Money may attract people to the front door, but something else has to keep them from going out the back. People have a basic human need to feel appreciated, and recognition programs help meet that need.

A successful reward and recognition program does not have to be complicated to be effective. An equipment dealership in Louisville, Kentucky has almost eliminated turnover by their programs. The employees participate in a profit-sharing plan that could possibly mean $700,000 upon retirement. Other incentives and benefits they provide include:



Gregory P. Smith, author of The New Leader, and How to Attract, Keep and Motivate Your Workforce. He speaks at conferences, leads seminars and helps organizations solve problems. He leads an organization called Chart Your Course International located in Conyers, Georgia. Phone him at (770)860-9464 or email greg@chartcourse.com. More information is available at http://www.chartcourse.com.

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