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If “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” then why not imitate Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For finalists? Since the 2014 list was just released, small business owners should take valuable lessons from how the top Fortune 500 companies keep their best employees and lower their employee turnover rate. A good employee is invaluable. Many smaller companies think they can’t mimic what companies with deeper pockets are doing, but they’re wrong.
While a smaller business owner may not be able to offer educational scholarships, home loans, company stocks or other pricey incentives to recruit top millennial talent, they can do some of the things these companies do. I know many of us share the challenge of managing young millennials, either as parents or as bosses—but the key to this new generation isn’t to manage, but to motivate.
In fact, Daniel H. Pink, in his book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, suggests there are three primary motivators of human behavior: Purpose (“I’m attached to something bigger than me”), Autonomy (“I have the ability to do it myself”) and Mastery (“I have the ability to learn and grow”). With these motivators in mind, here are a few suggestions:
Brad Smith has nearly 20 years of leadership experience in the web consumer, enterprise software, and communication service provider industries, spanning sales and marketing, product management and development, service architecture, and service/support delivery roles. As executive vice president, customer experience, for Sage North America, he is responsible for developing all aspects of the Sage commitment to the customer experience, from product design and customer support, to the invoice experience and all touch points in between. Smith was most recently vice president of customer experience for Yahoo! He also previously held senior leadership roles with Symantec, Openwave, and Verisign. He is a member of the Forrester Customer Experience Leadership Council and the Support Services Advisory Board of the Technology Services Industry Association, and on the board of directors of the Consortium for Service Innovation. Smith holds a BSBA degree in General Business Administration from the University of Central Florida.
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