Thursday, December 10, 2009

How Not to Lose a Good Employee

I love this girl! Everything I ask her to do- "Shawnna, I need you to go over here and do this."


"Shawnna, I need you to go over here and be here at this time and do it like this."


And not only does she do what I ask, she does it right and I know she does it right because she gets good reviews and all my clients love her.

You might think with unemployment rates so high it must be very easy for me to get quality employees, but that is not the case. It's  not. Additionally, for two of my companies, a very specific set of skills and aptitudes are required, one of which is the abiltity to be able to speak in front of people. There are two fears that most people have-

(1) Death
(2) Public speaking

This lowers my hiring margins considerably, and not just any warm body will do. It is imperative that I hire talent.

So when Shawnna sent me an email two weeks ago that read, "I regret to inform you.." I knew what I was in for. Oh, boy. I'm losing her. While she loved everything about her job and "appreciated everything you've done for me and the opportunity you've given me... and I hate that it has to end", her family, it seems, did not want her to travel as far as I need her to travel.

My first response was, which I emailed back: I completely understand and you always have a place with me.

My second response was, and this is the unprofessional thing that you do not say, which I touched upon last week- I thought I was hiring YOU and not your FAMILY for crapsakes.

And then it came to me. What am I?
An entrepreneur.
What do all entrepreneurs hate?

My mother always said, "Lisa, you never could tolerate being told 'no'."

You see, things don't go as smooth as silk in business. When you ram right up into a brick wall and it looks like a 'no', you tell yourself- all right, maybe it won't work like this but I just bet it might work like that.

"Shawnna, how about I offer you more money?"
"What do you have in mind?"

This also, is a enormous principle upon which I run my companies:

Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered.

I bumped her up from where she was with the staffing company, which was less, to  $25.00 an hour. Plus I sweetened the deal and told her I want to hire her to train new employees. She liked this idea and is happy with the new arrangement.

I am not going to miss at all, the additional money I'm paying her.
It's worth it to me, to pay someone more, than it is to start from scratch with someone who's unproven.

My companies are only as good as the people in them, and you better believe Entrepreneur Chick knows that.


  1. That's what I love about you - your business acumen.

    A good manager/owner recognizes that they are only as good as the people in their team. A good manager/owner cares about their foundation, the health and strength of it, and will do what needs to be done to keep it so.

    Glad she's staying, great move!

  2. Ditto Chloe. Great way to keep your employee and empower her to grow.

  3. Chloe,

    I appreciate having you to talk this over with, before I decided to offer more.

    And, as always, thank you. :)

  4. Julie,

    Yah. I'm relieved, I'll tell ya. And also, Shawnna says all the time how much fun she's having and how happy she is.