Human Resources

Train and Reward: More Talent Strategies for Small Companies

By Michael F. Brown

In yesterday’s Advisor, Michael F. Brown of the Camden Consulting Group presented a few strategies for small companies looking to attract and retain talent. Today Brown elaborates on more strategies, from training and development to rewarding talent.

Developing and Training Talent

The challenge after employees are hired is that it is incumbent on the business to provide professional and personal learning and development opportunities to advance and drive their career. There are many first-rate online training resources available at reasonable prices to offer your employees. To make the most of these investments of money and time, it is important to have a structured process in place in which these training resources are rolled out and measured.

Promote Your Differentiating Factors

Small business owners need to understand and market what they have created and instilled in their company that makes them stand out against its (larger) competitors. This may include key items like transparent communication, consistent and equitable goal setting, feedback and accountability model, opportunities to contribute in broad aspects of the business, cool technology, fun activities or events, and maybe even food.

These are critical components for success for small companies, and yet many business leaders are unaware or uncomfortable with how to embed these into their culture to drive their business.

Reward Your Talent

Granted, not every small business is able to match compensation packages with some of the big companies; however, utilizing some type of bonus structure for exceptional results and some type of company equity as a retention and incentive can go a long way when combined with some of the items listed above.

Entrepreneurs usually venture out on their own to start companies because they have a particular expertise and can deliver a distinct product or service to the marketplace. For as great as they are at delivering on their area of expertise, those same leaders also need to acknowledge that HR strategies or practices may not be their wheelhouse. There are plenty of professional networking and online resources that leaders can utilize to begin building their own HR strategy.

Often, business leaders attempt to implement an HR strategy but underestimate all that is involved and the challenges that it can entail, thinking “It’s just people stuff, right?” When things are not working out the way business leaders had envisioned—or worse, they have big HR issues—they usually need to hire a professional HR expert to correct the problems.

Needless to say, contacting someone who has that HR background and expertise to help develop and implement a sound HR strategy before businesses lose their best talent or have an unruly employee issue can save a lot of time and money—and isn’t that important to every business?

This particular type of HR strategy goes far deeper than transactional and statutory components; it is about relationship management as well as the alignment of the company vision, mission, values, and people practices. Ultimately, it is a mindset that your talent is the most important asset in your business, and the investments of time and money need to be considered “capital improvements.”