• October 2018

Does your next great employee already work for you?

There's a phrase that echoes throughout most companies and has for quite some time: "it's hard to find good help." In Sioux Falls, our population continues to boom and so do our businesses, but in hiring we're not just competing for talent at the local level, we're competing with companies across the country, as an increase in remote workers combined with a Midwest work ethic make our local job seekers even more appealing. The question comes down to, how do you attract and keep good talent?

A great place to start is keeping the talent you already have in your business. Be honest, what is your business doing to invest in them today? Are you offering them growth opportunities? As a leader are you building trust? Do you know the aspirations of your team members? If you are investing in them, the grass won't look so green at other companies, because you've earned their trust and they're making a career with you. If you're not investing in the employee experience, we suggest you start, but that usually begs the question – where do you start? Let's focus on five key areas and the basics of developing your team.


From interview to job offer to the first day on the job, make every interaction count. The first 45-90 days are most crucial for new hires. Think through their first day and with whom they should meet. Consider the training new team members will need to be successful in this position in your organization. Most companies that are strategic about the onboarding process have an intentional orientation plan.


Does your organization have a training plan to invest in leaders and give them the tools they need to lead their teams successfully? How well do your leaders know their team members and do their team members trust them? Leaders should know if their team members are happy in their current roles and they should know what their goals are for the future. Better yet, leaders can help guide team members in achieving their goals!


Are you and your leaders good at delegating? To empower another person or a team of people, you have to allow them to learn from their mistakes; after all, we learn more from our mistakes than our successes. And we only truly fail if we give up. Another way to empower others is to ask them for their opinions and their ideas. Statistics show that people who are empowered to help find solutions are more engaged and enjoy their jobs more.


Feedback is essential to growth and development, but often feedback is given in a way that puts those receiving it on the defensive, and that makes them unable to hear what you are saying. We believe that when giving and receiving feedback is part of your culture and is something that is expected, that is where the magic starts to happen.

Ongoing Personal and Professional Development

Ongoing personal and professional development can include things like continuing education, succession planning, seminars, lunch and learns and mentor programs. To be successful, we recommend a constant focus on training and developing your people. That's how it becomes part of your organization's culture.

There are a lot of small changes that can make a big impact on your employees and your business, you just have to ask the right questions. The next time there's a job opening, ask your employees who they referred for the position. Who are they talking to about the opening? If they can't tell you, chances are they're not happy themselves.

Another key component of developing your team is the bottom line. If you like the concept of ongoing employee training but are worried about the return on investment, think about how much employee retention is costing your business today. A national study of 3,100 U.S. workplaces cited that employees who feel they cannot develop in a company and fulfill their career goals are 12 times more likely to leave the company. That same study, by the National Center on Education Quality of the Workforce, showed by increasing education and development by 10 percent within a company, that same company produced an 8.6 percent gain in production. Not a bad tradeoff.

Investing in your current team and offering them ongoing relevant training is seen by employees as a benefit. It creates loyalty and a reputation that will not only build your team but your business well into the future.

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    Marcia Schmitz
    Lead to INSPIRE
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    Sherry Kurtz-Anderson
    Lead to INSPIRE

Marcia Schmitz and Sherry Kurtz-Anderson co-founded Lead to INSPIRE in 2016. Since then, they have been helping organizations invest in their teams, improving the employee experience in organizations through in person and online trainins, workshops, one-on-one coaching and keynote presentations. Most recently, they added online Business Training Solutions to help organizations plan for a more effective and consistent client experience.

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