Member Spotlight – Talent

Feb 6, 2024

Employees are the backbone of businesses, particularly small businesses. A recent SCORE study shows that for small business owners, 60.7 percent rank hiring the right talent as their top challenge. Meanwhile, 62 percent say they struggle to keep employees engaged and productive, while 45.8 percent report difficulty retaining existing employees. As a woman business owner, how do you navigate hiring the right people and successfully retaining your team?

CJ Harris
CEO
That’s So Creative, LLC 

My primary emphasis is on culture and values. Our company thrives on a culture of creativity and collaboration, where kindness and relatability are blended with expertise and reliability. These qualities are essential when we consider new team members for hiring. Additionally, we prioritize regular training sessions and team meetings to ensure that our team stays well-informed about the latest trends and acquires new skills. As a team, we strive to find solutions to creative challenges collectively, ensuring that no team member feels isolated or unsupported. Open and honest communication is another fundamental value that plays a crucial role in fostering the retention and success of our team.

Stephanie Melnick
Owner
Melnick & Melnick S.C.

Deciding what help we need and finding the right people to fill those positions has been among the top challenges that we (and our small business owner clients) have faced. After some missteps, I did a deep dive into my law firm’s specific needs and culture because finding an employee with compatible outlook and interests has been as, or more, important than the precise skills they bring to the job. Fit is hard to teach. I have been more successful growing the team with people who are curious and share our serious commitment to, and interest in, the power of women entrepreneurs rather than hiring only based on a certain skillset. 

Isoken Ogbomo
President & CEO
Complete Health Services, Inc. 

As a woman business owner, I understand the significance of hiring the right talent and retaining a motivated team, especially in the healthcare industry. Here’s how I navigate these challenges while incorporating our company values and principles: 

  1. Word-of-Mouth Referral: I believe in the power of word-of-mouth referrals. We encourage our existing employees to refer potential candidates who align with our company values of compassion, integrity, and excellence. This not only attracts like-minded individuals but also builds a sense of community within our team.
  2. Helping Employees Find Purpose: In our line of work, it’s crucial for employees to find purpose in their roles, so we ensure that every employee understands the significance of their work in improving the lives of the people we serve. This sense of purpose motivates them and fosters a deeper connection to their job.
  3. Emphasizing the Big Picture: During our monthly meetings, we regularly discuss the bigger picture and the positive impact our team makes on the elderly population. Recognizing their contributions helps employees see the value they bring, boosting their morale and job satisfaction.
  4. Encouraging Career Development: Career development is essential for everyone’s personal and professional growth. We provide opportunities for skill development, mentorship and community resources for career development. 
  5. Frequent Surveys: To address employee concerns and preferences, we conduct regular surveys that allow us to stay in tune with what’s important to our team members, make necessary improvements, and show them that their opinions matter.
  6. Promoting Engagement: Since 85% of our team members are field workers, our monthly meetings serve as a platform for open communication, engagement and opportunity to add value to the team. We celebrate achievements, discuss challenges, and encourage teamwork, which enhances the sense of belonging and keeps employees motivated and focused. 
  7. Participation in Voluntary Activities: We actively engage in voluntary activities in the community. This strengthens our connection to the community and instills a sense of pride in our employees, as they see the positive impact they have beyond their daily duties.

By consistently applying these strategies and aligning them with our company values, we not only attract the right talent but also retain a dedicated and engaged team. As a woman business owner in the geriatric healthcare industry, it’s important to create a work environment where employees feel valued, fulfilled, and motivated to contribute to our mission of providing excellent care to the elderly and their families.

Yamili Saucedo
Owner
AC Hauling, LLC 

As a business owner, I draw upon our company’s culture and core values when looking to hire new employees and while retaining current team members. I intentionally look for individuals with integrity and who exhibit respect, leadership skills and a growth mindset.  I do feel, however, that retaining talent is sometimes the bigger challenge. This is when I dig deeper and ask myself:

  • Have I made my expectations clear? 
  • Have I communicated openly and often?  
  • Have I provided recognition and reward when it’s due? 
  • Have I made my team feel valued? 
  • Have I been flexible with their work environment? 
  • Have I sometimes made it fun and not so redundant?  

The trucking industry is stressful and not for the weak – regardless of the role one plays on my team. GRIT is something that comes to mind when I think of what our collective personality traits are at AC Hauling. My hope is that my team and I continue to grow into something greater than we have ever thought possible.

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