A. "We’ve had good
success with an incentive plan that shows our
employees that we care and that we are giving them
all we can. If the company meets a minimal profit
goal (5%), everyone gets a cash distribution based
on years of service and salary. After that, if the
company exceeds the planned profit goal (10%),
everyone gets an additional cash incentive based on
a formula. We also reward employees for years of
service with paid trips."
— Bill Medina
"I hire people who have been on their own, so
they understand the value of building a business.
Then I give them lots of respect and
responsibility, and I back them up with drawings
and documents — lots of information. Most
important, I always ask their advice and
collaborate with them on their projects."
— Sue Cosentini
"We built our reputation on fine craftsmanship,
so we focus on keeping finish carpenters. We not
only provide steady work, but we make the work
interesting. The more highly skilled finish
carpenters are, the more they want to be
challenged, as opposed to just putting in
baseboards and hanging doors. We’re also
flexible with their schedules and their
— Glenn Farrell
"I try to be the good employer I never had. I
give vacations and health insurance, pay overtime,
and I’m generous about employee time off.
And I have never yelled at any employee."
— Chuck Green
"Keep employees by treating them as equals, not
subordinates. Spend some time with them away from
work, like going golfing or to a ballgame. Find
them by asking your suppliers who’s
looking — they’ll tell you
who’s happy and who isn’t."
— Steve Klitsch
"Besides good pay and benefits, offer employees
steady work and sincere appreciation for a job well
done. Create a team atmosphere with regular staff
meetings where they can learn what you’re
up to in the office. Be enthusiastic about the
future of the company and let them know their part
in that future."
— Mike McCutcheon
"It’s important to identify your
expectations and to see that they are shared and
implemented by all. This helps develop a sense of
personal pride, positive company and employee
recognition, and a perception of professionalism,
not only within the company but in the
— Bill Gaver
"When you advertise, use your company name;
otherwise, good prospects may not answer for fear
the ad was placed by their current employer. Trust
your people, be sincere in your praise, and provide
practical but thoughtful incentives, like a gift of
a new saw. Also, let employees know what the true
cost of running a company is, like who pays the
payroll when the company is losing money."
— Mike Weiss
"Good job descriptions with specific goals; good
training for specific skills, like management or
sales; letting employees learn from their mistakes;
teaching time management; yearly evaluations to set
new goals; and team building — the team is
greater than the individual."
— Peter Feinmann
"Employees stick around because of my
high-quality work and the overall high level of
enthusiasm in my company. I also boost morale
whenever I can — for example, I have a
job-site kitchen-in-a-box that we use for coffee
and lunches. We have better lunches on site than
most offices, and it makes the crew feel special
— Byron Papa
"I don’t expect my employees to stay
that long. Rather than whine about it, I capitalize
on it by actually encouraging my employees to
prepare for going out on their own someday. This
motivates them to learn and take responsibility,
which pays dividends in productivity and trust.
When they do finally leave, I now have a
subcontractor I’ve trained for three or
four years. I know what he’s good at and
which jobs I don’t want him to touch."
— Rick Stacy