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Creating a model work environment: 10 tips from the experts at the Detroit Regional Chamber.

1. You get what you pay for

Compare your job salaries with other organizations in the area. Look into participating in local salary surveys. If you participate in a salary survey you are often able to receive a copy of the overall results for free or at a discounted rate.


2. Shower them with benefits

In today's market it's expected organizations will offer a set of "core" benefits such as health, dental, vision, life and disability insurances. It's the voluntary benefits an organization offers that may act as a tool to retain its staff. Voluntary benefits usually do not cost the organization anything beyond time and administration. Such benefits might include U.S. Savings Bond Purchase Program, 529 College Savings Program, Long Term Care Insurance and Disability Insurance.

3. Movin' on up

Providing the opportunity for your staff to enhance their skill set is a tremendous incentive. Training is often the first budget cut when organizations are faced with tough times. However, investing the time and opportunities for your staff will only make them more dedicated to the organization.

4. It takes a village

Offering tuition reimbursement is a huge benefit to your staff and your organization. You may be able to groom your own staff to fill that next level within your organization. Also, encourage and support your staff to become members in related professional associations. Their involvement will earn your organization exposure as well as show your commitment to your staff's personal career growth.

5. Give 'em the old razzle-dazzle

A first impression is a lasting impression. Make sure your new hire feels like part of the team from day one. Give them a tour and introduce them to all of your staff. Leave a small bowl of candy with a welcome balloon at their desk. It's the little things an organization can do in the beginning to set the stage for what's to come.

6. Balance, balance, balance

It's not all business ... Give your staff the opportunity to create groups within the organization that focus on aspects other than work. Good examples include the formation of a Diversity Council, Spirit Team and Wellness Committee.

7. Shiny happy environment

Do you maintain an Open Door Policy? Do you have an environment that is family-friendly? Do you walk the talk? If you can answer yes to these three questions, you are well on your way to creating a model work environment.

8. What a difference an open door makes

Your employees will only give the same respect they are given. Get out of your office, walk around and visit with staff. Treat your employees like colleagues and partners in the organization and you will earn their dedication and loyalty.

9. Communication creation

A lack of communication can be the single biggest killer of a model work environment. Employees want to feel they are part of the organization--so talk to them. Employee newsletters are a great way to communicate. However, make the newsletter something your staff will want to read--our rule is 20 percent business and 80 percent fun.

10. Mix all ingredients--just add support

There is no secret recipe to retaining talent. It starts with a thorough recruitment process, which assures the right candidate is hired. Then it boils down to the organization's ability to offer good wages with a diverse benefits package that appeals to a wide audience, supporting an inclusive work environment that allows all employees to fully contribute and growth opportunities to develop and grow in professional and personal responsibilities.

Thelma Castillo is senior vice president, Human Resources & Operations and Michelle Hansel is senior director, Human Resources at the Detroit Regional Chamber.


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Title Annotation:Human Resources
Author:Hansel, Michelle
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2004
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