“Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”
— Richard Branson, Virgin Group founder
When you own a restaurant, business typically booms May through September. Then, from October until around Christmas, things slow down a bit. When the dead winter hits, though, the restaurant is often non-profitable. It becomes a major challenge to find quality workers who are patient enough to stick around until business picks up again.
A successful restaurateur knew her head chef was a big Kansas City Chiefs fan. So, when the team made it to the Super Bowl, she purchased high-priced tickets to the game along with airfare for him to show just how much she valued his loyalty. She didn’t care about the cost — she just wanted him to recognize that she truly valued his commitment to her business.
To the restaurateur, the chef adds more value than the dollar amount in his paycheck, particularly in the summer. So the smart move was to make a short-term sacrifice in the quiet time of year that would ultimately reward for his efforts in the busiest. His work and talents have greatly benefited the owner. And she understands the bigger picture.
As leaders, we cannot always think of our bottom line. When we find talent, we must develop it and do everything in our power to retain it.
What conditions have you surrounded your talent with? Are you doing everything in your control to make sure your talent will be around in the months and years ahead?
Talented people with passion and work ethic are unstoppable, but they don’t just grow on trees. Remember, not everyone is quickly replaceable. Be loyal to the ones who are most loyal to you — even if it means a short-term hit to your wallet.