Discussions by Domain: Finding and Retaining Top Talent
“The quality of the work tends to drive the individuals that are looking for a greater challenge.”
Michael Mudalel is the Managing Partner at MFS Engineers & Surveyors. MFS is a multi-discipline certified civil engineering and design consulting firm that provides personalized services and solutions to meet the needs of their diverse clients.
Valuing your employees.
Michael: “If you look at actual surveys that study employees, you’ll find that money is actually further down on the list as one of the top reasons why someone stays with an organization or what they’re looking for in an organization.”
Michael: “What we found is a lot of it has to do with being actually a valued employee. Anyone could say that you’re a valued employee just saying the words, but to go beyond that is really where I think where the rubber hits the road.”
Michael: “A lot of individuals don’t realize that there’s a lot of great ideas out there from younger and older individuals within the organization that the ownership is not hearing. Just to have that open ear and say, ‘everyone’s opinion matters here,’ really helps to make the employee feel like they’re part of an organization.”
Training and development.
Michael: “A great example is a lot of the organizations these days say, ‘we’ll give tuition reimbursement as long as you’re taking a course that’s related to your area of expertise’. We tend to take it a little bit further than that. We say beyond just school, there might be certifications that tie to what you’re doing. We’ll be flexible with the individual.
Michael: “It makes a difference. It makes the employee feel that they can actually take this course, not feel like their boss is going to breathe down their neck because it’s during work hours. The ownership will work with the individual, which in the end benefits the person, but ultimately also benefits the organization because you’re developing staff and allowing them to continue the growth of their actual professional career.”
Integrating new technology.
Michael: “You want to hear from your own employees what is going to work best. So involving your employees in the initial evaluation of a software before you actually purchase it is a very important thing to do. It not only allows you to feel more comfortable with adapting to this new technology, but it also allows the staff to feel like they’re actually being part of the decision.”
Michael: “As an owner we’re at the 1,000 foot level looking down. We’re not in the trenches with this type of technology. We’re scratching the surface. The employees are down in the ditches actually doing the work, so having their input and buy-in on technology really helps to integrate the technology at a faster pace.”
The quality of the work.
Michael: “The quality of the work tends to drive the individuals that are looking for a greater challenge or looking to be more at that management level. “
Michael: “Higher quality firms over time can pay more, give better benefits, but more importantly take on new technologies. Diversify your business through doing quality projects because then the owner is willing to put a little extra money there to try to develop a new idea. When you work with these higher quality or higher end clients, it tends to allow you to be a little bit more diversified as a firm and take on different challenges.”
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