Finding And Keeping Great Employees

By Jim Harris

A popular TV commercial opens with a manager for a large office products company reviewing a huge manual of the latest product price reductions. As he hands the telephone-sized book to a frontline clerk and instructs the clerk to retag all the listed items before leaving the store, the clerk pauses only briefly before exuberantly shouting "All Right!" and beginning a dance of joy around the store. The manager smiles and walks away, saying, "That kid was a find!"

What inspires the clerk to want to stay late and retag hundreds of store items? What makes him shout for joy rather than jam the pricing gun down the manager's throat? How has the firm found and retained such an apparently enthusiastic employee? Either by luck or design, the manager has bridged with this employee the missing link in today's staffing and retention challenge.

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