In a small town, Human Resources Management takes on all new meaning, as you labor to find people to work with you, train them, keep them, and so on, while starting from a tiny talent pool. Making the most of each staff person is a constant issue. So here are two items to help you make more of your employees.
First, what is the best way to pay people? Is it more effective to give raises or give bonuses? Guy Kawasaki has dug up some research that addresses whether giving employees a pay-for-performance bonus or a merit raise fosters greater productivity. In fact, the difference is 10 to one in favor of bonuses. That’s a significant difference! So think of ways to invest in your people with bonuses.
Second, how can you find employees for small town small businesses? One tactic is to take advantage of partnerships with your local nonprofits. They can provide you with special training, testing, a steady supply of applicants for your staff, and more. The trick is to make these partnerships pay off for you, especially as a small business. Hitachi Foundation has produced a terrific pocket guide to alliances with nonprofits on HR. It really is written for small businesses. I’ve worked in workforce development, so I know that nonprofit organizations really do offer training, testing, etc. You may find it easier if you are located in the same town as a local workforce office, but anyone with enough persistence can access these alliances.
Share your secrets. How do you make the most of your human resources in a small town?
[Photo: Finding and keeping terrific employees is a special challenge for small town small businesses. from my Flickr.]
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.