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Retain (and bring on) great talent with these 3 employee processes

June 22, 2022

Missed out on MrBeast’s Squid Game competition? Fear not — Netflix is currently accepting applications for their own Squid Game reality show.

In this week’s edition:

  • Document these three employee processes for better retention.
  • Bundling services as an effective recession strategy. 
  • Discover 10 ways to improve your team’s work performance.


Document these 3 processes to help you hire and retain great talent

A man riding a unicycle across a tightrope, balancing two weights labeled "employees" and "customers."

Ugh. Hiring.
We hear ya. Even as the U.S. unemployment rate continues to trend down, many small businesses are still finding it hard to recruit qualified workers.

What’s the solution? According to Trainual certified consultant and documentation specialist Elizabeth Yarbrough, updating your talent acquisition strategy is the first step to adding great people to your team. And you can start by documenting these three processes:

1. Your employee value proposition (EVP).
You and your employees are in a “value swap” relationship — like a “you scratch my back, I scratch yours” kind of deal. They bring unique expertise that will help you build your company; you provide compensation and opportunities for skill and career development.

But do you know exactly what you offer your employees? If it’s just a list in your head, now’s the time to document it as an EVP. That way, you’ll have a high-level understanding of why talented people would want to work for you, making it easier for you to spread that message to prospective hires.

2. Your employee “surprise and delight” strategy.
When it comes to enticing and retaining employees, you want to provide a positive employee experience. Part of that includes “surprising and delighting” your workers — AKA, offering great incentives to keep them happy in their roles.

But just because it’s a surprise doesn’t mean you have to wing it every time. In fact, systematizing your strategy will help you keep the surprises coming — without overloading your already heavy workload. Here are some ways you can systematically give back to your employees:

  • Provide concrete growth opportunities once per quarter for each employee.
  • Follow a process for publicly sharing customer wins.
  • Share a portion of your quarterly profits.

👉 Process #3 may surprise you.


What SMBs can learn from the New York Times’ strategy

A man in a suit saying, "Strategery."

What’s the NYT up to? (Yes, we’re on an acronym basis.)
New editor, new strategy. Joe Kahn takes the executive editor reins from Dean Baquet, who’s concluding his eight-year tenure at the Times this month. But that’s not the only change happening. As their readership shifts to more digital-based consumption, the Times’ is adjusting their strategy to capture more subscribers and pad their bottom line.

Seems reasonable. Can’t remember the last time I picked up a print newspaper.
Exactly. And the Times is hip to that. Their goal is to reach 15M subscribers by the end of 2027, which is a huge number compared to other digital pubs. They’re also planning to engage their current subscribers to increase profits over the next three to five years.

How do they plan to do that? One word: bundling. The digital news giant has been cobbling together different services in nice little bow-tied packages and selling them to their audience. For example, you can subscribe to their “Games” bundle for access to their famous crossword puzzle, Spelling Bee, Tiles, and the cult hit Wordle. But the Times has also done the same with their “Cooking,” “Reviews,” and “Sports” bundles. But they aren’t the only ones: Apple and Disney have recently jumped aboard the bundling train, too.

Can that work for my business?
It sure can. With prices on the rise, consumers are looking for a deal — and that applies to both services and products. Per The Hustle, “a key to bundling is offering standalone options for each product, so the bundle price looks like a bargain.”

Try bundling some of your more popular offerings with products or services that aren’t getting as much traction — it’s a win-win for both your company and your customers. Not only does it add value in the eyes of consumers, but it can help your company move some offerings that’ve been stagnant for a bit (while introducing your customers to a product/service they may not have been enticed to jump on before). By bundling your products, you might find a new audience for old services while turning a higher profit.


10 ways to upgrade work performance

Want to maximize productivity?
Employees are the force that drives your business forward. They pour their blood, sweat, and tears (mostly metaphorical) into their work to help you build a successful business.

A man in sports memorabilia saying, "I stan them."

Bringing out their best performance is not only vital in retaining top-notch talent but also allows a company to build a pipeline of future leaders. But since every individual has different learning styles and workflows, it can be challenging to motivate employees and manage them.

So, we compiled a list of ten ways you can help employees improve their work performance and reach peak levels of productivity and efficiency.

Define clear goals for each role.
More often than not, unsatisfactory performance is a result of poorly defined and unclear goals. So, before you can help boost your employees’ productivity, set clearly defined goals for each role in your business. That way, your employees know exactly what they should strive to achieve in their position.

Identify gaps in performance.
Use key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure how well your employee is performing against predetermined benchmarks. This will help you spot gaps in performance and see why your employees aren't achieving goals or performing to their potential.

Create a performance improvement plan.
AKA, a comprehensive, action-based guide that outlines the necessary steps employees must take to meet company expectations and goals. The guide will help employees bridge the performance gaps you’ve already identified.

👉 Get the rest of the list here.


This week’s highlight reel

  • “Take a hike.” That’s basically what the Fed told the benchmark interest rate last week. They increased it by 0.75 of a percentage point — the most aggressive bump since 1994. Maybe rethink those plans for a business or personal loan… at least for now.
  • Nature gone wild. Wildfires, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes — nature’s gonna nature without any regard to your business’ plans. So, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is stepping in with 100 $5K grants aimed at helping your small business prep for a disaster
  • Life’s a pitch. Inspiration comes in many forms. Like this searchable database of over 750 pitch decks — some that raised millions of dollars for companies like Uber, Postmates, and Airbnb. Imitation is the sincerest form of funding. 
  • In memoriam. Microsoft gave Internet Explorer the three-finger salute last Wednesday, sending it off to greener pastures where the likes of Geocities and Netscape frolic in all of their 90s dial-up glory.


Here’s what else is on The Manual’s mind

As the great Ferris Bueller axiom states, “life moves by pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Just like these hot-off-the-press SMB stories over on The Manual:

  • Keeping it real (estate). Our first guide for real estate SMB owners is finally here: here’s the best way to onboard new agents (with free templates!). 
  • Did you know: Sharing your company’s origin story can help attract (and retain) good talent. Here’s how
  • Shift happens. Becky Karsh, the former global head of people development at Uber, dropped by the Organize Chaos podcast to talk about how she helped Uber navigate cultural change. And she had some tips for SMB owners looking to do the same.

Organize the chaos
of your small business