This month I celebrated eight years with PMQ Pizza Magazine. In the past, I’ve had a record of jumping ship before the three-year mark for reasons ranging from low wages to no room for advancement.
The achievement got me thinking about the reasons behind why I’ve stayed with PMQ for so long when I struggled to do the same with other employers. In going through my list, I thought I’d share some of the factors that finally got me to stick. I’m hoping it can help an operator out there who’s struggling to keep his employees.
1. I’ve always felt a sense of ownership over my job. While I know that the owners always have the final word, they have always believed in me to make the right decisions, and have an open-door policy if I have any concerns.
2. I make a fair wage for the work I perform. Over eight years, my salary has gone up, down, and even been cut in half, depending on the work functions I’m performing at any specific time. However, there are never any surprises, and there’s always a discussion about what everyone feels is fair.
3. My ideas are heard. I have a lot of ideas, and it’s great to know that my boss is open to listening—and hearing—about the ones that can improve the company.
4. We’ve grown to feel like family. I won’t lie; in the beginning there were struggles and disagreements (like any family), but a few years in, I really started seeing the owners as an extension of my family. The company holiday party at the owner’s house feels like I’m going home for the holidays, and we even had them at our family-and-friends-only wedding last year!
5. I feel supported outside of work. My bosses have always supported my outside ventures, such as my work creating local websites, community events, and even running for political office. It feels amazing to have the support of your boss and co-workers on days when you sometimes feel like no one else cares.
It’s impossible to read the minds of your employees, but the bottom line is that most of us really just want the same things: to be heard, to be appreciated, and to feel like what we’re doing matters. None of what I mentioned above requires higher wages or too much extra effort on the part of the employer. When employees feel like they’re part of a family working toward a common goal, and that family reciprocates the support, the thought of leaving never enters their mind.