The many ways to invest

Departments - Editor’s Insight

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January 7, 2019

Our cover story this month reminded me of an email I received about a year ago around this time. A reader responded to some news about contractors reaching out to local government officials to tell them how important the H-2B program is to their businesses.

That reader was a contractor in Arizona who emailed me to say he was going to do the opposite and ask that it be stopped. From his perspective, there were plenty of employable American employees to fill positions.

I asked him what he did to attract and retain employees. He listed some items we’ve covered here before like referral bonuses, networking with local colleges, incentives and ongoing training.

He also pointed out that he doesn’t focus on profit maximization. Profits, yes; maximization, no.

He said he read an article about the need for an alternative to the profit-focus of business. He continued, “Well, this is that alternative: Providing job security and economic stability that, in turn, promote family and community health.

“This eliminates any need for ‘guest workers,’ which arises when companies focus on profit maximization and view those who work for them as interchangeable.”

I found the premise of profit maximization to be an interesting point that other business owners may argue, but that’s a topic for a different day.

One point I did disagree with is the perspective that companies using guest worker programs view employees as interchangeable. Some companies request the same H-2B workers every year.

In the case of our cover story subject, M.J. Design Associates in Columbus, owners Molly and Joel John were willing to invest in helping those workers obtain green cards because of how much they appreciate their hard work and loyalty. That’s the exact opposite of interchangeable employees.

Each owner is putting their best foot (and dollar) forward to keep their employees.

In fact, the reader and M.J. Design Associates have something major in common – they both are willing to invest in their quality employees to retain them.

Each owner is putting their best foot (and dollar) forward to keep their employees.

Let me know at the email above if you have any unique incentives or ways of investing in your employees. We are always looking to share great ideas to help the industry. – Brian Horn