People are the backbone of any successful business, and business owners across all industries have difficulty finding qualified talent to fill open roles.  No longer will people put up with toxic work environments or dead-end jobs; they want more for their future. 

In this episode, Marty Kirshner, Partner with Gray, Gray & Gray, Doug Woosnam, a Consultant with Cetane Associates, and Champ Rawls and Clayton  Latiolais, succession planners with The Rawls Group, discuss strategies to recruit, retain and motivate employees.

Specifically, Marty shares that it is a new world out there, with remote work and flexible work hours being the norm.  Marty goes on to share three strategies to attract and retain top talent.

  1. Provide career paths for them to grow within the organization.
  2. Develop incentive comp plans, such as Golden Handcuffs, to reward loyalty and/or performance metrics.
  3. Create work schedules to support work-life balance

Champ Rawls adds, think about how you can create a company culture people want to work for in contrast to your competitor.  For example, recruiting and retaining employees is like recruiting and retaining customers.  Why would an employee work for you versus a competitor or a company across the street in a completely different industry?   Furthermore, promote your culture and intrinsic value of being a part of your company wherever possible.

Each employee has their wish of who they want to be and what they want to do; listen to them and create pathways to keep them as part of the team.  Doug Woosnam shares that we need to rethink the relationship between owners and employees to retain employees in this market.  Share with employees how the business is doing, headwinds & challenges it is facing, organizational goals, and the thought process behind significant decisions.  Historically, owners are reluctant to share information with employees.  Still, if you are more open and forthright, you can educate your employees, and they can understand the influences on the business today.

Finally, Clayton shares that creating partnerships with trade schools provides the opportunity to invest in the development of students through apprenticeship programs and an avenue of recruitment.  Apprenticeship programs create loyalty as students see that you invested in their development.

For more insight:

Visit the “Create Control Over Your Future” discussion page or select one of the additional episodes of the series below:


  • Cetane Associates: a unique group of fuel industry specialists armed with assets and proprietary processes that help them perform wonders for their clients
  • Gray, Gray, and Gray:  With 77 years of experience working with fuel oil and propane marketers and convenience store owners, Gray, Gray & Gray has established a reputation as the energy industry’s leading accounting, consulting, and business advisory firm.
  • Succession Readiness Survey:  A 7-minute investment in time will put you in an informed position of opportunities many business owners overlook, impacting business value, growth, and lifestyle, and ultimately achieving your vision.
  • Contact a Succession Planner: The Rawls Group can help you with insights and other resources and see if it makes sense to work together. At the very least, in 30 minutes, you may get some ideas you can apply to your business immediately.

The Succession Planning Matrix

Many people put off succession planning because they think it means retirement, exit, and the end. However; succession planning is just the beginning. It gives the owner options in terms of what “their next” looks like, whether that be growth, philanthropy, or a new business venture. Our process focuses are addressing 10 key areas of what we call the Succession

Click the following link for more drill-down resources on The Succession Matrix, or check out our Facebook post.

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We can provide insights and other resources and assess whether it makes sense to work together. In just 30 minutes, you may gain actionable ideas that you can immediately apply to your business. Contact us via phone or email below, or fill out the “Ask An Expert” form.