Finding and Keeping Good Employees

Wednesday, February 07 at 02:00 PM
Category: Arvest News

The following article is republished with permission from the Feb. 8, 2018 edition of the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal.


When I am visiting with local small business owners about their biggest challenges, the majority of them answer, “Finding and keeping good employees.”

As unemployment rates in Northwest Arkansas have declined and stayed at historically low levels, the issue of finding and keeping good employees has required more attention and resources from employers. This significant variable in the business equation is one to pay close attention to when considering starting a new business or major change in one’s business.

When putting together a business plan, many will plug an arbitrary number into the “payroll” line item without digging into what makes up the line item. Expecting even average performance from an employee may cost you much more than the hourly wage estimations from the region. The expectation of average performance (and many owners expect more than just average) from average pay may not be met.

As current and potential business owners are working through their labor projections, they need to ask themselves some critical questions:

  • Do I fully understand the day-to-day operations of my business and what my current (or future) employees are doing?
  • Do I have clear guidelines for duties and performance for each of my employees? Were expectations made clear when the employee was considering employment? Have these been communicated clearly and frequently?
  • How involved will my employees be in the strategy of growing and improving my business? Do my employees understand how the business makes a profit and ways to increase the margins? Do I have incentives in place for this behavior? Do I share bottom-line performance with my employees or is it kept a mystery?
  • Will I give employees financial and operational responsibilities that are not overseen (e.g. bank deposits, reconciliations, customer invoicing and collections)? Do I have a system of checks and balances in place for certain critical duties, and are these procedures reviewed regularly? Do all employees and contractors (payroll, accounting, etc.) know that I will be auditing transactions and documentation on a regular basis (This happens much less than you think, and to dire consequences)?
  • What are the key skills and traits a good employee needs, and am I ready to train the rest?
  • Am I passionate about the mission of my business and can I effectively convince my employees of the same?

This may sound like a lot of work, but a business will not be successful if it does not have the right people in place working toward the same goal. If, as an employer, you do not have a clearly articulated mission and clearly defined expectations, you will spend greater time and resources on frequent employee turnover, and expose the business to unnecessary reputational, operational and financial risks.

Loyal, energetic and easy-to-teach employees have always been in high demand and – with reports indicating 90% of small business owners plan to hire 1-2 new employees in 2018 – the competition for these individuals will become more intense.

Potential employees have options. Employers will need to do some soul-searching as to what makes their business special and unique. Employers will also need to be creative with how they incentivize their employees and possibly, how they require labor from them.

  • Does your employee need to work 8-5? Can the work day be defined differently, but still achieve the desired results?
  • Can the business achieve its goal by supplementing the existing staff with key, industry-specific experts (e.g. marketing, human resources, accounting and finance)?
  • What motivates your employee? It may not be the almighty dollar, but a more flexible schedule with a chance to take four weeks off and bike the Great Divide Trail.
  • How does your business contribute to the world in a way that improves it? Will your employees feel they are part of a larger, socially conscious movement?
  • Are you communicating with your employee about how their individual performance is contributing to the overall goal and success of the business? Do they feel like they are making a difference?

As you contemplate the new year and what it means for you and your business, make sure you are spending the time and deliberation required for your employees. They are so much more than a line item.

Eileen Jennings is a commercial lender for Arvest Bank in Fayetteville. She can be reached by emailing ejennings@arvest.com.

 

Tags: Financial Education
 

Arvest Bank Promotes Toland to VP

Monday, February 05 at 02:00 PM
Category: Arvest News

Arvest Bank is pleased to announce Nathan Toland has been promoted to vice president. 

Toland, also a client advisor for Arvest Wealth Management (AWM), holds Series 7, and 66 securities licenses, as well as an Oklahoma insurance license. He primarily provides financial planning and investment advising in the Edmond and Stillwater areas. 

“This promotion is well-deserved,” said Paul Krus, an AWM regional manager. “Nathan is a valuable member of our team and is a great example of our mission statement: People helping people find financial solutions for life.” 

A native of Norman, Toland earned a degree in business management at Oklahoma City Community College. He currently lives in Edmond with his wife, Dani, and their three children. Among other civic endeavors, Toland teaches Sunday School at Crossings Community Church. 

About Arvest Bank

Arvest Bank, named by Forbes magazine as one of “America’s Best Large Employers” for 2017, operates more than 250 bank branches in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas through a group of 15 locally managed banks, each with its own board and management team. These banks serve customers in more than 120 communities, with extended weekday banking hours at many locations. Arvest also provides a wide range of banking services including loans, deposits, treasury management, credit cards, mortgage loans and mortgage servicing. Arvest is an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC. 

About Arvest Wealth Management

Arvest Wealth Management offers wealth management, trust services and insurance products. Investment products and services provided by Arvest Investments, Inc., doing business as Arvest Wealth Management, member FINRA/SIPC, an SEC registered investment adviser and a subsidiary of Arvest Bank. Insurance products are made available through Arvest Insurance, Inc., which is registered as an insurance agency. Insurance products are marketed through Arvest Insurance, Inc., but are underwritten by insurance companies. Investments and Insurance Products: Not FDIC Insured, May Lose Value and Not Guaranteed by the Bank. Trust services provided by Arvest Bank. 

Tags: Associates, Oklahoma City
 

Arvest Bank Promotes Wright to VP

Wednesday, January 31 at 02:00 PM
Category: Arvest News

Arvest Bank is pleased to announce Deanna Wright has been promoted to vice president. 

Wright, also a client advisor for Arvest Wealth Management (AWM), is a Certified Wealth Strategist® who holds Series 7, 63, 66 and 99 securities licenses, as well as an Arkansas insurance license. She has been in the banking industry for 10 years. 

“This promotion is well-deserved,” said Steve Burkhead, an AWM regional manager. “Deanna is a valuable member of our team and views her clients’ individual situations from a comprehensive wealth perspective.” 

Wright earned degrees in business administration at Arkansas State University and Western National University. She and her husband live in Cave Springs with their two children. Wright is an active member of her community and is a member of Cross Church Pinnacle Hills.    

Tags: Arkansas, Associates
 

Leadership Oklahoma to Honor Arvest Bank

Monday, January 29 at 02:00 PM
Category: Arvest News

Arvest Bank is pleased – and humbled – to be honored by Leadership Oklahoma with the organization’s Statewide Community Award* in April. The award is part of Leadership Oklahoma’s annual “Excellence in Leadership” program. 

The Statewide Community Award “acknowledges an organization or company that, through specific projects or efforts, has reached across valued differences to develop among Oklahomans a sense of common purpose and a more profound sense of loyalty to their state. This award has been created to promote a heightened sense of appreciation for the possibilities available when Oklahomans work together as a single statewide community.” 

As an organization, Leadership Oklahoma’s mission is to create, inspire and support a dynamic network of community leaders whose commitment to service and excellence will help energize all Oklahomans to help positively shape our future. Its black-tie gala will be held April 21 in Oklahoma City. 

“On behalf of all our markets in Oklahoma, I want to say how appreciative we are for this recognition,” said Brad Krieger, regional executive for Arvest Bank for Oklahoma and Kansas. “Our commitment to the communities we serve has never been stronger, and this award reflects the actions and attitudes of our associates from border to border.” 

In announcing Arvest as a winner, Leadership Oklahoma has particular praise for the annual 1 Million Meals campaign, as well as our Oklahoma markets’ commitment to Habitat for Humanity, the United Way’s Day of Caring, and the “We Love Oklahoma Teachers” program, among numerous other endeavors. 

“Over the past 50 years, Arvest Bank has experienced tremendous growth, and can be found in many Oklahoma communities,” according to Leadership Oklahoma. “Where these Arvest Banks exist, so does a culture of community involvement and support. This support is inclusive, reaching out to individuals, corporations, non-profits, and civic activities. 

“As Oklahomans, Arvest is aware of the challenges that this state faces, and chooses to make a difference.”

Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution. 

Tags: Oklahoma
 

Arvest in N. Central Ark. Named Best Bank for 2nd Year in a Row

Friday, January 26 at 02:00 PM
Category: Arvest News

Arvest Bank in North Central Arkansas has been named Best Bank in the Harrison Daily Times Best of the Best reader’s poll.

Every year, the Harrison Daily Times has asked readers for their thoughts – and votes – to determine the Harrison’s best of the best! Arvest has been voted the No. 1 bank for two consecutive years by readers!

Arvest was founded on the principles that our customers’ needs come first and our associates are focused on providing the best customer experience. We continually strive to be active and involved members of the communities we serve, and we will always work to put the needs of our customers first as we continue to fulfill our mission, “People helping people find financial solutions for life.”

On behalf of Arvest Bank in North Central Arkansas, we would like to extend the warmest THANK YOU to the readers of the Harrison Daily Times and congratulate all 2017 Best of Best Award recipients. 

Tags: North Central Arkansas

Choose one or more categories to subscribe to:




Cancel