With more than four decades of experience in the business arena, James P. Sargen, currently CEO of both http://www.triactiveamerica.com and http://www.triactivekids.com, advises keeping your profile "light and lean, and that means not spending any more money than you have to, in order to break even."
In order to retain good employees, Sargen believes in providing "good benefits, profit sharing-plans, 401ks," and similar programs. However, he admits that although "profit sharing looks good on paper, first you must have "a shareable profit." That takes time."
Although TriActive America and TriActive Kids "had a good year in 2005, the profit line is still in the future. Our staff has a profit-sharing plan. But how do you reward great work and keep people motivated in the meantime?" asks the experienced CEO.
The answer, according to Sargen, is to involve "your key staff in every aspect of the business, including participating in the development of the updated strategic and marketing plans, looking at the budget, and helping to make the key decisions." In addition to feeling empowered, these core employees learn to distinguish between the immediate gratification attained through short-term planning and the delayed but greater gratification attainable only through long-term/strategic planning.
"When you empower your key team members, you create a powerful incentive. They feel as if they are valuable to the company," says Sargen.
In addition, he "has a practice of making sure that the company is family friendly. We involve our staff and their families in events and activities. We truly become a big family. Because health and fitness are key elements of our business, our company gift was membership in a nearby fitness complex." Employees become more united as they work out together. In addition, because day care is provided in the fitness center, the younger family members can be included.