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Please Don't Go

Turnover isn't necessarily a fact of life. Learn to keep your employees in the fold.

After spending all that time screening and hiring and training and sharing all your trade secrets with your employees, you don't have to sit around biting your nails, expecting their letters of resignation. Employees will stick around if you play your cards right.

So it was with BitFlip Interactive Group in New York City. Since its 1997 founding, this interactive media developer has had no--that's right--no employee turnover. For a company in the Internet business, that's miraculous. The secret, according to founder Erin Jurew, is "respect for your employees. [Realize] you're not going to be in business without your employees-and show them loyalty."

Her focus on giving her team fun and highly creative work has also helped. "We handpick our assignments and clients," says Jurew, 41. "That keeps people interested." With sales hovering at $3.5 million and clients ranging from government officials to banking and securities firms, the BitFlip crew of 15 employees is always doing something new.

Still, keeping employees loyal in the employment frenzy of the late '90s was quite a feat. Jurew took special steps in hiring her staff from the start, such as having staff across departments interview candidates to ensure a good employee match. "Ours is a collaborative environment," she says. It's important to her that each employee fit in with the culture-both skill- and personality-wise.

And with benefits not always offered by small companies-like profit-sharing and retirement plans, as well as a ping-pong table and movie nights-Jurew is poised to keep employees for the long haul.

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This article was originally published in the November 2002 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Please Don't Go.

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