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Investing in Your People Is the Secret Sauce to a Successful Company. Here's Why. Investing in your people, helping them grow and giving them the best tools for success will put your organization on the right track for long term success.

By Rick Blatstein Edited by Chelsea Brown

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

"What is the best advice you've ever given an entrepreneur?" My answer is always the same. Your crewmembers are the secret sauce to the success of your organization. Invest in them — top to bottom — to help scale, innovate and thrive.

After 25+ years in the industry, I've observed that combining caring and thinking creates the best experience for your crewmembers and is key in retaining them. Our OTG crewmembers are the secret sauce to the success of our organization, which is why we are dedicated to listening and investing to continue to improve the crewmembers' experience.

What is the secret sauce to a successful company? Its people. Below are a few ways to find and invest in the best talent:

Related: Investing in Your Employees Is the Smartest Business Decision You Can Make

Expand internal hiring team to find the best talent

Many companies use external recruitment agencies for their hiring needs. However, what we've found to be most useful is really expanding and investing in our internal recruitment team. They are dedicated and hardworking individuals with their focus being finding the best crewmembers for the company.

The hardest part of owning an organization is choosing the best crewmembers for the job. Because we put an emphasis on hiring the most qualified and dedicated recruitment team, we have a solid retention and overall success streak.

If you're an entrepreneur and are able, my advice would be to invest in an internal recruiter. Your business will thank you.

Related: Why Employees Are Your Smartest Long-Term Investment

Invest and retain your talent

In 2022, we have been lucky to have a low attrition rate compared to many of our competitors, and a big reason for this is our consistent dedication to investing in our current crewmembers.

A high turnover rate has a direct impact on a company's profitability and revenue. With the constant need to hire and train new crewmembers, it is easy to veer from the true mission and vision of the organization. By retaining crewmembers, companies can provide a higher caliber workforce that positively affects the bottom line.

Below are five ways we invest in our crewmembers to help increase retention. These tips can be used across a variety of industries:

  1. Leadership development is very important to us, which is why we provide monthly 2-day classes that cover emotional intelligence, unconscious bias, etc.

  2. In 2021, we kicked off a high-potential program which offers one-one-one executive coaches to a group of managers (80) this year so far. We also continue to optimize our manager-in-training program, where certified manager trainers provide structure to the on-the-job learning.

  3. The crewmember engagement survey is sent to all 4,000+ crewmembers, so we can identify strengths, gaps and action against those career paths — as well as continuing to clarify paths for hourly and salaried crewmembers in operations.

  4. We instituted a year-of-service program to recognize and thank crewmembers who work for OTG from 5-25+ years.

  5. This summer, we look forward to launching LinkedIn Learning to our salaried managers, which will fill existing training gaps (6,000 courses).

Related: Investing In Your Workforce: Strategies To Help Your Team Achieve Their Development Goals

Improve onboarding efficiency for new talent

We are lucky to have a team wholly dedicated to onboarding new crewmembers, and they are constantly improving their onboarding efficiency practices. We set our newest crewmembers up for success right at the beginning by training them efficiently and effectively.

There are a number of things we do to create a special onboarding experience. The below strategies can help set up any employee in any business or industry (new or old) for success:

  1. We immerse them in our culture. We speak openly and honestly about who OTG is and where we are going as a company.

  2. We pace the onboarding process over time, so it is not overwhelming.

  3. We make sure they are introduced not only to crewmembers in their functional area but other areas of the company that may be of importance to them.

  4. We use storytelling and role-play to engage the crewmember during the onboarding and training process.

  5. We make sure our managers are trained and understand how important it is to nurture new hires and engage them.

  6. We make sure we have the right resources in place. Everything from the right equipment, training, software, etc.

  7. We follow up with our new hires after 14 days to make sure they were provided with the right resources and training and that their manager is interacting with them on a regular basis.

  8. Lastly, we show them what their career development roadmap might look like, and we talk about the OTG focus on promotion from within.

All of these things make sure we have the right candidate, they are set up with all the resources they need, and they are engaged throughout the entire process.

It is important to remember that without crewmembers success, company-wide success is significantly more difficult to obtain. Investing in your people, helping them grow and giving them the best tools for success will put your organization on the right track for long-term success.

Rick Blatstein

Founder & CEO of OTG Management

Rick Blatstein is CEO and founder of airport hospitality group, OTG. OTG's innovative approach to creating an "experience" is delighting travelers and catching the attention of airlines and airport operators.

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