Boating Industry

November 2016

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November 2016 | Boating Industry | 23 [ Not Another Dead End Job ] One of the easiest ways to keep employ- ees in the company is to invest in their future. This means consistent training, performance evaluations and communication about their long-term goals. "One of my biggest responsibilities as an owner is to create opportunities for my crew- members. When I come to work every day, that's one of the things I'm constantly thinking about," said Rob Soucy, president of Port Harbor Marine, most recently ranked at No. 7 on the Boating Industry Top 100 and No. 22 on Maine's "Best Places to Work" for mid-sized businesses. "How can I make everybody better? Because I know as a company, the only way we're going to get better as a company is if all my crewmembers get better individually." At Port Harbor Marine, the leadership works with certain employees to develop a career path. During performance analyses, the manager will discuss the employee's plans, goals and aspira- tions for their career and how a future at Port Harbor Marine can achieve those goals. "It's a huge challenge but I think the most important thing is that you have that conversa- tion," said Soucy. "Whether you actually have a detailed path to get there is not as important as having the conversation about" your employee's personal and professional goals. In some cases, employees are perfectly happy in their existing role and want to stay there. Soucy makes sure they stay happy in that position by providing training opportunities for those employ- ees to tweak and constantly improve those skills. "You have other crewmembers [who feel] where they are is where they want to be and they don't want more responsibility. So then you just try to make them the best crewmember in that position they can be," Soucy said. "Every crewmember wants to feel that they're impor- tant to the overall business plan, and investing in them is one of the easier ways of doing it." "No matter how good someone is at their job, you want to always make sure there's advance- ment, improvement, change," Dewar added. "People tend to, if things get stagnant or repeti- tive, they get bored, no matter how good they are at their job. There's kind of this inherent need in humans ... to develop, so it's important to give opportunities." The common refrain of "but what if they leave" is a self-fulfi lling prophecy: If you don't in- vest in your employees, they won't invest in you. "The dealers that are worried about training somebody and those people leaving, if they have that concern going into it, then they probably have the wrong person working for them any- way," said Soucy. "That may sound harsh, but if I have that thought about a person, then I should be questioning whether they're fully engaged and committed to me to begin with." Another reason employees stay is because they value the culture of the company. Creating a formal set of core values for your business helps drive that culture, and your values should be tied to everything you do. Soucy believes having a positive culture helps the business keep employees. One of the areas Port Harbor Marine scored the highest in its Maine's Best Places to Work evaluation was how employees are treated at the company. Many of Soucy's employees actually drive over an hour to get to work, passing other boat dealerships along the way. Some of his employees aren't Clearly defi ned company values and mission help drive the direction of the business, thus giving employees an understanding of how they fi t in the big picture. Because of how the dealership cares for its employees, Port Harbor Marine was selected as one of Maine's Best Places to Work. Legend Boats spends a lot of time coming up with creative ways to make employees feel appreciated, as evidenced by last year's "rockstar" Christmas party. "There's kind of this inherent need in humans . . . to develop, so it's important to give opportunities." — Jamie Dewar, general manager of Legend Boats O O O O O O O O O O O O

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