I recently received a very long text message from a very valued employee. She told me she was resigning and moving to New Zealand to be with someone important to her. She assured me that she would provide several months’ notice, and said how badly she felt to leave the company after becoming a part of the Can-Seed family.

My heart sank. When I got back to the office, assured her that I respected her decision and understood, although I was very sad to see her go.

What I didn’t immediately realize was that the day this all took place was April 1. It had been an April Fools’ Day joke, and after we all had a good laugh and my heart rate returned to normal, I asked myself why I’d had such a visceral emotional reaction to that text.

It was because having good employees who are part of our business family is important to me, and should be for every company. In our business, customer relationships are crucial. When you have constant turnover, customers aren’t able to connect well with you. They get the sense that the representative they’re dealing with doesn’t really care much about the company they work with. And that means they probably don’t care too much about the customer. Not good for business.

If you don’t have dedicated, long-term staff, you jeopardize your business. Treat your employees well and retain them whenever possible. The cost of bringing people in and training them just to have them leave is very high, in more ways than one.

I bring employees — all my employees — into my inner circle. I make them part of the team and really help them understand the challenges the company faces. If the company isn’t successful, they can’t be successful, and if they’re not serious about their role, the company will suffer as a result. I make it clear that they don’t work for me — they work with me, and with one another. We’re all in this together.

It’s a simple philosophy, but one that has helped me retain good staff who help make my business what it is. Follow this philosophy, and I promise you it will pay dividends — even if it results in the occasional April Fools’ Day joke.

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