How Do You Keep Your Best People Happy?

A group of building company presidents explains how they retain their top performers.

January 31, 2002

Mark Upton
President
Engle Homes/Arizona, Phoenix

Pay them fairly and make a work environment in which there is ownership and authority along with responsibility. There also needs to be a high level of respect for people in all positions, regardless of their level in the company. Awards and recognition are also very important and should recognize not just tenure but performances that are above and beyond.

Scott Gallivan,
Division President
Ryland Homes, Fairfax, Va.

As heated as this market has been in the D.C. area, we have not lost people to competitors. The people who are in the field are really put in a position of control of their sites. We have had a number of top people from competitors come over because of the way we treat people. We treat people with respect. We compensate them very fairly. And in the atmosphere that has been created here, everybody is equally important to the organization. The hierarchy is minimal.

Eric H. Campbell, President
CamWest Development Inc., Kirkland, Wash.

In essence, since we are in Microsoft’s back yard, we have followed a watered-down Microsoft version of a companywide profit-sharing program that is available only to the top performers. It is not just managers who are eligible. We use aggressive performance evaluations, and we rate our employees to identify and compensate our top people throughout our whole organization.

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