The Swift Current & District Chamber of Commerce recently hosted a seminar on employee retention with local businesses in attendance.

The event outlined what employers can do to keep their employees longer, as well as the benefits of keeping them.

Carolynn Chow, a representative of the Saskatoon based company SmartHire, was a speaker at the event and outlined the benefits of choosing to keep employees rather than continually hiring new ones.

 Chow said that employers see drops in profit when employees are lost, either due to an opportunity for a higher wage or better benefits.

 "Without strong retention rates, your not able to have employees up to speed quickly, and being consistent with how they interact with customers and clients, creating inconsistencies in different experiences will definitely drop productivity rates and potential revenue."

 Chow also stated that it could be difficult for employers to find good employees in a smaller community like Swift Current, so it's that much more important to retain employees.

 "Hiring is a relentless process that really effects business owners, this is something that people have continually tried to 'figure out' and for small business owners in smaller towns like Swift Current it can be a big challenge for a business to find the right people to fit your team if your not using the right tools."

 Michel DeGuire, the owner of the Swift Current Canadian Tire branch, said that his business had found a way for keeping high school age employees in the store, as well as giving them an incentive to continue schooling with a graduation fund.

The program is designed to give a dollar an hour to the students for the first 750 hours of work at Canadian Tire, and then for every 750 worked in the store the reward goes up 50 cents, payed out to them when they graduate high school as DeGuire explained.

 "This was a unique way to reward the kids that stuck with us, and gave them a helping hand going forward into their education."

DeGuire said that since the program was created the branch has given out about $40,000 to its employees as part of the program.

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