Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Executive Director of Programs Katie Fitzpatrick recently wrote an op-ed published in Crain's Chicago Business this week on how small-business owners can attract and retain top talent in Chicago.
Fitzgerald cited data gleaned from chamber surveys, as well as insights she has gained from small-business owners with whom she has worked.
One of Fitzgerald's main pieces of advice was for small-business owners to "triage" their workplaces.
"In the absence of a human resources department, make sure you have a good lawyer to ensure your company abides by basic rules and regulations and is reflective of your industry competitors," Fitzpatrick said. "This due diligence is worth the price tag."
She also cited the importance of investing in technology that would allow employees to concentrate on strategic priorities and suggested taking advantage of free public-resource initiatives.
"Last summer, the chamber launched an internship program in conjunction with CompTIA and Chicago Public Schools to provide assistance to small businesses that lack the budget or staff to address technology issues," Fitzpatrick said. "In its first year, 12 businesses were successfully matched with students, who helped create web pages and marketing platforms. This is one of numerous local initiatives that small businesses are invited to participate in free of charge."
Fitzpatrick said that one of the most important things to remember was to "nurture a multigenerational, multicultural workforce and enjoy the benefits that dynamic skill sets and perspectives bring to your business and employee morale, including workforce retention."