By Mark Inboden

As companies grow, many spend a lot of time and effort into Research and Development. R&D is an area that is looked upon to come up with new and better products to increase a company's chances for success. R&D is positioned as a key area, and many dollars are invested in their efforts. Even larger service companies spend a lot of money in R&D efforts in areas such as software, technology, etc.

In a smaller service company, how does one spend time and money in R&D? At UCEC, we spend our $$ on D&R. What is D&R? Development and Retention. In the last several years, we have been identifying the areas where we need to develop our people for the future, and ways to retain them as long-term employees. We have several outside consultants we are working with in developing training for managers and staff. We have also made sure that our benefits are as good as, if not better than others in our industry. Providing a 401K and continuing to pay 100 percent of an employee's health care, are examples.

Smaller companies do not have the luxury of “employee numbers” and must take steps in developing and retaining their employees. If people are treated well, they will want to stay around for a good long time. Looking at the longevity of our employees tells me our investment in D&R is a direct measure of our success.

Mark is the President and CEO of UCEC. 

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