We’ve all heard of those dream job perks: bonuses, luxury vacations, corner office with a view, or the open-ended expense account.

How do small business owners and managers compete with incentives like that?

The Beehive, a jewelry, clothing, gift and home accessories shop, in the Overstreet Mall in Uptown Charlotte is owned by sisters Betsy Almond and Teresa Farson. Following a few simple rules, they’ve found ways to keep their employees at their store without offering huge raises or extravagant gifts.

Make it a match.

The employees at The Beehive each have a niche – one that fits their personality, interests and skill level to the needs of the store. Lynn Broadway has been at The Beehive for 17 years. She’s past retirement age, but plans to stay in her position for as long as she can. Her experience at a bank made her the perfect fit for working behind the register. The Beehive has many loyal customers and some of that is attributed to Broadway’s ability to remember details about each customer and developing personal relationships with them.

Flexibility is key.

When it comes to planning for the month, Almond and Farson engage the employees in the scheduling. Rather than layout a fixed calendar, they work around family events, vacations, and other obligations.

This year, they made the decision to close on Black Friday and Saturday, despite the loss of retail sales, so they all could visit with family and friends.

Left to right: Lynn Broadway, Betsy Almond, Teresa Farson, and Elaine Crusan

Value their ideas.

Elaine Crusan has been at The Beehive for 32 years. She’s in charge of displays, which are important to creating the inviting atmosphere of the shop.

“They [Betsy and Teresa] value our opinion,” Crusan said. “They make you feel like your ideas are worthwhile.”

Crusan has been given the freedom to be creative and try out new concepts without being judged, even when things don’t always work out.

Don’t make it just about work.

Girls’ night out, birthday celebrations, and a ritual of connecting each morning has kept this group of women working together for many years.

“Keep it light; keep it fun,” Broadway said. “Join in with everything. Don’t just be the boss.”

Crusan appreciates the sensitivity Almond and Farson have about her personal life.

“They are kind and generous,” she said. “It’s not just about money, it’s about the quality of the work environment.”

The Beehive, 101 South Tryon St., Suite 2, Bank of America Plaza Mall
Hours: 10 a.m.- 6p.m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday; Closed Sunday
(704) 334-9322

Photos: The Beehive

CharlotteFive’s Small Business Series dives into topics that entrepreneurs face each day. Do you have an idea to suggest or want to share your knowledge as an entrepreneur? Email Vanessa Infanzon at vanessainfanzon@gmail.com with “Small Business Series” in the subject line.

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