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The keys to retaining employees? Start with good pay and benefits

John Benz is the president and CEO of Community Care Plan (CCP), the “Health Plan with a Heart.” CCP services Medicaid, Children’s Medicaid Services Network, and several self-insured employee health plans.
John Benz is the president and CEO of Community Care Plan (CCP), the “Health Plan with a Heart.” CCP services Medicaid, Children’s Medicaid Services Network, and several self-insured employee health plans.

This week’s question to South Florida CEOs who are on the Miami Herald CEO Roundtable: What has been most your successful tactic in retaining employees and keeping them in Miami?


For Community Care Plan, our most successful tactic in retaining employees has been creating a favorable workplace culture. We support employee education and career growth, as well as a safe and positive work environment. Our employees have always been our greatest asset.

John Benz, president, CEO, Community Care Plan


I think that in order to retain employees in the workforce today, several key items must always be considered with all team members. A good organization must provide excellent pay and benefits to all associates. A personal relationship must be established with each associate in which there is constant mentoring as well as acknowledgment for accomplishments. Team building through community involvement as well as through corporate events is extremely important to motivate employees and make them feel good about their place of employment. Lastly, each associate must feel that South Florida is an exceptional place in which to live in and they must feel that they serve a key role in the vision of their organization. An organization must be fully committed to this purpose or many employees will be lost.

Armando Caceres, CEO, founder, All Florida Paper


Good salaries, a positive working environment, and diversity have helped us retain employees. They also love the cultural offerings and vibrant neighborhoods that Miami has. For recruiting and retention, Miami is a pretty easy sell!

Kelly-Ann Cartwright, executive partner, Holland & Knight Miami chair of the firm’s Directors Committee


We see employees as business partners. To put a little muscle behind that vision, starting in 2013, we began rewarding employees, over and above their base salaries, with an aggressive incentive program for reaching certain profit-based goals. By having a financial stake in the performance of the company, our employees, in essence, become business owners who are committed to achieving our long-term goals and thus, contribute greatly to the organization.

Ralph De La Rosa, president, CEO, Imperial Freight


In addition to paid sick leave, short term disability coverage, paid vacation and personal days, we also offer paid maternity and paternity leave. In addition, we offer tuition reimbursement, reimbursement for professional courses and certifications, fully paid PPO health, vision, and dental insurance plus additional credits for family members of employees.

Jalal Farooq, principal, Al-Farooq Corporation


Our best tactic is to have a great university with a great reputation. I am always impressed at the quality of the applications we receive when we search for new team members. UM has a reputation as a high-performing organization that attracts top faculty, students, and staff from around the world. That is what truly makes the University of Miami a magnet for talent.

Dr. Julio Frenk, president, University of Miami


It is important to keep employees happy by creating a great place to work, providing competitive compensation, flexible work hours and great benefits. It also helps that we work in a fun industry.

Kaizad Hansotia, founder, CEO, Gurkha Cigars


We believe that if employees are treated well, they will stay. We created an Employee Committee within the bank that meets regularly to discuss ways to keep morale high. From scheduling monthly happy hours to interoffice contests or improving our benefit offerings, the committee is constantly brainstorming ways to keep employee satisfaction high.

Javier Holtz, chairman, CEO, Marquis Bank


Mast Capital is deep in experience, institutionally-minded and entrepreneurial in spirit. The firm’s corporate culture helps further solidify the team’s desire to stay close and be a part of our growing family. Our firm and projects are constantly adapting, keeping employees engaged.

Camilo Miguel Jr., founder, CEO, Mast Capital


Right now, we have a very small number of full time company employees. Imalac will be manufacturing in South Florida; however, we outsource a great deal at this point and people can and are located worldwide and contribute toward our company.

Noreen Sablotsky, founder, CEO, Imalac


Miami Children’s Museum is a remarkably fun work environment with lots of opportunities for growth. We value our employees and want to make sure they are safe and protected; we do this by offering a health benefits package that is unparalleled by other nonprofits. We also encourage our employees to dive into their creativity which is a refreshing aspect for our staff.

Deborah Spiegelman, CEO, Miami Children’s Museum


Our goal is to be a Best Places to Work environment and we are taking steps to this end. This includes using a robust mix of tactics that drive a positive culture like internal and community-focused events, proactive training efforts, competitive benefits, as well as engagement, incentive and recognition programs that help our associates see the value in being part of the CCHS Team. In addition, we are in the process of launching a new Career Pathing program to actively encourage long-term mutual career commitments. This includes providing all associates with details on career steps they can take in the company, what options and opportunities currently exist and what training might be needed, among other insights.

Steve Upshaw, CEO, Cross Country Home Services


Meet the new members of our CEO Roundtable


▪ Live-work-play? More employees opt to live closer to workplaces

▪ Some CEOs say they’ve raised wages this year

▪ Here are some issues CEOs hope lawmakers keep top-of-mind this election year

▪ CEOs offer varying opinions on higher education

▪ Local firms are doing their part to be more eco-friendly

▪ CEOs are all smiles thanks to local economic boom

▪ Is work-life balance a myth? CEOs share their thoughts

▪ CEOs help employees stsruggling with long commutes

▪ Despite airline woes, CEOs are not changing traveling habits

▪ CEOs have diverse opinions on Trump’s tariffs and other actions

▪ CEOs feel pressure to keep wages competitive

▪ South Florida CEOs say that Miami can sustain David Beckham’s soccer team

▪ CEOs hope common-sense control on assault rifles happens soon

▪ Will Amazon open HQ2 in Miami? Maybe, maybe not, but city’s profile rises, CEOs say

▪ We have much to learn about public transit from other cities, CEOs say

CEOs: Cuban coffee, flexibility and beach picnics help employees balance job demands

CEOs discuss how to deal with extreme views in the workplace

▪ Extra guards, added security measures protect staff and clients

▪ As automation advances, CEOs say humans are still needed

▪ Holiday parties celebrate employees and the year’s successes

These CEOs have zero tolerance for sexual harassment

Will automation change your job? Yes — and no, CEOs say

▪ How CEOs address hostility in the workplace

▪ Good storm planning can stave off disruptions, CEOs find

Storms highlighted serious local issues, CEOs say

▪ Planning, preparation are keys to disaster recovery, CEOs say

▪ CEOs say students who improve certain skills are better prepared for future jobs

▪ Uncertainty about the Affordable Care Act on the minds of CEOs

▪ In a year of challenges, CEOs took risks, learned and grew

▪ CEOs believe community should be involved in making public schools better

▪ Best bosses we ever had inspired, challenged and cared, say South Florida CEOs

▪ South Florida CEOs try to evaluate the nation’s top CEO: President Trump

▪ CEOs’ advice to college students: Network! Internships! Research!

▪ Affordable housing a cause of concern for CEOs

▪ Communication, cool heads key to avoiding public relations nightmares

▪ Meet the new Miami Herald CEO Roundtable

▪ Ahh, the first job. CEOs learned valuable lessons on the bottom rung

▪ It’s getting harder for employees and CEOs to disconnect while on vacation

▪ Florida’s legislators must act on economy and education, CEOs say

Most CEOs provide paid internships, and everyone benefits

Local firms rich in generational immigrants, CEO say, but deportation efforts worry some

Long hours at the office? CEOs say how they avoid burnout

CEOs prefer balance when dealing with a defiant employee

The most important issue facing South Florida this year? CEOs say it’s traffic

Have you been to Cuba? CEOs discuss business and travel opportunities on the island

CEOs discuss their resolutions for the New Year

CEOs: Trump, ugly politics among the biggest surprises of 2016

CEOs’ top request for Trump’s first 100 days: ‘Unity’

CEOs won’t tolerate ugly comments in the workplace

CEOs assess South Florida’s economy for 2017

Did Obamacare hurt your business? South Florida CEOs respond