It may not be easy, but it is worth it. Great companies benefit in numerous ways - many that cannot be quantified. But the bottom line figures speak for themselves.
Even when you are an employer of choice, there will be difficult times: you will be prone to the same vagaries of the market as every other company. But do expect your people to pull out all the stops to give the company the best possible chance, and to stay loyal through the toughest of times. Care for them well at all times and they will return the favour tenfold.