How Your Small Business Can Retain Top Tier Talent
One of the biggest problems faced by small business owners, on par with lack of small business loans and competition from major corporations, is the retention of their best employees. The reasons for this are manifold; many small businesses are simply unable to outbid more established businesses as they come calling looking to draw away the hardest working and most effective members of a team. A small business is only as good as its employees, so in order to make sure that your business is functioning at its maximum output and continues to do so down the road, it is imperative that you be able to foster a deep bond with the people who work for you and make them feel invested in the success of your company. Some ways that small businesses can sweeten the pot for their workers are by exploiting the unique benefits granted by a smaller size. The allocation of responsibility in a smaller business is much more fluid, meaning that you can more effectively tailor your employees experience in ways that can benefit their life outside of work.
Give your best workers flexible work options. By allowing your employees to work from home from time to time, or take an important weekend off, you let them know that they are valuable to you and that you trust them to get their jobs done. This sends a powerful message to them, and should also be a factor when other businesses make their pitches. A bond of trust is much harder to break than a solely economic relationship, and your employee will certainly consider the relative freedom that you have granted them when considering another position.
Create milestones for rewarding your employees. Small business owners will notice that their best workers want more to do as a a rule, and not less. If you can keep them engaged and doing important work for the company, they will feel more invested and your business will prosper. Set milestones that trigger rewards for your employees in order to reward them for their hard work. For example, after a certain key task or milestone is completed, you can give your employee a few extra days of vacation, or a cash bonus, anything that you feel is appropriate to let them know that their hard work is valued.
Create long term strategies for employee retention. Long term strategies include making plans for promotions, increasing responsibility and ultimately increasing either pay or benefits. One of the biggest mistakes a business owner can make is refusing to appropriately reward a real asset to their business. While it can hurt to increase a salary, other options include allowing more vacation days or a better insurance package. The cost of rewarding an employee is never as bad as the cost of replacing one that has been pulling a lot of weight. The ROI from your best workers is worth upping the ante to keep them. Ultimately, the longer your employee works for you and the more involved they become in the business the easier it should be to keep them. Company bonding exercises, trips and unique flexibility should do a lot to integrate your employees lifestyle with the workplace that you manage.
Most importantly, allow key employees to take pride in their work!
Photo Credit to Texas State Archives on Flickr