Small-business owners, challenged to locate workers during today’s tight labor market, are emphasizing employee retention. According to a recent National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Small-Business Poll on unemployment compensation, nearly half of all small businesses, 49 percent, experienced no employee turnover during the past 12 months.
Quitting a job is the most frequent reason employees leave a small business, the study determined, yet 59 percent of small employers had no workers voluntarily depart during the same period. Another 13 percent experienced only one willing departure. Over those months, nearly three-fourths, 73 percent, of the small firms fired no one, and 87 percent were not forced to lay anyone off for economic reasons.
That’s really good news for your small business. The talent shortage will only get worse over the next few years as baby boomers make choices about the next steps in their lives. You need to be prepared to continue retaining these employees to ensure your business remains successful. Here are a few things you can do:
- Duplicate success. Figure out what you are doing right to retain that valuable talent. Your best bet is to ask your staff what they like about working in your business and what makes them stay loyal.
- Be flexible. Sure you have a business to run, but baby boomers are looking for work that allows them a bit of a break after the years they have spent working. Think about how you can make your business work by using part time employees or job sharing as a business policy.
- Bridge the workforce generation gap. As you bring younger employees into your business, make sure you focus on helping them learn from the older boomers. There are good opportunities for mentoring and learning here if you do it right. It can only help your business.
- Reengineer and reinvent. Don’t continue to do things the “same old way” just because. Tap into the knowledge of your older workers to find out what could be done better in your business. Then do it.
What do you think? Leave me a comment.