In today’s competitive hiring market, employee retention has become an important issue for all employers. As a small business owner, you are aware that it’s harder than ever to find and keep good people. You also understand that your ability to retain quality workers can make or break your business.
Fortunately, there are many ways to keep your prized employees happily on board. Here are some tips to help improve employee relations and ensure that your company keeps the best of the best:
- Compensate fairly. Money isn’t the only reason people stay, but it does play a significant role in job satisfaction. You must offer your employees a competitive salary and honor their service and tenure with raises, bonuses, and other monetary rewards. Fair pay shows that you respect them. In addition, offer a good benefits package, which can induce employees to stay committed to your business.
- Be open to their ideas. In a high-performance workplace, some of the best ideas come from the employees themselves. Make sure to keep the lines of communication open. Good leaders listen to their employees and treat them as valuable team members.
- Treat people as equals. If you really want employees to feel a sense of loyalty and commitment, treat them as partners, not hired hands. Give your employees a sense of ownership, and keep them engaged.
- Provide growth opportunities. It’s estimated that 50 percent of an employee’s skill set becomes outdated in just two years, so make sure you provide your staff with opportunities for personal and professional growth. Allow your employees to take classes and attend professional development seminars. Challenge them with new responsibilities that help them acquire new skills.
- Say thanks. Just taking the time to say “thank you” is a simple yet effective way to show employees that they’re valued and appreciated.
- Make time. Make an effort to spend one-on-one time with individual employees. Take them to lunch. Show each person that you’re personally committed to keeping and growing his or her talent by inquiring what other positions the employee might be interested in as their career develops.
- Be flexible. It’s important to help each employee achieve a balance between their work life and personal life. Allow them to attend their children’s activities or tend to sick relatives when necessary.
- Encourage creativity. Employees need to enjoy the work they do, and you need to provide a creative and challenging work environment, or all the other great things the company does won’t matter. If you micromanage and stifle creativity, don’t expect to keep good people.
- Keep them healthy and happy. Encourage good health and wellness of body, mind, and spirit. You can be creative. Bring in a yoga instructor for morning meditation, or give gift certificates for massages. Allow for restful breaks. Learn about your employee’s outside interests. Feed their minds with books, magazine subscriptions, and concert or theater tickets.
- Lead with the heart. Win your employees over. Excellence is impossible without their affection and respect. Whether it’s through sharing a compelling vision with them, paying attention to work/life balance, or simply providing a positive, uplifting work environment, if you want to keep great employees, find some way to tap into their hearts. The positive word-of-mouth about your company’s culture will go a long way in both retaining good workers and attracting new ones.