Unexpected Capabilities. Unmatched Service.

7 Small Business Employee Retention Tips

Keeping people happy is a talent – and at the small business level, where employee retention is maddeningly difficult, it’s an essential one.

Hiring is a complicated matter for small companies. When your business already has 10,000 employees, adding another person is not a big deal. But when your business is just you, even hiring your first employee is a measured matter that forces you to evaluate your entire operations. And once you do take the plunge, limited resources are among the difficulties you might have in attracting talent.

Unfortunately, the challenges don’t end once you’ve successfully brought new people on board.

Now, you have to hang on to them.

Employee retention is no minor task for businesses of any size, but small businesses in particular struggle to keep talent because they struggle to match similar larger businesses in the salary department. Turnover is costly, too.

To improve your chances of hanging on to employees, you can provide workers with a number of benefits – some very tangible, others less so – that will help both retain current personnel and attract new talent. Your ability to implement certain retention methods will depend on your financial situation, so this list includes tips for loaded and light pockets alike.

7 Employee Retention Tips

1. Direct compensation that grows as you do: It may be difficult to offer a competitive salary up front because of all the financial question marks of operating a small business. Overstretching to pay one of your first few employees can be a gamble. However, for many positions, sales commissions and goal-based bonuses are a way to properly compensate strong talent without breaking the bank. By offering these kinds of direct compensation, their rewards will grow as they help grow the company.

2. Indirect compensation: While benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans and paid time off are viewed as secondary to salary, that doesn’t mean they’re not important. Health insurance especially is an important factor in financial stability, and it’s growing in value to workers as many companies increasingly hire workers on a (benefit-free) contract or freelance basis.

3. Work flexibility: One perk that the digitized world has made it increasingly easy to offer is work flexibility. If your business is at all suited to allowing employees to work from home a day or two each week, let them. This puts a little more money in your workers’ pockets in the form of gas/toll/parking/public transportation savings, not to mention it puts fewer miles on their car and saves them a couple hours each week. Speaking of which, where you’re able to, throw out the strict 9-to-5 schedule. Allowing workers to be more flexible – showing up a couple hours early and leaving a couple hours late, or being able to take longer breaks midday to run important errands – not only is a valuable perk, but it demonstrates trust in your employees. Best of all, schedule flexibility costs you absolutely nothing.

4. Recognize accomplishments: If an employee goes above and beyond to close or sale or develop a new product that will make an impact in the business, don’t let that achievement go unnoticed. Make sure your employees know you value their extra efforts, and also make sure that you tell the rest of your workforce about these great feats. This not only makes the excellent employee feel appreciated, but it reinforces the idea to other workers that their accomplishments will be celebrated, too.

5. Develop your talent: This tip is every bit as good for your business as it is for your employees. Some workers might have already determined that your company won’t be their life-long employer but they’re happy to stick around as long as they’re actually developing in a meaningful way. If an employee thinks they’ve learned all they can learn just three or four months into the job, you might be looking for a replacement much quicker than you had hoped. Provide meaningful development to your employees through both on-the-job education as well as chances to prove themselves and expand their responsibilities.

6. Promote your talent: This isn’t always a practical method – if your first worker is a salesperson, and your next hire is for a chief financial officer, you might not be able to reward your worker with a snazzy new title and responsibilities. And in some cases, employees simply might not have the experience or even the ability to fill new shoes. But when they can, do. When you promote internal talent, you obviously not only give that quality employee a reason to stick around, but you show other workers that the ceiling within your company is high.

7. Listen: Many employees feel like just a cog in the machine. They punch in, do their tasks and punch out. They know they contribute in some way, but they feel like an interchangeable part with no real say in the company’s direction. Change that. Keep an open-door policy with your employees, and on occasion even reach out to ask their opinions. Not only does that help them feel like more than a 9-to-5er, but you may come across some brilliant ideas and discover that some employees have even more to offer than you thought.

McManamon & Co. knows a thing or two about hiring and hanging on to top talent – including all the financial considerations that go into keeping employees happy. So if you’re trying to build a top-tier workforce, reach out. We offer a wide range of consulting services for numerous business issues, including recruiting and employee retention.

Businesses live and die by their personnel. Make sure you have the tools to attract the right people. Call McManamon & Co. at 440.892.9088 or contact us online.

Tags:  , , , | Posted in McManamon & Co., small business