One of the key challenges facing small businesses as they grow is retaining quality staff. If you’re an entrepreneur, then I’m sure you agree it can be tough retaining your employees.
Where progressions can be limited, small businesses can find it hard to retain highly skilled and motivated staff. Inevitably, as people develop their skills, they may look to further their career by moving to pastures new.
10 Awesome Tips For Retaining Your Employees
You can’t chain your best staff to their desks, but there are some positive steps you can take to ensure that you lessen your company’s chance of losing your best employees.
1. Encourage growth and learning outside of their day to day role
It’s very easy for anyone to get bogged down in a role and feel like they are doing the same repetitive task day after day.
Encourage your staff to take up training in fields outside their comfort zone. It’s easier than ever (and cheaper) to set up courses for staff.
For example, Google offer free analytics training, which staff members can do from their desk.
2. Install a sense of ownership
Allow your staff to feel a sense of ownership with their projects. Avoid micro-managing them or nitpicking their work. If they can feel that something is ‘theirs’, it can give them more impetus to make it succeed.
Furthermore, it’s been proven that this approach can be more effective in the long run than, for example, salary rises or other financial incentives.
3. Treat your staff like adults
In today’s modern world, people have so many commitments, whether it’s due to family, friends or work. It’s also, however, easier than ever to work from home or on the move.
With this in mind, you should allow your staff a degree of freedom, where permitted, to work flexible hours or spend time working out of the office if they need to.
You will feel the benefits of a more relaxed and focused workforce in the long run. Be aware, however, that you must try your best to share out privileges such as these among as much of your workforce as you can.
Some departments – such as finance – may not be able to work off site due to security implications, which could cause resentment between departments. Think ahead to how you could prevent such circumstances.
Allowing your staff the flexibility to manage their own timescales could be an important step towards a happier workforce. Yet, you should remember that, as boss, you must set the deadlines and insist that they stick to them.
4. Train your staff
Provide training to your staff so that they can do their job properly.
Knowledgeable and motivated work staff are much more likely to be happy, content and productive in their jobs.
As Richard Branson says:
“Train staff so they can leave, treat them so they don’t.”
5. Allow time for their own ideas
Encourage your team to spend time building and contributing their own ideas. For example they could publish articles on the company blog, championing their opinions on industry matters.
This approach gives your best employees added ownership of projects and, in turn, increases job contentment.
Google have take this to the extreme with their Area 120 Incubator project.
6. Make an office a home
Feeling comfortable in your working environment can magnify productivity. Build a work space to encourage creativity.
Offer a range of home comfort perks. such as free breakfast, breakout areas and thinking spaces. Give your staff time to be themselves.
Having less meetings and more thinking time could be a positive step for everyone, while a happier and more relaxed workforce could pay dividends for your company.
Ensure your staff and their ideas are fully protected with small business insurance.
Knowing your employer will support and back you up in any eventuality can really encourage confidence in your workforce. In turn, this could inspire your team to peruse new, creative and bold ideas, taking your business forward.
Ensure you have a strong liability insurance policy in place to protect your employees and their ideas.
8. Keep them in the loop and motivated
Keep your employees up to date with regular business bulletins and team meetings. It could also really pay to have ‘soft targets’ for team members where a financial target is not applicable.
Provide feedback to staff on their progression with positive actions for them to take if they have failed to reach targets, and offer praise or reward where it’s due.
9. Reward your team
Celebrate the small things. Even allowing staff an extra half hour for lunch breaks on a sunny day or taking them for a coffee for a catch up meeting on Monday (instead of sitting in a stuffy office can go) a long way to making them feel valued.
Think about office perks for raising team morale and spirit. Away days, office entertainment, birthday days off and office drinks, as well as health and gym memberships, are all options here.
Perks like these can be taken for granted by some, but can be truly valued by some of your best team members.
A quick recap on the tips for retaining your employees mentioned above:
- Encourage growth and learning outside of their day to day role
- Install a sense of ownership
- Treat your staff like adults
- Train your staff
- Allow time for their own ideas
- Make an office a home
- Keep them in the loop and motivated
- Reward your team
Ambitious people will, by their very nature, want to achieve and be the very best they can be. Don’t stifle your employees ambition. Nurture it by providing support in the form of some of the tips mentioned above and your business should thrive.