One of the toughest challenge any owner or manager has is keeping their employees happy and fruitfully employed with their business. Turnover is an even bigger issue for small businesses and startups because the time and money need to hire and train someone leaves no room for the possibility of failure.
Here’s a few helpful tips for getting the right people through the door and keeping them for years to come:
Hire the right person every time.
Getting the perfect hire each time is less out of the small business owner’s realm than that of a large corporate recruiters. Nobody’s pressuring you except you. You can take as much time as you like to interview and reinterview candidates. Bring them in to meet the team, see how everyone reacts. Ask yourself “Do they seem to really gel?” Is the person asking lots of smart questions and showing a genuine interest in what you do? This is tough to determine with just a short 20 minute interview, no matter how many “interview questions” you ask.
Offer above and beyond benefits.
Go above and beyond the typical monetary benefits including dental and medical. Everyone’s offering that stuff in this day and age to be competitive. Offer things like work from home, flexible scheduling, birthdays off, and any other perks you can think of.
Show appreciation often.
If you’ve learned your management style by grinding in the trenches with a boss who rules with an iron fist, showing appreciation probably isn’t on your to-do list as an employer. However, an employee who never gets recognized for doing an extra good job implementing time-saving procedures, or making a big sale that’s going to catapult the company forward, will never be truly happy working for you. Constructive criticism is important too, but you gotta let the love come through also.
Let them do what they’re paid for.
You hired this person to do something specific and if you’re smart, you hired them to do those somethings with limited to no supervision. Being a pain-in-the-butt employer who’s always standing right behind people as they work and constantly interrupting them with changes or telling them you want it done “your way” is a sure way to increase employee turnover.
You’re running a small business and you certainly can’t do it without your employees there to help you. One-man-armies rarely become billionaires without dozens, if not hundreds of people by there side, offering input on all the processes needed for business success. Don’t talk over your people, listen to them and carefully consider everything they say.
Create strong personal connections.
Not everything that takes place between you and your employees needs to be utterly professional. We’re all people and one of the advantages of working in a small business is that employees know they can become more than just “Employee # 10294”. They want to truly like the people they work with, including their boss. Make sure to take time at lunch hours and breaks to get to know your people. Ask them about their families, after-work activities they do, their passions, vacation plans, etc. Going beyond in this respect allows you to forge stronger connections in the long run.
Leave your own employee retention tips in the comments and don’t forget to share this post with others who can benefit!
Main image by TheMuuj