Did you know the cost to replace an employee can be thousands of dollars? If you don’t want to spend that kind of money – and who does? – it’s key to keep the employees you already have.
While some turnover is expected, taking action now will go a long way toward keeping your company stable. Ask yourself these four questions to help formulate an employee retention strategy.
Am I Paying My Employees Enough?
No matter what kind of employee you’re working with, salary will always be a factor in how long they stay with you.
Jason Lemkin, a managing partner of Storm Ventures and Inc. contributor, warns that once a worker has an offer from another firm, it’s usually too late for you to attempt to counter and keep them.
That’s why it’s essential that you research your industry and weigh how much you can afford to pay someone. If you can’t beat larger companies in the area, consider other perks you can throw in to sweeten the deal. Most employees look for the following basic benefits:
- • Good health insurance
- • Paid time off and paid holidays
- • Retirement savings options
In addition, perks like flexible hours and the option to work remotely are becoming commonplace.
Am I Communicating With My Current Employees?
To keep a good worker, you need to touch base with them often and in person.
Elena Bajic of Ivy Exec. told Forbes about a good team member who left her company to pursue opportunities in human resources and recruitment. While preventing employees from leaving your business to switch industries might be difficult, the issue in this situation is that Ivy Exec. had similar in-house opportunities that the employee could have taken advantage of.
If the associate and their supervisors had more frank discussions about career paths and where the worker saw their professional life going, Ivy Exec. could have kept a good employee.
Ask your team members regularly about where they see their career going, and if they’re interested in different areas of your business, consider switching their responsibilities.
Regular communication also includes giving consistent feedback. Don’t make an employee wait for their yearly review to hear how they’re doing – tell them frequently. If an employee comes to your office for a review and is unprepared for how it’s going to go, you’re probably not communicating clearly.
Am I Providing Enough Training?
One reason your employees might leave your company is that they don’t feel prepared enough to excel in their position.
You should have a good training plan in place for new hires, while also continuing to give more tenured staff opportunities for continuous training. This could be a course in how to work with a new system you’re implementing or a demonstration of a new product offering.
If your team includes professional staff as opposed to a retail team, consider having room in your budget for offsite continuous training, such as conferences or refresher courses. Not only will it develop your staff in their own careers, but they could bring back new and exciting ideas to help your business.
When you give your staff the opportunity to keep learning – especially about things they express interest in – you’re showing that you care about them and want them to grow.
Do I Acknowledge Good Work?
Every business goes through busy periods where success means a lot of hours and work. During and after such times, you should make a big effort to recognize your staff so they feel appreciated for all they do.
Amber Thomas of Select International says specific recognition goes a long way toward keeping employees satisfied, especially if cash bonuses are out of your budget. Undervalued employees tend to keep their eyes open for other opportunities, and it might take less of an incentive for them to abandon ship for another job.
Keep an eye out, too, for employees who don’t just meet their goals, but exceed them. High-achieving employees who consistently set new standards may feel bored or underappreciated if their contributions go unnoticed.
Give these employees kudos and consider having a discussion with them to see if there are other projects they’d like to take on. You’ll get more work done for your business and keep your employees happier, too. After all, studies show that what makes people feel the most satisfied at work isn’t pay – it’s autonomy.
Tips for Small-Business Owners
If you can keep good employees, you stand a better chance of building a staff you can rely on as your enterprise grows. Before implementing major employee changes, consider consulting a professional business adviser.
Do you have the right financial tools to keep your small business humming along? Minster Bank offers small business banking services such as:
• Business Checking
• Business Online Banking
• Payroll Solutions
• And More
This blog was originally posted on Aug. 20, 2019, and was revised on Oct. 22, 2021.