From the Influencers

Small Business Guide to Retaining Employees

April 28, 2016

Employee retention can often be a serious issue for smaller businesses that don’t have the time and manpower needed to conduct frequent hiring processes. New startups and smaller organizations are also more likely to lack the budget and financial resources required to provide the most competitive salaries and generous benefits packages. Ensuring that new-hires are the best possible fit, addressing the needs and concerns of staff in a timely fashion and offering even small perks, can all go a long way towards ensuring employees are more willing to stick with a company.

Providing the Right Benefits Package

Benefits and salaries can become a major expense for small businesses, but they can also be crucial for reducing turnover and improving morale. In addition to offering the best insurance packages and policies that can fit within a budget, businesses may also benefit by offering flextime schedules or allowing employees to telecommute. Benefits that allow employees to enjoy more work-life balance can often be arranged at no financial cost to a business and can make a world of difference in terms of ensuring employee satisfaction. Low-cost benefits and scheduling programs that allow employees to craft a more agreeable work schedule often prove to be very effective resources for improving retention.

Inviting Employees to Take a More Active Role in Creating Their Environment

Soliciting employee feedback when implementing or improving day to day operational processes or allowing employees to take a more active role in making any decisions that shape the workplace can be very helpful. Employees who have only a passive role in the creation of their environment are less likely to feel involved with the company on an emotional level. Inviting worker participation and encouraging workers to become more involved in their environment and atmosphere may allow them to feel more invested in the business.

Small Perks Make a Big Difference

Free catering, employee discounts at local businesses and services that can be provided to employees free of cost can count for a lot. Even something as small as stocking the breakroom with snacks or providing free lunches on certain days can do wonders to improve morale. Businesses that go out of their way to make sure their staff feels appreciated may be able to reduce turnover rates and ensure that staff are eager to stay with the company for longer periods of time. Perks that may have only a small impact on overhead spending can often pay for themselves by allowing businesses to maintain their staff for as long as possible.

Promoting From Within and Encouraging Employee Development

Jobs and positions that do not provide room for advancement can be very unattractive. Promoting from within the company is one of many HR solutions that may encourage employees to put forth their best efforts. This strategy may also ensure that businesses can more easily attract and acquire employees that are both dedicated and well motivated. Even the most generous pay scale may not be enough to retain employees whose career aspirations would be better met by seeking a position elsewhere.

HR Solutions for Hiring and Retaining the Best Staff

Lastly, ensuring new employees are the right fit for the company is perhaps the single most important way to improve retention. Interviewers who discuss the company's vision or mission statement with applicants and those who assess the long-term career plans and situation of a potential employee may be better able to identify candidates who will be more likely to stick with the company well into the future. Businesses that seek out the right type of employees may find that other efforts, such as perks, benefits packages and promoting from within the company, are able to be as effective as possible.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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