Revolving Door No More: Retain Great Employees

Deanna Rubano

May 15, 2017

Hiring great employees is key for all businesses, but for small businesses, which tend to have leaner teams, getting the right people in the right seats is especially critical. Equally important is taking steps to retain great employees to reduce the high costs and lost productivity associated with staff turnover.

Having a formal employee retention plan will help to minimize the risk of losing valuable team members. Use the following tactics to create a winning retention strategy and to stop that revolving employee door once and for all.

Engage employees in your business’s mission 
Beyond any financial compensation, a key driver of employee loyalty is feeling connected to a larger purpose and the mission of the business they work for. Reinforce your company’s mission frequently and use it to show how employee contributions are making a difference.

Create a benefits package that fits your employees’ needs 
Providing health insurance, life insurance and a retirement-savings plan is important for retaining employees. So even if your business is small, consider creative ways to offer these often pricey perks. However, don’t overlook incorporating less costly benefits such as flextime and telecommuting.

Walk the talk when it comes to work-life balance 
Flexible hours, free breakfast in the break room and opportunities to exercise during the work day are just a few ideas for how you can help employees better manage their lives and make it more likely that they will stick around.

Talk about retention with your employees 
Hiring and firing tend to be the only times that employers actually conduct interviews. Consider conducting interviews to ask your best employees why they stay. Use the information you gather to strengthen your employee-retention strategies.

Give current employees a chance to move up 
Nothing is more frustrating and demoralizing for employees than feeling like they have no clear path to advancement. Make sure employees can see an attractive future that includes opportunities to move up within your organization.

Invest in training for your top talent 
Even if your company can’t afford a full tuition reimbursement program, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t offer opportunities for your employees to improve their skills. Set aside some money in your budget for conferences and courses so employees know that you are committed to their professional improvement.

Communicate, communicate, communicate 
Above all else, having regular, quality communication with employees can help keep them working happily for you. Like any other relationship, communication will help to head off serious issues, so make sure you have an open door policy for employees to discuss their thoughts and concerns. In addition, encourage the sharing of ideas and, most importantly, successes among your team.

Offer vacation time, minus the guilt 
There’s really no benefit to having vacation time if you can’t actually a) use it or b) enjoy it because you’re being barraged with questions or given a guilt trip for leaving the office. Creating a work culture that encourages time off will not only make your employees more productive, it will also make them more likely to stay.

Retaining top talent can be challenging for small businesses. Implementing the tips above will go a long way in retaining high quality staff.

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