Sometimes it can really feel as if running a small business is a bit like being the captain of a ship. In fact, in both situations, one of the biggest worries you have is that someone will poach your best crew or employees away. A situation which tends to have results that are felt by everyone in the business, and can create broader problems with motivation and productivity as well! Happily, there are tactics you can use to help you keep your best employees 'on board.' Read on to find out what they are.
The most apparent benefit to use when it comes to keeping your workers happy as a small business is a salary. In fact, if you can pay above the average for your field, you will already have a head start when it comes to keeping your best employees.
Thankfully, it's pretty easy to work out what you should be paying, especially if you use a salary comparison site. The reason being this will let you see what the top and bottom end for your field is. Something that means you can immediately align yours with the higher end and have a much better chance of keeping your best employees.
Of course, not every business finds it easy to increase wages without a significant rise in profits. Fortunately, there is still a strategy you can use that can have almost the same effect. It is to buy employee benefits in bulk, and then give your workers access to these. The idea being that they have a monetary value to your workers. Yet don't cost your business much as they appear to be worth.
The great thing about running a benefits program in this way is that there are so many things you can choose from. Such as gym memberships, food delivery boxes, fresh fruits and snacks in the office, and even mind and wellbeing activities like yoga and meditation. In fact, many of these benefits can have an additional positive effect on the health and motivation of your workforce. Which can only help to strengthen your business more, even while ensuring your most valued people do not leave.
Flexible working hours
Another way you can help retain your best employees when running a small business is to promote an excellent work-life balance. That means you acknowledge that work isn't the be-all and end-all of their lives and allow them to live according. Of course, that requires some flexibility on the part of an employer, something that some business owners can feel reluctant to roll out. The feeling being that they will end up losing out on work and productivity by doing so.
However, the opposite is often the case. In fact, by instigating a more flexible work system, you can ensure all the working hours that need to be done, get covered. All while your employees are much happier in their work as well.
Of course, how you implement flexible working hours will need some consideration. After all, not all business can allow people to decide which days and hours that will work.
Happily, there are some useful alternatives like 9/80 work schedules you can try. This being a flexible approach that requires 80 hours of work across 9 days rather than the usual 10 days. Something that enables employees to take an extra day off every two weeks. Undoubtedly, helping to keep them happy and integrated into your business.
It may come as a surprise to a lot of small business owners and managers, but your employees aren't just mindless robots that wait for instruction until they act. In fact, they come readily equipped with their own brain, dreams, and ability to make decisions in life. What this means is that it is essential to give employees responsibility and autonomy in their work. Rather than just micromanaging everything they do.
In fact, by providing your employees with autonomy, you can get much more productivity and commitment out of them. Of course, they will also find their work much more satisfying as well. Something that means they are much less likely to leave for another position, should one become available.
Positive work environment
You may not think that the environment in which your employees work makes a difference to whether they will stay with your business for the long term, but it absolutely does. In fact, when we talk about the environment here, we mean the physical surroundings and buildings, but oh so much more as well. Actually, the environment can be anything from whereabouts your work premises is located, to the culture that you allow to continue during the workday.
For example, when it comes to a decision between cheaper offices near to a landfill site, or more expensive ones in town close to amenities, it may seem like an easy decision to make. After all, the former will; save you lots of money! However, if you are operating in an industry where your employees expect to be in a prime location, shoving next to the smelly rubbish isn't likely the best idea.
Additionally, even if your locale is excellent, you still need to make sure that the inside of your building reflects this. For example, if your offices are dark and dingy, they can quickly become quite a depressing environment to work in. Something that can easily contribute to your losing those employees you would rather keep.
Finally, when we talk about the work environment, don't forget this also relates to the culture of your business as well. A company that is difficult to work is often known as a place with a hostile work environment.
What this means is how you manage your employees is just as important as your office building. To that end, crushing any bullying or cliques behavior is essential as soon as you see it rear its head. Otherwise, you could end up losing the best people for your business because they feel left out. Yet, end up keeping the ones that are doing the most damage because they are the most integrated.
They say sorry is the hardest word, but in a small business, it can actually be 'thank you.' Perhaps it is because it's easy to think that the person completing the task should do so because it's their job. However, when it comes to keeping your employees happy, telling them they are doing things well and thanking them is essential. After all, we all like to know our effort has been appreciated from time to time.
If employees seem to be reluctant to accept gratitude and praise, it may be because they prefer praise in private. Write a thoughtful card, send them an email - there are many ways to praise them that allows them to receive it in a way that feels comfortable.
Additionally, adding a small monetary incentive, or granting time off , to any formal expression of gratitude is a lovely gesture of recognition.
In conclusion, if you want to keep your best employees, there are some specific measures you have to take. The first is that you make sure that pay is as high as possible, enhancing this with additional benefits where you can. Secondly, you must recognize modern employees want to achieve a better work-life balance. To that end, you will need to find some way of making flexible working hours work for your business.
Thirdly, if you want to keep your best workers from abandoning ship, be sure to recognize their autonomy, and try and allow them as much choice and responsibility in their job role as possible. Additionally, do remember that as we spend at least 8 hours a day at work, five days a week, a positive environment is crucial. Both in a physical way, and concerning your workers emotional and psychological well being as well.
Lastly, if you want to avoid your best employees abandoning ship learning to demonstrate appreciation is vital. In fact, a simple 'thank you' could be the quick and easy way to boost employee satisfaction that you have been looking for.
About Money & Mimosas: Money & Mimosas was started as a passion project by Danetha, a former NFL cheerleader turned entrepreneur and financial journalist. After a brunch conversation with girlfriends, Danetha was inspired to launch a blog to explore her journey of becoming rich, sexy and confident.
Want to stay in touch? Join the free Money & Mimosas Insider List.