Small Business 101: How to Retain Employees

businesswoman loves her job how to retain employees

Creating the best, most innovative technology or offering the highest quality product or service is only part one of building a successful business. Part two is finding the human capital and forming the team that will drive your organization forward. According to a 2013 survey conducted by executive consultancy group Gap International, nearly 85% of C-suite personnel agreed that maximizing and cultivating a company’s talent was pertinent to ongoing success. No matter their industry or size, businesses must be able to find and keep their high-preforming employees in order to create and sustain something meaningful. But that task is easier said than done.

The Bureau of Labor of Labor Statistics reported total job openings of 5.8 million as of April 2016, meaning the employment prospects for top talent are incredibly optimistic. Organizations who understand that talented employees have options in the current job market are investing time, effort and almighty capital in order to find and retain top talent each and every day. Here is  our list of five tips on how to retain employees.

How to retain employees:

Cultivate managers as coaches

There is a prevailing theory in Human Resources departments around the globe that employees do not leave jobs, they leave managers. Retaining top talent starts with the management team and their commitment to work with employees as coaches rather than treat them as underlings. Investing in management development training—programs that shift leadership roles away from rigid tactics and move toward more collaborative, nurturing and empowering methods—is imperative to maintaining a level of comfort and loyalty among your most valuable employees. When people feel a strong affinity for the work they do under the direction of a nurturing coach or leader, it is less likely they will be on the hunt for a different opportunity.

Take a look at company benefits

To effectively find and retain top talent, companies need to be competitive in the benefits they offer to employees. Compensation moves far beyond an hourly wage or an annual salary; additional, sometimes creative perks are needed to attract highly talented individuals to your company and keep them showing up each day. Company benefits don’t need to be lavish or complex to make a difference in finding and retaining top talent, however. A few low-cost, high-impact incentives include:

  • Increasing paid time off
  • Offering health and financial wellness programs
  • Allowing for flexible work schedules or remote work
  • Providing creature comforts (snacks, free meals, happy hours etc. in office)
  • Partnering with local business to offer discounts on activities or memberships

Company benefits above and beyond traditional compensation create a culture where employees feel valued and appreciated, ultimately leading to more content, productive talent within the organization.

Create opportunities for growth

Many employees who opt to leave an employer feel that they are unable to advance in their position. Organizations that create opportunities for growth have a better chance of attracting top talent and subsequently keeping them on the roster. During the hiring process, speak openly with prospective employees about what they seek in terms of development and growth. As top talent joins the team, create development programs geared toward career advancement or leadership training. Top talent may also respond well to tuition assistance incentives or the ability to take part in passion projects within or outside of the company. Maintaining a culture wherein your company’s talent feels encouraged and able to develop on a professional level is an important aspect of recruitment and retention.

Implement the right business tools

The operational capabilities of your company are strongly tied to its ability to find and retain top talent. Integrating the right business tools, whether it be in the realm of technology, sales, marketing or communication, affords employees the opportunity to do their work efficiently. Outdated processes or clunky internal systems quickly lead to frustration among highly-talented employees. Without the best-suited business tools in place, your talented team members may be on their way out the door in a hurry.

Treat talent as a valuable asset

As with any investment, top talent should be treated as an asset to the company, not a burden or an afterthought. Consider creating and implementing rewards programs that recognize meaningful contributions from the company’s employees to show appreciation for those who deserve it. Ask for input on current projects or processes so your employees feel that their opinions are valued. Create a culture of recognition and praise to keep top talent engaged with the work they perform and the company as a whole.

Retaining top talent is a crucial factor in a company’s success, but the influx of new businesses and available positions for highly talented individuals makes the process a challenge for some. To ensure your company is attracting and satisfying the right people for the job, focus on creating a culture that infuses each of the strategies above into both the hiring process and ongoing interaction with top talent.

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