It’s no secret that it costs a lot more money to hire new employees than to retain current ones. This is especially true in small businesses. Turnover rates are at an all-time high and “job-hopping” has become the new norm.
What can you do to recruit, and more importantly, retain great employees? Here are five tried and true tactics that can net you the best talent and incentivize them to stay.
1. Invest in training and education.
Once you hire someone with the right skills for the job, you goal should be to improve those skills on an ongoing basis. Whether you do the training yourself or pay for online training services such as Lynda.com, create out a corporate education program and stress its importance to your employees. This is a win-win for you as a business owner and the employee as well. The employee receives training that will make him or her more valuable in the workforce and your business will see increased productivity which will lead to an increase in revenue.
2. Institute a clear career growth plan.
Mapping out a career growth plan for each employee goes hand-in-hand with training and education. Communicate to your employees that if they do well with their ongoing training, a promotion is certainly in their future. This shows your team that you believe in them enough to invest in them and that their hard work is going to be rewarded. Be honest and realistic with your employees regarding expectations and time-frames for promotions and raises. When your staff has clear goals, the education and tools they need to reach those goals, and a boss or business owner that is supporting them each step of the way, not only are they going to stay, but they are going to thrive. And so will your small business.
3. Provide office “perks.”
It’s the little things that count. People love freebies. Some companies are now keeping their kitchens and refrigerators stocked with healthy snacks for their employees, free of charge. If you can’t quite afford to do that, consider something as simple as providing pizza for lunch on Fridays (or Mondays, when people need more motivation). You could also offer free gym memberships, commuter benefits or weekly company-sponsored happy hours. Your staff will not only appreciate it but will be less likely to jump ship to another company that doesn’t offer the same types of perks.
4. Offer some type of flexibility.
This tip is huge when it comes to employee retention and loyalty. We all lead crazy and sometimes overly stressed lives. People shouldn’t have to worry about losing their jobs because a child is sick or the train was late or traffic was horrendous. If at all possible, offer a certain number of paid time off days for your employees to use any way they want. If the job allows for it, let your employees work from home occasionally or more often if they have extremely long commutes. You can also allow for flex time, where your staff can set different work hours that are most convenient to them. Of course, you’ll need to make sure this policy is not abused. Productivity is key. Communicate clearly that this perk is based on performance. If the work is not getting done by a certain employee, then this privilege will not longer be available to them.
5. Develop a referral program
Once you’ve implemented the previous steps, your employees are going to love working for you, and that makes them your best recruitment tool. Offer a referral bonus to your staff when they bring in highly qualified talent. This bonus can be in the form of cash or an extra week’s worth of vacation. Encourage your employees to share job postings and openings with their social media channels. This is the best way to grow your staff. And with all the added productivity of your very happy team, your business is going to grow, and you will need more employees.
You’ve heard the saying, “happy wife, happy life.” The same is true in business. Happy employees equate to a happy and healthy company, which leads to an even healthier bottom line. Recruit great people, invest in them, treat them well, and your business will find itself in a permanent state of bliss.
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