According to a recent MetLife study, while small businesses are quite optimistic with the general economy employee retention may be the next hurdle to overcome. It’s not enough to make your customers happy so that they will come back to be patrons of your business. Another important factor to consider is how to retain your employees.
Think back to when you were an employee yourself. What were the factors that made you stay with a company for years? Was it really just because of the salary? Let’s face it, other businesses (other companies who want to “pirate” your star employee) can offer more competitive salaries to the best employees out there.
So if you can’t attract and retain your employees with that almighty buck, what can you do to prevent them from walking out your door? Here are a few ideas:
1. Review your total compensation package that you currently offer your employees. It’s not just the basic salary that your employees are after. What other benefits can you make available which would endear you to them? It could be provision for better work/life balance by offering flexible work schedules, additional leaves, employee counseling, employee career milestone recognitions, redundancy packages and yes, even something basic such as a car parking space.
If you don’t have any idea what would click, ask around. Make a poll of what your employees need from your company. You can even ask them during your annual meetings or team buildings. It is as important for you to listen and act on the needs of your employees as it with your customers.
2. Do a self-assessment on what kind of boss you are. Working for a difficult boss isn’t a challenge; it’s a lack of options. Make sure that you treat all your employees with the respect that they each deserve. Even if you do sign your employees’ paychecks, it doesn’t mean that you own them. Don’t make the mistake of being a jerk of a boss because it’s going to backfire on you when your star employees leave you on your devices.
3. Offer programs that are targeted to develop the skills of your employees. You might think that you simply don’t have enough resources to put your employees to more training but when you think about it, it really is a win-win for both you and your employee. How? Simply because your company could benefit more if your employees are trained in more than one area of your business and on the part of your employee, they would have the confidence to do their job the best way they know how. Plus the fact that what they would learn would be intangible, additional knowledge.
Nobody can ever predict whether your employees will stay with you or not even after you bust your chops to try to keep them happy, healthy and financially stable. But you do have to realize that more often than not, your employees have their own goals in life and in their careers.
Once they see a clear path that the company’s goals and their own goals are aligned, plus the fact that you’re not such a horrible boss, you shouldn’t be worried about employee retention at all.