Finding and hiring great people has always been a challenge. In today’s highly competitive environment, it’s an even bigger one. Once you hire a great staff member, the threat of losing them looms.
Small businesses are always up against the big guys, who can often offer better benefits or perks to retain top performers. Having to hire and train over and over again sends your costs soaring. But there’s no way around it: as part of your business strategic plan, you need great people to effectively grow your small businesses.
The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and New York Times all ran articles in the same week highlighting the problem of staff retention in their small business sections.
Here are some of their staff retention strategies:
- Offer perks to make it fun to work at a small business
- If possible, offer benefits and salaries that are in line with other bigger firms
- Provide bonus plans that let employees participate in corporate profits if organizational targets are met
- Participate in building a clear career path for your employees by finding out where they want to go and helping them get there
- Titles matter: acknowledge people for their contributions
- Offer longer-term retention incentives that have, for example, a three year time horizon
- Pre-empt people sniffing out greener pastures by giving star staff raises before they start looking for a better paying job
We at Silver+Goren can add a few things to that list. As small business accountants, here are some staff retention strategies that we’ve seen work for businesses:
- Create a positive workplace that keeps acknowledging employee accomplishments, contributions and needs
- Small business owners interact with employees every day. That makes it easier to be interested in their lives both in and outside of the job—creating strong connections with your people
- Show your employees you care about their efforts by saying thank you publicly or sending a handwritten note
- Instead of relying on money as a motivator, use cheaper but creative perks. It can be as simple as extra time off or providing them with a weekend getaway
Use any or all of the above staff retention ideas, or create your own. It doesn’t matter what you choose, as long as you have something in your business strategy to retain key employees.
Without obtaining and retaining star players, it will be impossible for you to effectively perform your business operations management and develop and grow your business.