Small businesses cannot expect to grow if they do not find ways to keep their best and brightest employees for as long as possible. Employee retention, especially for startups, is one of the main hurdles that you need to overcome if you want to generate consistency and turn this consistency into something that helps your company take the next step.
With the uncertainty surrounding startups, it’s difficult to keep staff engaged. Unless they commit fully to your Vision and understand what you want, they may look to get out as soon as they can if things don’t go the way they expected. So how do you keep your best staff around? Consider these secrets to employee retention.
Make Work Fun
Every manager wants to make work as fun as possible without turning the whole office into a circus. A breezy, casual atmosphere that still manages to get the work done will help make your office an enjoyable place to be. You can achieve this by hiring people who fit the bill and are like-minded enough to bounce off of one another personality-wise. You can also consider how an attractive office or store goes a long way. The better the office looks, with bright colors, natural light, and even a break room that doesn’t feel like a prison cell, the more enjoyable it will be for your staff to come into work.
Make Work Straightforward
While your job should challenge you, it shouldn’t be so complicated that you become frustrated, even when attempting the simplest tasks. Managers who embrace the benefits of technology, whether this is automation to eliminate their tedious tasks that take up too much time or a dependable intranet service like Collaborative Solutions. However you choose to make the work straightforward, your staff will thank you for simplifying their workday. This will result in better efficiency and increased productivity, which enables everyone to move from one project to another quickly.
Give Them Room to Grow
One of the most exciting elements of startups is how there is the potential to become something more than a small business operating out of a co-working space. As long as you’re able to get past the first year or two, you can focus on how your business will grow. This could involve diversifying your product or service, or it could involve increasing the team so you can take on more projects without spreading yourself too thin. For those who have been there from the beginning, you can keep them happy by offering room to grow. As they understand how the business works, they are well-equipped to take on more senior roles once others come in. This could involve supervising or training new staff.
Remember They Are Human
Managers that remember their staff are human are one of the most important ways of ensuring employee retention and building your business the right way. Make sure you don’t make the same mistakes of corporations of the past that worked their staff to the bone and cause all manner of issues for them. Instead, you need to take their life into account. While you’d like them to give the business their all, you should also realize that not everyone is as dedicated to working hard as you are, and that’s okay. The more understanding you are about them needing time off to move house or go to the dentist, or work from home the better. Just don’t let them take advantage of this, and make sure they still complete their work.
Have a Plan For the Future
All businesses need a plan for the future. Otherwise, you aren’t going to see the progress that you’ve always wanted to. A plan is also important for employee retention. Without it, your staff will struggle to understand your vision. This can cause numerous problems and feel like you don’t have any focus. Your five-year plan (at least) should outline where you want to be and how you are going to get there. When your staff enquires about it, you’ll have something to show them, and this will also help you measure your success against your expectations.
Share Your Vision
Manager transparency is always vital for keeping employees confident and comfortable in your business, and the more transparent you are, the better your relationship will be with each member of your team. Of course, there are some things that you should not tell them about, but in general, you shouldn’t hide anything important from them. If they are performing below expectations, tell them about it. If they have performed above expectations, tell them about that, too. The more you cultivate a culture of transparency, the more successful your company will be, as it won’t leave anybody second-guessing themselves.
Speak with Respect
Large businesses with hundreds, if not thousands of employees rarely get the chance to show respect for their staff. This isn’t necessarily you because they don’t care, but rather that there is so much going on that it would be almost impossible to cater to everyone’s needs. This is where small businesses like yours have the edge. You get the opportunity to show respect to your staff by speaking to them with respect. You can ask for their opinions in meetings; you can spark to them in private if they aren’t up to scratch instead of scolding them in front of everybody. The more you treat others with respect, the more likely they will be to stay.
Listen to Them
Along the same lines, you should also listen to 6our staff when they have something to say. But, it’s not enough to merely act like you’re listening. You need to show it. When you’re in charge, your perspective can still become clouded with all your other responsibilities. Your team may have the answer to problems as they can see it from a different angle. So, if your team offers a solution to a problem, don’t hesitate to consider their input and think about how it could benefit your business.
Offer Suitable Benefits
Benefits are a key motivator, but you need to think about benefits for the modern employee. Nowadays, staff don’t always want discounts at local stores or bonuses (although they won’t turn them down). Instead, they want perks that will reflect their needs and lifestyle. If you can offer specific benefits that keep them happy, such as flexible working hours or retirement fund matching programs, you’ll find that your staff is happier and more motivated to work hard every day. They may also look for days off and a no-questions-asked approach should they request time off, as this will keep their job and personal life separate.
Accept That Turnover Happens
While you can do everything possible to retain your best employees, you should still accept that turnover happens. There will come the point where your staff feels it’s time to move on, and while it will sting, you should welcome it and wish them all the best. If anything, this turnover gives other employees the chance to fill the gap and impress. This ensures a consistent cycle of excellence in your company where everyone is prepared to handle more senior duties when they get the chance.
Building an Empire
Okay, so you might not build an empire (at least now yet). But, by understanding how to improve employee retention, you can avoid all of the uncertainty that comes with running a fledgling business. Whether you strive to make the workplace a fun (but not too fun) place to be, or you provide benefits to entice the best talent around, you can enjoy consistency in your team and mold a team that is ready to take on the world.