Work hard to retain your prized workers

If you’re in charge of a smaller enterprise, you probably have a very limited workforce, as it can be difficult to amass the budget required to hire scores of new employees. The key to managing your small business is accomplishing more with less, and sometimes you have to make do with 10 members of your team when you’d really rather have 20.

That being the case, it can be very difficult to cope when one of your top contributors leaves to pursue a new job opportunity. The smaller your team, the more you rely on each individual, and losing one of your best ones can sting.

According to the American Association of Retired Persons, losing workers can be costly in a financial sense, too. When an employee quits, there are a multitude of turnover-related costs to address, including recruiting a replacement, training the new worker and helping them acquire advanced technical skills when necessary. The AARP report said that replacing an experienced worker can cost 50 percent or more of that individual’s annual salary.

“Because of the expense and impact on the bottom line, employers should carefully consider all costs associated with employee turnover and develop a retention strategy for current and future talent management needs – in particular, to help the company stay competitive with the potential loss of experienced employees,” the AARP said in a statement.

It’s all about being proactive with your strong employees. If you have an especially talented worker on your team, take steps to make sure they’re satisfied in their current position, not itching to leave.

Here are a few strategies that can help.

Make the right hires
The Wall Street Journal notes that the simplest way to improve employee retention is just to hire the right people to begin with. When recruiting potential new hires, keep an eye out for warning signs that a worker might flee. Is the applicant overqualified? Does he or she have doubts about the line of work or the specific role? Are there personality issues that might lead to workplace friction? By sniffing these problems out ahead of time, you can steer clear of turnover issues later.

Strengthen salaries and benefits
Most people who leave their jobs do so for fairly obvious reasons. If they can leave their current companies for big raises elsewhere, they’re probably going to. To keep your workers in the fold, make sure your salaries and benefits are competitive with other companies in your industry. This way, employees will be far less tempted to look elsewhere.

Pay attention to personal needs
Workers tend to feel neglected when their supervisors look only at their teams in a general sense, failing to examine their specific personal needs. Pay close attention to each individual worker. If one appears overworked, confused or depressed, it’s your responsibility as a manager to address the problem. If you don’t, you risk watching your employee go somewhere else where they’ll be more appreciated.

Emphasize engagement
You need to be creative in order to make sure your employees are engaged at work. This means communicating well by talking to them regularly about their progress and sending them words of encouragement, and it might also mean planning some social events around the office. A small party every now and then helps your workers feel happier about coming into the office each day.

Promote long-term growth
In the long run, what your employees want is long-term career development. Find out what your workers’ big-picture goals are, and think about how you can help them work toward those goals. You want to be known as someone who respects and nurtures talent, not exploits it. Improving in this area will make you a boss that people love working for.

Keeping your best employees is never easy, but it can be done. How do you pull it off?


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