Staying competitive: 4 ways SMEs can keep employees

Business / Monday, November 19th, 2018

For small businesses, the fear of losing employees is immense. Particularly when you operate in an industry which is occupied by large multi-nationals who have vast budgets to throw at new recruits, the thought of losing any worker that you already have, and have brought up to speed, is daunting to say the least.

Let’s not forget that the cost of hiring someone else isn’t as straightforward as the job boards might make out. As a business, you are responsible for paying for a whole host of other costs, while the “downtime” while you operate a man down is sure to impact your organization as well.

As such, employee retention is a crucial cog in your operation. Through today’s post, we will now take a look at some of the methods you can adopt in a bid to keep your important employees (without offering them huge golden handcuffs contracts).

Be personal

It sounds incredibly simple, but some employees just want the personal touch. They want to feel as though their employer treats them as a human, not as a figure, and this is something that can work to a huge advantage of a small business. While large corporations will go through staff like there is no tomorrow, smaller businesses have the opportunity to be personal with each of their workers.

How can you do this? Simply finding out about their life, if there is anything on their mind and even including them in future plans for the business can go a long way in helping you achieve this.

Operate a rewards scheme

Some companies operate an ‘Employee of the Month’ scheme, or something of a similar ilk. This usually involves handing out a trophy to an employee every month, based on set performance criteria.

It’s something that not only motivates employees to perform better, but in small businesses where these rewards are more likely it can also act as another reason to stay put.

The flexibility-factor

For some employees, it’s not money which proves to be a pulling point, but it’s the fact that they can work flexibly. In other words, they aren’t restricted to the so-called normal hours of 9-5; they can come in earlier, or build up hours to use for another time.

Granted, such flexibility will not be possible in some industries. However, particularly with some governments making it a legal requirement for companies to provide flexible working in some situations, it is clearly becoming something which is very high in demand.

Can you provide development opportunities?

Sometimes, you won’t be able to provide development opportunities. After all, some businesses reach a particular size and they can’t grow any further – and this means that employees can be left stationary as well.

However, at the same time there will be occasions you can provide development opportunities. It’s here where you might be able to provide training or courses to further their career, and ultimately progress to higher ranks in your organization. This is being regarded as one of the more important issues for employees in the modern-day world.

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