As a small business owner, you know how hard it is to find hard-working employees. Whether it’s a combination of lack of skills or incompatible personalities that would clash with others around the office, the job search process is difficult from the business side of things. You might partner with a recruiter to find the best young talent in the area, but these services can be expensive and sometimes only leave you with a revolving door of temp workers who aren’t really invested in your business’ success.
Instead of trying to replace the employees that leave, have you considered retaining the top talent you already have? While employee retention is a problem that not even Fortune 500 companies have been able to completely address, you shouldn’t let this scare you away from what could be the key to a cohesive an unified team of employees.
How many employees are leaving?
Employee retention is a serious subject on its own, but when your best workers start to jump ship and join your competitors, you have a big problem on your hands. But to stem the flow of talent away from your business, you first need to know how employees are saying goodbye to their current jobs.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the number of employees who have voluntarily quit their jobs is at its highest mark since the start of the 2008 recession. Private sector workers quit at a rate of 2 percent as of April 2014 – a significant increase over the 1.4 percent it was at in 2008.
“The quit rate is a useful measure of how much confidence workers feel and how many opportunities they have to switch to a more attractive job,” Steven Davis, Ph.D., professor of labor economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, told the Journal Sentinel. “The quit rate is one of many indicators that point to a partial recovery.”
You can be sure that your competitors will jump at the chance to poach top talent right from under your nose, and a recovering economy only makes it an easier decision for your employees.
Sweeten the pot
If employees are considering leaving your company to join another, it’s because there’s something more attractive about the grass on the other side than where you are. While you might not have a great deal of leeway to give raises and increase salaries, there are still other ways you can show that you appreciate your employees and you want them to stick around.
The Wall Street Journal explained that small contests and incentives can help build camaraderie between employees that might be harder to walk away from when there’s another offer on the table. Put a personalized product up for grabs for the salesperson with the highest numbers. Myron’s 12 Oz. The Spooner Custom Oval Mug can be inscribed with the winner’s name and what the contest was for. This is an inexpensive way to show your employees that you don’t just view them as robots.
However, WhenIWork.com also explained that employees decide to quit for reasons other than a lack of cool promotional products. Sometimes, a worker may not get along with a manager, or you didn’t interact with him or her enough to connect on a personal level, which can leave some employees feeling disconnected from the company at large. If you spend a lot of time in your office without walking the office floor, it might be time to get back out there. The benefit of owning a small business if that you can have at least one conversation with each employee every week.