How can small to medium-sized businesses retain top talent?

Posted on: August 5, 2016 by: Nick Truyol No comments | Leave a comment

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Retaining top talent is critical for companies, especially when the job market is tight and finding new employees is not easy. When people leave your company, you have to find and train a replacement and can lose productivity and momentum in the process.

Salary is not the only factor employees consider when evaluating career options. Studies have shown that the top three reasons people leave a job is because of poor management, because they are stretched too thin and cannot fulfill all their responsibilities, and, finally, because they can make more elsewhere. If employees do not feel valued, the next step is to start looking at alternatives.

5 Tips for Keeping Top Employees

All employees like to feel empowered and that their input is valuable. Younger employees want to find a healthy balance between their work and their life outside work. Older employees may feel that they are stalled and have no opportunities to expand.

Here are some tips for keeping your employees.

  1. Get to know our employees on a personal level. Find out what truly matters to them and what they like about working at your company. The kinds of questions to ask might include what is important to them in their job or career and in their life outside work. Ask how you can help them achieve their goals, and be prepared to follow up.
  2. Ask employees for suggestions on how to improve the work environment. Treat every suggestion equally and be prepared to follow up with the ones that you can implement so they see you actually listened.
  3. Make sure your compensation is in line with prevailing wages for the same position elsewhere. Even if salary is not the only factor in evaluating job satisfaction, a big discrepancy between current wages and the opportunities to increase income just by changing companies will be detrimental to retaining talent. You don’t have to offer the highest wages but you shouldn’t offer the lowest either. Sabio Systems has resources that can help you make sure you are competitive.
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  5. Offer opportunities for advancement within the company so employees don’t think they have to move elsewhere to expand their capabilities or move up the ladder. This might include funds or time off for education, advanced in-house training, support for obtaining industry certifications, or other activities depending on your industry.
  6. Recognize that generational differences do exist and make sure your business practices reflect that. The youngest generation of employees is familiar with social media, may be more informal, and may have high expectations despite having less experience. They may also seem disruptive in your workplace if many of your employees are older. Find ways to help people work together despite different expectations and work habits.

People like to feel empowered. By letting them influence some of the aspects of their day-to-day work experience, they will feel appreciated and will be less likely to want to leave.