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5 employee retention strategies for small businesses

Retaining employees is at the top of the list for successful businesses. Once staff is hired and trained and your business is running smoothly, it becomes a priority to reduce turnover and the high costs associated with it. Implementing strategies for employee retention can help benefit your business in the long run. Here are five strategies with examples and tips for retaining staff.

1. Recognize employees
Consider setting up an employee recognition program that celebrates and rewards your employees for their contributions. Employees who are rewarded are more likely to be motivated and engaged. An employee recognition program can help to create a positive working environment that carries over to the customer experience. Also, employees who feel valued are less likely to leave. Employee of the month is a fun way to celebrate a standout staff member. Rewards can include a gift card, a special parking space, recognition at a staff meeting or free lunch.

2. Opportunity for promotion
Many employees want to be given options for advancement or for new challenges. High performers want growth opportunities. Consider setting up a career track that a new hire can work toward, such as Sales Lead, Assistant Manager, and Manager. Set clear expectations on what it will take for each promotion and be sure to check in with employees on a regular basis to discuss how they are performing.

3. One-on-one meetings
Team staff meetings are essential to inform your employees of business matters to help ensure that everyone is on the same page. One-on-one meetings are just as important as they give you a chance to focus on one employee to discuss work-related matters, performance, goals, and feedback. When you meet with one employee weekly for at least thirty minutes, you help build rapport and employees who feel comfortable with their managers are more likely to be happier and more productive on the job. To make the most of these meetings, consider giving the employee an agenda or a topic of discussion ahead of time so each of you can be prepared with talking points or questions.

4. Flexible work options
Offer different shift options, including part-time or late starts, for employees who may need to reduce their work hours in a certain week due to other factors in their lives. When creating the schedule for the week, check in with your staff to see who may need to cut back hours and those who can take on more. By being flexible, you show that you are sensitive to the needs of your employees and acknowledge what they are going through. Many times, it’s temporary and they will be back in full swing soon. This flexibility can help you retain your best employees.

5. Wellness offerings
You care about your employees and you want them to be well so they can be at their best. Consider communicating to your employees about community wellness opportunities so that they can participate in them and offer them full or partial reimbursements for attending. These wellness programs can be in-person or online and can include anything from nutrition, stress management, exercise programs and more. Your concern for your employees’ wellbeing and supporting wellness activities can help set your work environment up for success.

By implementing these strategies, you will be in a better position to keep your employees happy, productive, and your business thriving.

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