Employee Turnover in Small Business: How to Keep Top Talent by Your Side

Customer loyalty is a huge issue for business owners everywhere. You’ll see them investing their finest assets and go to extraordinary lengths to ensure better customer retention. What would happen if you’d invest the same time and creativity into preventing high employee turnover rates and inspiring greater workforce loyalty? As natural and expected as turnover is, and no matter how many employees move on to a different company after years of work under your wing, you should indeed strive towards lowering those turnover rates. They are, to an extent, a reflection of your brand’s values and your treatment of the people who grow your business.

Add fierce competition into this already complex mix, and you get an even more complex situation that requires a more refined approach. Luckily, there are time-tested steps your small business can take in an effort to attract top talent and inspire your employees to stand by your brand through thick and thin for years to come. Here are the five most effective strategies to add to your employee retention arsenal and let your small business thrive.

Introduce flexible work arrangements

Many things have changed over the years when it comes to hiring and employee preferences, and one rising trend includes flexible work options. In fact, research has shown that 51% of employees want more flexibility from their current jobs, and it doesn’t differ much from one industry to another. Since we’ve started embracing more digital careers, in-office employees have also learned that flexible hours, work from home, and remote work are all valuable assets in improving their quality of life.

If you’re big on diversity in your business structure, then this is a winning choice for parents, single and otherwise, people with a disability, people who wish to continue their education, and digital nomads whose talents can contribute to your growth, but from afar.

Perfect the hiring process

You need to understand the intricacies of your market if you want to find the most talented individuals and inspire them to stay in your company. For example, in Australia, 51% of HR experts in Australia know that transparency in terms of pay is vital from the first touchpoint with their prospective employees. The lack of transparency can lead to distrust and the candidate’s reluctancy to work for you, let alone stay onboard if this is not a quality that permeates your entire business.

That said, candidates in search for jobs in Melbourne know what they would like to see in the job description, and that includes a salary and other benefits that portray your brand’s transparency. This is especially vital when you’re hiring online, as it’s difficult to establish an emotional bond without inspiring their interest enough to apply for an interview. Then it’s up to you to make sure that your culture is built on transparency, and that you manage your employees’ expectations successfully from day one.

Find your turnover culprits – and nip them in the bud

You cannot really change what you don’t know exists, or what you don’t understand. Luckily, today’s digital tools and software solutions allow you the ability to dig deep and discover precisely what makes your employees tick, and what makes them leave your business. Only then can you expect to rise to the occasion and turn the tables in your favor.

Find your own turnover metrics and track them in order to find the most effective solutions to help you maintain your workforce. If they are unhappy with the salary and go to your competitors for better compensation – you know what you need to do. If they are in dire need of wellness perks and their work-life balance is suffering, you can tailor your employee benefits to help them structure their lives better.

Reward and value your workforce

As attractive as a bonus may be, and it’s more than welcome on certain occasions, employee rewards should come in other forms, as well. Especially when you’re a small business owner, and you have the opportunity to personalize your gifts and rewards to suit each individual team member working with you.

Have you noticed one of your staff is a baseball fan? Give them tickets to watch their favorite team regularly. This is a perfect example for you to notice that not everyone will be dazzled by baseball tickets, hence the need to adapt to each employee’s needs. Talk to them, start a survey, and they’ll likely tell you precisely what gesture or token of appreciation will make them feel valued.

Streamline your HR efforts

Your company may be small now, but you have your aspirations for growth, right? And you need happy, motivated employees to achieve that. In order to overcome some of your greatest recruiting challenges, you need to know what they are and help your HR team become more effective at what they do best – hire and make sure your current employees are happy.

If you hire the wrong people simply because you feel as if you’re in a hurry to grow your business, you’ll find yourself hiring people with subpar skills, or people that cannot really thrive in your culture. Your chances of retaining your employees will skyrocket the moment you refine and streamline your entire recruiting process.

In closing

Employee turnover remains a relevant issue for aspiring small businesses that are up against much bigger competitors in their industry, and that are still in the process of improving their everyday operations. Make sure to implement these tips, and you’ll become much more efficient at retaining talented employees to grow your brand with you.


Article by Jacob Wilson
Jacob Wilson is a business consultant and an organizational psychologist that writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for Bizzmark blog.

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