Every business has to worry about how they’re going to keep their team in one place. Most recruitment processes keep job-hoppers from getting too far in because the risks of losing people are well-known. It costs a lot to recruit and train someone new, after all. But for startups, that risk is increased. For a business that isn’t yet properly proven, people might look towards options that seem to have more reliable prospects. You need to fight to retain employees and here’s how you do just that.
Keep an open door
Especially in small teams, communication is vital. If people feel like there’s no recourse for their issues to be addressed, then they’re going to fester under the surface until they become unbearable. Use team meetings to get through the most important plans and how the team is going to implement, but make it clear that your door is open to address issues any time that you’re available. You can make yourself more available, too, by implementing the right digital communication structures in the business. Stay connected to even your remote workers through instant messaging and email.
Make their plans your plans
If you want to truly understand your employees, then you have to understand they have a future. Everyone has a plan for their career and they might consider that your business is just a stepping stone on the path to that career. Even if you can’t keep them forever, you can keep them for longer by continuously offering the thing they really want: upward mobility. Look for more opportunities to grow them the longer they stay. Find training opportunities to help them acquire new skills. Delegate tasks to them as a method of teaching them about responsibility. If they’re an employee you’re particularly keen on, don’t be afraid to take a personal shine to them and start coaching them personally. You should look to create the next stepping stone in that career, too. As you expand, it’s very likely you’ll need management to take care of responsibilities you longer have the time to deal with. When creating those new positions, consider hiring internally before you look outwards.
Demand and review
There’s a misconception that working to retain and please employees means relinquishing your authority and your standards. It’s important to keep demands high not only for the benefit of the business but to keep your team fully engaged in delivering the best work they can. You can hold them accountable, too, but for the best results, you need to do it responsibly. Don’t just make demands and scold them when they fail them. Review the methods they used to tackle their workload and help them identify problems. If they have any issues getting in the way of work, address them privately, offering solutions, not reprimands.
Look after them
Sometimes, problems aren’t down to any problems in the business or any flaws of their own. People have health, family, and financial circumstances outside the workplace that can sometimes get in the way. If you want to retain staff, you can’t ignore those kinds of issues. What you can do is offer some resources to provide benefits like an employee counselling service. Wellbeing is one of those factors that people want to make sure they provision for as much as possible. It’s a constant concern, and getting involved to help them address those concerns offers just another reason they will want to stick with you for the long haul. Employers who truly care about their team are fewer and further between than they should be, and your employees will recognise that.
The same can be said of employers who show their team the right appreciation when goals are being met, and work is being done to a high standard. You have to show your team recognition when they do well. Just as criticism is best kept private, praise is best publicized. Don’t just thank them for their work, but reward them when they truly help the business excel, whether it’s with a tasty snack or an extra break. Don’t underestimate the value they’ll find in some compensation, either. Not only does it show that you appreciate them, which is important for their motivation, but it further incentivises the whole team.
You can’t hold on to everyone forever, of course. Nor can you treat them as indispensable. You can negotiate their contract if they bring up the prospect of leaving, but it’s a good idea to have plans on how you replace them. Otherwise, make your workplace the best place for them and it will keep them for a lot longer.
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