Retaining top talent is a challenge that every business continually faces. Having one of your best employees leave can be a very costly event. Not only are you forced to use valuable time to find and hire a new person, but your customers may also suffer due to a reduced experience since newer employees are typically less knowledgeable. Offering bonuses or large raises is not always realistic and may not be the only motivation employees are looking for. Promotions can be helpful with retention, but open positions are not always available.
Listed below are a few low-cost ideas on how to retain those top performers:
Allow employees to have some input on their job responsibilities. Asking employees what types of tasks they enjoy doing and then working to incorporate those tasks into their job responsibilities shows you care and value your employees. Determine what each employee’s strengths are and allow them to use those strengths often. When possible, have your employees work as a team. This builds camaraderie and can make work more fun. People don’t like doing the same thing repeatedly. Do your best to keep your employees challenged and engaged, and break up the daily routine from time to time.
Provide rewards and show appreciation. There are numerous ways to reward employees without giving them cash. Offering free breakfast or lunch on a busy business day shows your team you value their efforts. As a reward for top performance, allow them to go on a fun, work-related field trip. This gets them out of the business for a time and breaks up the normal work day. Many services are willing to come to you. Offering a dry-cleaning pickup/drop off seems like a simple thing, but if it makes your employees' lives a little easier, it can be a big deal. You can also leverage your more experienced employees by hosting an educational lunch at which employees can share knowledge. This gives the team a free meal and elevates your employees' work experience. If your business allows, offer a casual dress day. For example, encourage your employees to support a local sports team on game day by wearing their colors or jerseys. It can mean a lot to them.
Show appreciation and offer perks to part-time employees too. It is very important to include your part-time employees in your retention program. They may work fewer hours than your full-time employees, but they are also important to your business. If you are having a contest, be sure to set up the rules in a way that allows your part-time group to be included. If you have an employee-of-the-month or other recognition program, consider having a part-time version as well. If a key employee is going to be on vacation, you may want to have a part-time employee fill in while they are gone. This will give the part-time person an opportunity to shine and grow their work experience. Remember, part-time employees can become your future leaders. Offer development training and promote from within whenever possible. It is very important to stay connected to your part-time employees. Schedule regular touch-base discussions to keep them informed and engaged.
Allow a flexible work schedule when possible. This benefit is obviously subject to the type of business and operational structure you have. However, it should not be overlooked. Offering various start times and end times can be beneficial to support your employees' needs. Even offering a leave-early day from time to time or an option to work from home one day a month can really provide a valuable benefit to your team. Everyone’s work availability is different and offering a flexible schedule gives your employees the flexibility they value to manage their work-life balance.
In this competitive environment where people have many choices on how to spend their time and money, it’s their experience with your business that makes the difference. Being able to attract and retain top talent allows your business to provide a consistent, elevated level of customer service.