As a small business owner, your staff are fundamental to your success. You might invest money and time into retaining a great team, but how can you guarantee your employees will stick around for the long haul? Staff retention is an issue many small businesses struggle with. High staff turnover has the potential to damage your company’s reputation, lessen staff morale, impact client relationships and ultimately, influences your bottom-line.
HRINZ (Human Resources Institute of New Zealand) offers some great resources on staff retention among many other HR related matters.
Pay attention when you’re hiring.
Small businesses need to be extra careful when hiring new employees. With a small team of staff, one bad hire is less forgiving and can have many consequences for your business. Careers New Zealand offers some great information on how to prepare for and conduct an effective interview. Get clear on the type of employees you want to have in your business before you kick off the interviewing process. This will help you structure your interviews more effectively, ensuring you ask the right questions, and assess applicants against pre-defined criteria. Sure, hiring people with the right skills for the role is important, but it is just as crucial for them to fit your company’s culture. Having a vibrant culture does wonders for your staff’s morale and enjoyment whilst at work.
Set expectations, then communicate and manage them.
Too often employees don’t understand exactly what is expected of them. A clear job description and initial training can provide some clarity, but employee management is not a ‘set and forget’ task. Get into the routine of having regular catch ups with your team on a one-to-one level. This time can be used to check-in on tasks, but can also be an opportunity to see how the employee is feeling. Setting measurable KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) helps staff understand what is expected of them in their role and what they should strive to achieve.
Rewards are important.
It’s no surprise that money is a key motivator for the majority of the workforce. Small business owners and managers should acknowledge this and if possible, offer salary increases or bonuses for strong work performance. With that being said, equal treatment when it comes to remuneration is something to keep the top of mind. Organising rewards for the entire team, such as a day out to celebrate a good quarter, helps all staff feel appreciated.
Understand what motivates your staff.
A big part to retaining great staff is understanding what makes your employees tick. Generally speaking, great staff have a strong desire to upskill, learn and contribute more to the business. Research ways to train and develop your team and implement these practices into your business. This shows your employees that you care about their career goals and want to invest in their future. Make sure your staff get regular personal development time too – give your team every opportunity to better themselves from day one. This is in every small business owners’ best interest – skilled staff = greater productivity increased sales and less staff retention issues. It’s a win-win!
Improve your work environment.
Not enjoying the work environment is one of the biggest reasons people leave their jobs. It might be physical features like a lack of working space or culture issues. Proactively welcome feedback from your staff, as this will make you aware of where things could be improved. You might not even realise your staff hates the bright yellow feature wall in the office!
Conduct exit interviews.
If an employee does decide to leave your business, carrying out an exit interview is critical to getting feedback on your business. This will also help you understand why the employee is moving on. After the interview, make sure you reflect on their feedback and consider the areas of your business where this could be addressed and actioned. It might be too late for that employee, but learning from their experience could be the difference between retaining and losing other employees in your business.
Smart Payroll was born out of one simple question – how can we make businesses run better? It pays to get HR right too, which is why our integrated payroll and HR software is designed to support small business success. Needing more HR support? Our SmartHR software is the perfect solution for you. Contact us to get started or if you have any questions we can answer.