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7 Tips to Retaining Employees and Hiring the Right Ones in the First Place
A stable workforce is part of the foundation of a stable business. Experienced employees know their jobs, so retaining employees is essential to the success of your small business.
In many cases, it's expensive to find the best person for the job. It can take months, and have a negative impact on the bottom line as well as the atmosphere around the office. Uncertainty is not a great motivator.
New hires undergo a learning curve which can lower company productivity if there's a lot of turnover among staff. Each time a new employee comes on board, it may be months before they are productive, or before they can do the job to your specifications.
Find the best people. Then keep the best people in place. It's more productive and less costly to retain existing employees than recruit new people.
1. Hire from within. Create a written company policy of hiring from within. It delivers benefits:
- You already know and trust that employee about to receive a promotion.
- That employee knows business operations – and how to fix the copier. No learning curve.
- Other employees recognize the value of hard work and dedication. It could lead to a promotion. It's company policy.
- You lower the costs of recruitment. The ideal candidate is right down the hall.
2. Examine your business network. Industry professionals are up to speed faster than new hires "transitioning" skill sets from one industry to another. Who do you already know?
Avoid recruiting among business associates. The ideal fit for the new position may be employed by a vendor but poaching the ideal candidate may cost you an important vendor. It also may be bad for your business's reputation.
3. Keep a file of impressive people. You meet them all the time: at the monthly Chamber of Commerce luncheon, at the industry trade show, at an annual conference or seminar.
Get contact information – a business card – and make a few notes on the circumstances of your meeting and why that individual is in your "possibilities" file.
4. Create an open corporate culture. Maintain an open door policy among all levels of management. You never know where the next good idea will come from.
Access to company management encourages innovation from people actually doing the job. A loading dock employee may have a great idea about how to save on shipping costs.
Reward innovation. It's a real morale booster when employee suggestions are implemented. You can retain employees by making your best employees stakeholders in the company.
5. Accommodate your best. Personal leave days, paternity leave, a family member's school choir -- you need to accommodate the personal lives of your employees. It may be your life – you own the company. To employees, sometimes family and life come first. Be understanding.
6. Train new hires through job shadowing. Assign a "mentor" to train each new employee. New hires shadow the mentor throughout the day, and for several weeks, to see the job up close and in the trenches.
Skip the week-long orientation. Let's create meaningful work for the new team member – faster!
7. Reward loudly. Criticize softly. Reward employees with raises, more benefits and maybe a better parking spot. Praise loudly and give credit to innovative company team members.
When employees need to improve performance, talk to them privately and offer solutions to improve performance. Most established employees want to do the job right. Sometimes, all it takes is a little advice.
Finding the right employees and keeping them will increase productivity, maintain staff morale and provide an important sense of security among the people who grow your business every day. Keep them happy -- that's the key to successfully retaining employees!
Contact a Cadence Banker to learn how employee and payroll benefits can help you retain top talent.