One of the biggest challenges facing business owners is that of recruitment. It is a difficult process and what’s more it is costly in terms of time and money to find the right replacement.

So, what can you do to improve your employee retention?

It is all about engaging them and keeping them “sold” on why they chose to work for your firm in the first place.

There are some fundamentals to keeping them engaged…

Talk to them. As a manager it is really important to connect with your people on a personal level. Too often the discussions that business owners have with their people are those that are formal and are all focused on business. Instead try taking them out for lunch or coffee and keep the conversations much lighter and informal. Remember that people generally leave a manager not a job or firm.

Seek to understand them. By spending more time with your employees you are more likely to learn more about them as individuals. But it is also important to find out what motivates them as individuals. One of the common mistakes made by managers is that they ask their employees in a direct way. This is a question that can be really hard to answer. Instead, focus on finding out what they most want to achieve in their career and in their personal life. Ask them regularly and where possible offer them support to achieve them through their career at your firm, that way they will want to stay.

Entertain them.  By this I mean hold regular social activities for everyone in the firm to get together as people are most engaged when they feel a part of a team at work. By socialising and doing things together outside of the office you are giving your employees time to make friendships and bond with their teammates. These bonds will increase the connections between individuals and with the company as a whole, as working with friends is much more enjoyable.

Thank them. This last one is so simple but is perhaps one of the most powerful. One of the best forms of motivation is that of recognition. So take every opportunity to acknowledge each example of great work with a thank you. Often it is enough to simply do this verbally to the individual, but sometimes a thank you card or gift can really add weight to the words. If your people feel your appreciation and respect for their contributions then they are more likely to stay.

These are some basic, yet important steps to retaining your people.

So, ask yourself…

How many of these things do you currently do?

Are you doing them consistently with everyone?

If you need help with retaining your employees or improving their motivation then please get in touch as this is something that SMART Support For Business are passionate about helping with.