Every year, U.S. businesses lose $1 trillion due to employee turnover. The average cost to replace a single employee may be as high as one-half to two times the employee’s salary. A high employee turnover rate is not only costly, it also negatively impacts the mental health of your employees, which trickles down into an unenthusiastic work environment and toxic company culture.
Making the right staffing or contracting choices and retaining good workers is essential for the success of your small business. However, this task can be challenging for start-up business leaders, small business owners, or entrepreneurs who aren’t experienced at recruitment and retainment strategies. Even if you’ve never hired an employee before, review the tips and strategies discussed below so you can get the best talent and watch your business grow.
Tips for Attracting Employees to Your Business
There are many ways to recruit and attract quality workers to your business. The strategies you choose to implement depend on what you can offer, your industry, and the types of employees you’re trying to recruit.
Properly Market Your Business
You’ll never find the right employees if they don’t know your business is hiring. Market your business to the right mediums so you can attract the type of people who will fit in with your company.
Promote your business and job openings through industry magazines, online, or at local trade shows. Not only will you stay ahead of your business competition, but you’ll also be able to meet potential candidates that are already interested in your industry.
Offer Great Benefits
Job seekers aren’t simply looking at the salary your company offers but also the benefits it provides. Health and vision insurance are important for families, so being able to offer a benefits package may make your business more attractive to workers.
When you carry adequate workers’ compensation insurance, it also shows you care for your employees’ well-being, beyond being a legal necessity for hiring staff. Insurance and other benefits are an expensive and complex endeavor, especially for small businesses. However, these benefits are worth the cost because they’ll attract good employees, help your employees if they get sick, and encourage them to continue working there. Being transparent about these types of benefits and protections can be helpful in communicating with potential staff.
In addition to benefits, consider offering employee perks, such as discounts to other businesses, parental leave, or assistance with educational costs.
For example, you may offer assistance obtaining a plumbing license or help with apprenticeships to meet the electrical contractor licensing requirements. These perks are especially attractive for younger workers looking to break into an industry or those who want to move up within the company. A paid apprenticeship with the promise of full-time employment upon attaining a license could be a great way to attract new talent and invest in your team’s development.
Build a Positive Culture
Your business’s reputation is an important component to attracting new talent. If your current employees are happy and believe your business provides a positive workplace culture, it shows.
If prospective employees visit as customers or come in for interviews, they’ll be able to feel out the work culture. Happy employees who are smiling and engaging prove that your business offers a positive environment.
Tips for Developing Employee Talent
Once you’ve hired great employees, you’ll need to develop, train, and educate them to keep them engaged and learning. Most workers see the value in training and are more likely to commit to your company if you offer education.
In a survey, 73% of younger workers felt they’d need to pursue education or training in order to advance their careers. When you offer educational reimbursement or internal training, you make it easy for these workers to see a future with your business.
Your small business can learn from large companies about the importance of employee education. While education reimbursements will cost you money, it’s more likely that you’ll be able to develop employees into the workers you need with this technique, which will save you money in the long run.
Focus on both internal and external training opportunities. For example, if employees want to earn their general contractor license, set them up with apprenticeship or job shadowing opportunities.
Employees may feel belittled and insecure if you micromanage and take over all tasks. When you delegate these tasks, you show that you trust them. Start with small tasks, such as obtaining certificates of insurance. Then, move onto bigger tasks, such as meeting with a foreman at a construction site.
Be a Role Model
Your employees look up to you and other supervisors as role models. When you treat your workers with respect, your company is more attractive for tradeswomen and other talented individuals in the industry. Maintaining honest business practices and showing you care vests your employees into your business’s success, motivating them to work harder.
Ask What They Need
When you ask employees what they need, you’re less likely to deal with employee theft and unhappiness. By getting honest feedback from workers, you’ll better understand what improvements you need to make and which supplies you’ll need to purchase.
Your employees may not always be able to clearly state what will help them improve or develop their skills, but their input may be even more helpful than the opinion of a supervisor who isn’t on the front lines.
Tips for Retaining Employees
While employee development is important, employee retention is also vital for the health of your business. Your employees are protected under right-to-work laws so they don’t have to continue working for your business if they don’t feel they’re being treated fairly.
If you’re a small business or start-up, you’ve already invested time and money into finding and developing your workers, so keeping them at your company is crucial to your success.
Whether your employee landed a big contract or learned how to do a task on their own, it’s important to make them feel good about their achievements. This keeps workers excited about their jobs and eager to continue pleasing.
Employees often want more feedback than they normally receive. Honest yet constructive feedback will help them learn how to work more efficiently, and can even improve employee motivation. While providing feedback may seem like the opposite of celebrating achievements, delivering these two messages simultaneously shows your employees that you’re invested in their future at the company and want to see them succeed.
Foster Work/Life Balance
Your employees have a family and life outside of work and if you want to retain them, it’s important to respect their home lives. To show that work-life balance is important to your business, consider:
- Offering remote work.
- Being flexible with schedules.
- Providing adequate paid time-off.
- Being understanding of family or health emergencies.
Provide Advancement Opportunities
Make sure you have plenty of advancement opportunities for your employees so they’re more likely to commit to your company. Ensure these opportunities aren’t too far out of reach and present clear steps and paths to these promotions.
Your employees are what makes your business run and are directly responsible for your success. Utilize these strategies to create a work culture that will recruit, develop, and retain the best workers for your business.
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