The following is a guest post by Tiffany Rowe. Tiffany is a Marketing Administrator at Seek Visibility, where she assists clients in contributing resourceful content throughout the web.
Retaining top workers is essential for any business, but when you’re running a startup that is trying to find its feet and grow, keeping all that valuable organizational knowledge in house is more important than ever.
If you don’t make an effort to keep your staff members engaged, happy, and motivated at work, you can not only see valuable business information walk out the door, but also have to deal with the costs involved in finding replacements. If you want to avoid this, read on for some key reasons why you need to be serious about retention at your startup and some tips for going about it.
Benefits of Increasing Retention Rates
When you increase retention rates and have fewer employees leaving your business to work elsewhere, you save yourself a lot of time, money, and energy. For starters, you won’t have to worry about writing job descriptions and advertisements, or combing through dozens or even hundreds of applications for a role.
You’ll save yourself money since you won’t have to pay to advertise positions or for recruiters to find suitable candidates, and you’ll save time when it comes to interviewing people. When you keep your team intact, you can also avoid having to spend your time, or that of other staff members, training up replacements, and waiting for them to learn systems, procedures, and other information.
Another key benefit of boosting retention is that, by ensuring workers are happy and engaged, and that you keep the same team and don’t keep introducing new people, morale within your workforce will be increased. Once the morale is high within a business, productivity levels typically rise correspondingly, and fewer disagreements take place between co-workers that have to be dealt with.
Boost morale and you’re also much more likely to see workers coming up with innovative ideas or solutions to problems. They will treat customers much better too, since they’ll be in a better mood at work and happy to help others. This means that your clients should spend more, buy more often, and be more loyal in turn.
When you concentrate on retention you will create a more positive work environment, and employees will feel much more committed to the organization as a result. They will gain a sense of pride in working for your business, and will then tend to speak about the company in glowing terms to their contacts, which will help your sales and marketing efforts. Having your staff rave about working for your organization will enhance your ability to attract top talent in the future too – after all, people always want to work somewhere where they can see employees are happy.
Tips for Improving Retention
There are numerous ways you can go about improving retention within your team. One of the top things to start with though is acknowledging and rewarding employees. Doing so makes them feel valued and appreciated, and will reduce the likelihood that they will want to leave for greener pastures.
A simple thank you can go a long way when it comes to noticing a worker’s efforts. This can be communicated in person, over an email or Skype session, on the phone, in a lovely handwritten note or email, or in front of the whole team. You might also want to give a top employee a shout out in a company newsletter or social media post, or pronounce them the “Employee of the Month” or give them some other relevant honor.
Other good ways to reward your team for their hard work include promoting them, giving them bonuses, presenting them with an award, or sourcing some executive gifts. Employees also tend to appreciate things like time off work, bottles of wine, boxes of chocolates, flower bouquets, movie or sporting tickets, vouchers for massages or dinners, trips away, credit cards loaded with cash to spend, or a free experience that they’ve been excited to try for years (e.g., a concert of their favorite performer, or a helicopter ride, scuba diving lesson, or skydiving jump).
Another prime way to improve retention rates within your startup is to make sure that you provide all your workers with numerous opportunities for growth. People can get bored if they’re doing the same job for too long, or if the tasks assigned to them are too easy. They can also feel like they’re stagnating in their career if they never move up to a higher, or preferred, position. As such, it is important to find ways to allow your employees to learn new skills, try different things, achieve accomplishments, and work their way up in the industry.
To do this, start by bringing in speakers to talk to your team on a regular basis, and run training (either internally or externally) so that they can pick up new knowledge or skills. You can also pay for workers to attend leading networking events, conferences, trade shows, and the like; and give them time off, or funds for educational courses and seminars. In addition, make sure you conduct employee reviews on an annual basis at a minimum, so that you can help staff members set goals and have something to work toward.