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How Your Small Business Can Retain Top Talent

2 minutes Read

Today’s largest companies are offering the most comprehensive and original benefits to their employees, while offering sky high salaries and bonuses to attract and retain talent.

With the almost endless resources they seem to have available, it can be an uphill battle for small businesses to keep their team together. After all, how can you compete with top healthcare and childcare packages, especially when accompanied by massage credits or free beach houses? Here are some ways for you to retain top talent at your small business in 2018:

Consider Benefits That Speak to Your Staff and Build Your Brand

While having a “Cadillac” health care plan and competitive 401(k) can bind employees to your business, you can also retain talent by offering customized benefits that don’t break the bank. Start by considering benefits that might appeal specifically to your employees. Perhaps a majority are fitness freaks, juggling work life with their next spin class? You could partner with a local gym and offer a discounted monthly membership to keep them happy.

Your approach to benefits can also showcase the core values of your business. Just asking what benefits your employees would choose, be they fitness, transportation, company cellphones, or something else, shows that you’re eager to collaborate on these important decisions. If transportation seems like a priority, you could consider commuter transit benefits, perhaps with pre-tax account from the likes of WageWorks, demonstrating a progressive, environmentally-friendly approach, while helping your colleagues save by choosing not to drive to work.

Offer In-house Educational Opportunities for Your Employees to Grow

Employees who feel that they are spinning their wheels and not gaining new expertise are far more likely to look for new jobs. While educational partnerships with colleges or research centers may be out of reach, you can encourage your seasoned employees to share their wisdom with their junior counterparts. On a quarterly basis, why not establish an informal speaker series in-house, with each session led by a different employee on a different topic? This can help share the unique skills and experience of your staff members amongst the whole team, providing opportunities for your employees to learn and also teach.

Tap into the Gig Economy for Short-Term To-Do’s

Being able to devote sufficient resources to your full-time staff can require outsourcing ad-hoc work. This can help to ensure that your current staff members aren’t over-extended with too many tasks.

Fortunately, many people are seeking opportunities to work with small businesses on a single project or task (“gigs”). There is a plethora of affordable, insightful search tools for your business to use to find short-term talent. For example, as a local doctor’s office, you could easily source someone to revamp your website on Fiverr, a top marketplace for graphic design and digital marketing talent. For more routine jobs requiring extra manual labor, you could post a request on TaskRabbit. By tapping into the gig economy, you can keep your team focused on the key tasks at hand and make sure that your business’s limited resources aren’t overly stretched.

Foster a Positive Work Environment

Celebrating occasions important to your colleagues and your business can cultivate a positive atmosphere. You could set up a tracking system for birthdays, celebrating each one with a personalized card from the full team. Again, remember to tap into the resources you have on hand to make these days special. As a restaurant, you could make a special meal, or prepare a favorite dessert for the birthday employee. Celebrating events specific to your business, even with small gestures like a cake to celebrate your anniversary of “five years in business,” can also foster a cohesive team environment, and cultivate a strong sense of purpose.

So, get started early on these affordable, strategic talent initiatives for your business. Remember to tailor each one to what matters most to your employees, celebrating their skills and life events, while focusing your resources on your core team members. By doing so, you can help to retain your top talent and build a cohesive team, positioning your business for a prosperous start to the year.

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