You’ve seen the headlines: the Great Resignation is still going strong. The COVID-19 pandemic prompted millions of workers to reassess their priorities, resulting in companies losing talent in droves. Employees are seeking opportunities with better working conditions and more flexibility to spend time with family.
As a small business owner, retaining employees is especially crucial. You want to build a team that’s with you for the long haul, helping your business scale and achieve lasting success. But you don’t have the resources to offer the same kinds of flexibility and perks the Silicon Valleys of the world do.
Here are 3 tips for engaging and retaining your best employees during the Great Resignation, even as a small company.
Listen to Ideas– and Use Them
People are more enthusiastic, committed, and excited about projects when their ideas are included. Wherever possible, try to support and include team members’ ideas, even in small ways.
An easy way to do this is to make meetings discussion-based rather than a mechanism for sharing information.
Want more tips on making meetings work for you? Check out our guide here.
Use Employees’ Hidden Strengths
As you know, employees are much more than their job titles– they probably have skills and interests beyond the scope of their duties. If you can find a way to incorporate their passions in the workplace, you will dramatically improve engagement and the likelihood of long-term retention.
For instance, say one of your team members enjoys dog training. You could ask them to lead a training session for other people on the team with furry friends. Or say one of your non-designer employees is an artist: have them lead a Wine n’ Paint Night or mandala session. You’ll not only boost morale but increase engagement by giving employees opportunities to share something they’re great at and bring their whole self to work.
Make Time for Fun
There’s always more work to be done than hours in the day, but it’s important to make time for fun. Giving employees space for play will boost engagement and forge stronger bonds between team members so they can collaborate more effectively.
You may not have the budget for week-long retreats or exotic day trips, but you can incorporate periodic game nights, happy hours, and other teambuilding activities.
It may seem like a waste of time that could be spent on revenue-generating activities, but it will pay off in the long run. You’ll spend less time on recruiting, onboarding, and training new blood, which will result in better performance across the company overall.
Support Employee Needs and Goals
Employment is a two-way street: the business has needs, goals, and aspirations, and so do its employees. A job must align with the needs of both parties for an employee to stay long-term.
When a business only considers its own needs, it will likely find itself consistently losing top talent to companies that do understand the importance of reciprocity in the employer-employee relationship.
How do you find out what employees’ goals are? Easy: just ask them. Have an honest conversation to learn what their career and personal goals are and how the business can support those aspirations while having its own needs met. There’s probably more overlap than you expect.
The Bottom Line
Employee retention is vital for business success. The less time you’re spending on training and onboarding, the more productive you and the rest of your team can be; and the longer your employees stay, the better they’ll become at their jobs. Even better, as teammates build bonds, they’ll shift from collaboration to synergy and achieve even greater levels of productivity.
By using these three strategies, you can help increase employee engagement and reduce the chances of their joining the wave of the Great Resignation.
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EnrichHER is a financial technology platform that matches revenue-generating companies led by women and founders of color to individual and institutional sources of funding. Since 2017, EnrichHER has deployed upwards of $4 million through its platform and matched business-owners to $13 million in working capital through its Accelerator. By providing capital, coaching, and connections, we are fueling the fastest-growing demographic of business owners. Our network has engaged with over 23,000 advocates through its digital community and in-person activations.