The past Olympics has created more jobs and opportunities not only in the UK but all over the world. If your industry is experiencing a sudden growth or demand for manpower, you better keep watch. Chances are the bigger companies are also on the lookout for new people. With the increase in job availability and the diversity it offers, you are in danger of losing your senior or most valuable employees. You should not let that happen because it will affect your business negatively in so many ways. How do you keep your staff and prevent them from being hired by your bigger competitors? Here are some suggestions.
- Offer training. You can offer your staff skills training in areas outside their expertise. If you’re hiring foreigners, offer them basic English training or basic IT training. If you have competent staff, train them in advanced levels of their jobs.
- Then offer a higher paying job. When your staff “graduates”, create a job that they can apply for. This method allows you to hire from within, with qualified workers who have already undergone training. These are people you trust and you are sure that will perform. Lower level jobs are lower risks so there’s not much problem when you need to hire outside the company. This method also prevents your senior, trained staff from leaving your company because you have already given them an opportunity to grow.
- Quality over quantity. It’s understandable that a small business cannot compete with a large company in terms of salaries but you can compete with quality of life. Being small allows you to be flexible. When a family member gets sick or there’s a soccer game or school play, you can afford to give your staff the day off. Most big companies do not allow that.
- Be family-friendly. Take the time to know each of your employees and their families especially if you only have 5 full-time employees. Knowing a little bit of their background helps you understand the way they work and can give you a better insight of their strengths and weaknesses. Who knows, you might find a valuable supplier in Lisa’s aunt’s cousin’s friend.
- Offer small bonuses. You can’t give a large salary but you can give a small performance bonus to deserving employees. Make sure your employees are always motivated.
- Movie nights? Take your employees out to celebrate the success of a business partnership or closing a deal. It can be a simple movie night, bowling night or drinks at your favourite pub. A happy employee stays with you.
- Check your tools. A workman is only as good as his tools. Observe if your employees are getting frustrated with their jobs because of faulty equipment. This can cause them to look for another company that can provide with the proper tools to do their jobs.
- Provide help. Help doesn’t necessarily mean a person. It can be a new printer, a new computer or a new device that can help your employees do their jobs better. Take for example the simple franking machine. A franking machine sorts, weighs, calculates the correct postage and stamps your mail. Oh, and a franked mail also gets discounts from the post office. If the person in-charge of outgoing mail in your company is swamped with work each day, it’s only a matter of time before he decides to do something else. After all, who wants to be buried in a pile of mail five days a week? A franking machine can process at least 90 pieces of mail per minute so think how fast your employee can finish. You can then assign your employee to do other things. This also keeps your employee from getting bored with his job.
- Pool resources. Check if your area has a group of business owners that pool resources. For example, one company is in need of a clerk and the other company has an extra clerk that they need to let go because of budget constraints. They then can refer that clerk to the other company in need.
- Join a group. If you have an association of business owners in your area, you may want to check it out. Talking to like-minded people gives you new insights, new ideas and a new perspective in running your own business. You need to talk to people who understand what you’re going through. Ask them if they have lost an employee to a bigger paying competitor and what they did to prevent that from happening again. These things are better discussed with people who experience the same things that you do instead of your spouse or family.
Finally, the next time you’re hiring for a senior position, you might want to hire “mature” people. They have a wealth of experience and they tend to stay in one place. They’re not impatient like their younger colleagues. You need patience and understanding to grow a company and these people can provide you with that.
This article was written by entrepreneur blogger Dawn Biggs. Please visit my Contractor Money site if you liked this article.