For a small business to be successful every aspect needs to run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. In the UK there has been a 69% increase in the number of private sector businesses since 2000 – the majority of which are small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). SMEs tend to have smaller margins in their first five years so it’s important that not only are the right staff hired, but that they also stay.
Employee turnover can have a serious and detrimental impact on any business with both time and money being lost when it comes to finding a replacement and then training them. But there are five simple steps that could help cut down employee turnover and help your SME not only survive but thrive.
Show career path
It’s important that each employee knows there is room for progression. Yes, some employees are happy to have the same role for years, whilst others are hungry to progress. But letting them know from the start will help them decide if your SME is the right fit. Having a discussion about career progression should be ongoing too. This demonstrates to your employee that you value them and want them to remain within the company.
Think about the location of your business
Most SMEs don’t have the largest amount of capital behind them so thinking about the location of your business is crucial, and often a forgotten factor. As an employer you need to think if your employees can afford to live close to the location of your business. If their wages don’t correlate to the cost of living in that area, they may leave. By being aware of these factors before you begin can help reduce staff turnover in the first place.
When employees and their work are valued, their satisfaction and productivity increases. This in turn leads to a rise in motivation to maintain or improve their work. Praise and recognition are essential in any workplace, but especially SMEs where invariably staff are invaluable. Appreciation is a fundamental human need however; everyone responds differently to praise given. Uncovering how your staff like to be rewarded will help you maintain them.
Allow flexible work schedules
Despite a rise in the number of private sector businesses, less than a quarter allow flexible time. Allowing flexible time in your business may help reduce staff turnover as it demonstrates trust in them that they will do their work, as well as demonstrating that you value their needs. Flexible working has also been shown to improve job satisfaction, morale and motivation.
Create a happy environment
We spend more time at work than we do at home, so it’s important that your work environment is a happy and welcoming one. Employees are more interested in company culture than job satisfaction and want to enjoy coming to work. Sociable places, comfy seating and bright colours contribute to a happy working environment, but so does the culture. Businesses that treat their staff to a lunch or drinks regularly, as well as allow early finishes, have seen an increase in employee happiness. If your staff are happy, they’re far more likely to stay.
Reducing staff turnover will not only help your SMEs bottom line, but you will help build a positive work culture, one in which your employees are valued and motivated – and that is priceless.