One of the great difficulty facing small businesses is retaining good employees. Many small businesses fall into a cycle of losing their employees every few years. Many times the small business would like to do more for their employees but feel that they don’t have much to offer because the money is just not there. Most small businesses work with small budgets that stay pretty much the same from year to year. Although the small business cannot compete with their larger counterparts as to salary, it is essential that the smaller businesses show their appreciation to their employees in other ways. Here are a few little things that any small business can do even when a raise is not an option.
1. Give your employees extra time off
Maybe money is tight, but time is something all businesses have. Give your employees extra time off. Maybe money is tight, but time is something all businesses have. Instead of the typical two weeks vacation, give them three or four. Give employees holidays off to enjoy. This extra time can serve as a time of renewal and refreshment. This time off, can also be a key to helping employees keep a healthy attitude as they work hard in the small business.
2. Give your employees more freedom
Business owners understand the philosophy that “if we always do what we have always done, we will always get what we have always got.” Maybe the business is smaller because of the business owner needing to hold on to control over all things related to the firm. Give your employees the freedom to make some decisions about their area of expertise. Give them freedom to explore, grow, and develop. The employee will feel like they are contributing and in turn, the business may start to grow.
3. Give employees lots of encouragement
Every employee wants to feel appreciated. Encouragement is free, but it does go a long way in the longevity and retention of employees. Show sincere interest in employee’s suggestions. Many employees in small businesses feel like all they ever do work, and many times they are right. The employee arrives early and stays late. They function in many roles, which often generates new and creative ideas for how the company might work better. Little implementations of an employee’s suggestion may be all that the employee needs to motivate them to stay and take ownership of other parts of the organization.
4. Give employee’s bonus money
It won’t take very many extra dollars to allow the employee to buy some books or attend a few conferences at the business’s expense. The young employee coming right out of college will not have many of the resources that he will need to be successful in business. By providing this kind of bonus money, the small business can encourage their employees to continue to improve and learn. When the employee improves, so will their abilities, their leadership, and the owner’s small business. Buying some gift certificates to a clothing store or a bookstore and then giving these certificates, as a gift is a little thing that makes a big difference.
5. Be very forgiving
The young employee is going to make lots of mistakes. One of the best assets of a small business is a forgiving spirit. Let your employees know that you support them when they make mistakes, and you want them to be creative and try new things. Let them know that you love them for their effort and creativity. It has been said about every great organization that has ever been built, that someone at some time in the history of that business made a risky decision that paid off and led to the growth of the organization. Encourage creativity and your employees will find that they work in a fun and safe environment.
6. Improve employees working space
Maybe many small businesses can’t give their employees a raise, but take a few hundred dollars and renovate your employee’s office. Buy an employee a new desk, put (new) carpet on the floor, new bookcases, pictures for the wall, and buy them a new chair. Office equipment can also be a real source of discouragement to employees in the small business. Since many times in the small business, the employee will also be their secretary, make sure that your employees have the best office equipment that you can afford. Remember this is the place that they will spend the majority of their time. We want to make it the best possible environment within the business’ means. Make small improvements. The little successes are not only critical for the business, but also for the employees.
The key here is hope. The minute that the employee loses hope for a better tomorrow is the same minute that they will begin looking for the next business to work for. Take little steps. A few small improvements to the office or to the way business is done will go a long way in giving hope that the firm wants to be successful and to grow. The key is to remember that these small steps aren’t really for the employees as much as they are for the business. It is beneficial to the small business to keep good employees for as long as possible. The small business does have hurdles to overcome, but this writer believes that there are some real significant small steps that can be made to keep good employees even when a raise is not an option.