Why employee retention is important for small businesses to thrive?

Needless to say, it has been a tough couple of years for small business owners since the COVID19 pandemic. It was as if we ended up on a new planet and asked to work on a fresh set of rules. But just as always, as humans, we found ways to survive the crisis. It is just in the last quarter the businesses had had a breather, as things slowly got back to normal. Yet, the future still looks bleak with two significant challenges – The great resignation and inflation.

Attrition and inflation are like a double-edged sword!

The world has already gone into inflation, which by itself is enough of a headache for the year. Inflation hits small businesses on a different level, a story that needs to be discussed in a separate article.

Right now, there’s another pestering issue that needs attention. Attrition can significantly threaten a company’s growth at any given time. And this article is all about how to deal with it.

You would have heard experts say a lot about employee retention. And you can’t brush it aside just like that. For more clarity, let us look at what statistics say about employee retention policies.

Here is a standout list of stats collected through various sources:

  • Almost 87% of Human resource leaders have put employee retention as their number one priority.
  • According to LinkedIn, 77% of organizations focus on employee experience to increase retention rates.
  • A prominent HR firm stated that higher retention rates boost the company’s profits up to four times.
  • Companies with strong onboarding programs have seen an increase in employee retention rate by 82%.

All reports support that employee retention is beneficial to companies in many ways. 

So, why an employee leaves the company? And how to avoid it?

Here are a few strategies to maximize employee retention:

Before we dive into the strategies, something needs to be understood. An employee decides to stay in an organization based on their experience with the company regarding the environment, growth opportunities, pay raises, etc. People call it employee experience.

Any company of its stature must focus on enhancing the employee experience. Now, how to do it? Here are a few tips:

  • Offer attractive salary and benefits: Salary is the first and last thing an employee considers to be in a job. Offering competitive salary packages and timely benefits keeps the employee motivated and appreciated. To be precise, salary packages at par with the industry standards for their position should be a good choice. Also, it saves a lot of costs as you don’t have to spend on hiring and training new employees. I mean, who would look for new resources when you can convince your current employees to stay unless there is a need for new talents?
  • Acknowledge and reward good work: Every employee expects to be appreciated for their excellent work. Encouraging employees for their hard work can go a long way in making them stick with the company. Anything as small as a word of compliment to something big as rewarding them with holidays, gift cards, and other unique benefits can be a great idea.
  • Foster Work-Life balance: Interestingly, a statistical report says, Employees with a healthy work-life balance are 10% more likely to stay in the organization. Not all employees are workaholics. Overworking may cause burnout stress, and it may lead to low productivity. So, it is imperative to set achievable targets and realistic deadlines. Also, encourage your employees to disconnect themselves from work after working hours.
  • Allow hybrid/remote working options if possible: The pandemic has taught us several new skills, and it is one among them. A recent survey shows that 30% of employees wish to continue working from home even after the pandemic. People prefer hybrid/remote working options after this pandemic. So, it would be great if you could allow that, only if it is feasible for your business model.
  • Create a healthy work environment: Company’s working environment can have a big influence on the employees. It plays a vital role. Always ensure that you have a workplace where all the employees are treated equally and with respect. Also, it is best to avoid favoritism and unethical practices that can negatively impact an employee’s mindset. Remember, “People don’t quit jobs, they quit managers.” So, keep your managers/supervisors trained in soft skills.
  • Invest in Training & Development: Almost 70% of employees continue to work with the same organization if it invests in training & development. It helps employees to learn new skills.

Above all, having a solid HR policy and employing an HR professional can better care for the workforce management than anyone else. So, if you are a ten or 50-employee company, try to rope in HR.

Employees are the backbone of any company. It is them who work for their success. Bosses of small businesses need to acknowledge and work on it. It can save you from a lot of chaos.


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