5 Ways to Retain Top Employees

Small businesses struggle to retain and recruit top employees. Learn a more targeted approach to recruitment and tips for keeping the best employees.

Your small business is only as successful as the employees on your team who continue to help the company grow and thrive. As a small business, it can be difficult to attract and retain top employees for your workforce. Small businesses may suffer from lack of name recognition, smaller salaries or benefits packages, geographic location, and fewer opportunities for advancement – just to name a few.

How can your small business start recruiting top talent? Here are some tips for getting top employees interested in what your small business has to offer and encouraging them to commit for the long term:

  • Listen to what top employees are saying.

    One of the keys to success when it comes to retaining top employees is helping them to feel like their input is valued in the company. Solicit information from employees by inviting casual conversation at the water cooler or over a lunch outing. Validate and clarify what is being said by top employees, and give feedback at a later date whenever possible. Top employees have valuable insight, and you can honor them by listening actively.

  • Utilize the skills of top employees.

    If you have employees with diverse skill sets, don’t let their skills go to waste. For example, if you need to revamp the company website, don’t hire a contractor to do it if you have a talented employee on board with the same skill set. An important part of retaining top employees is helping them to feel like their skills are necessary and utilized effectively in the workplace.

  • Provide feedback and evaluations.

    Employees don’t know anything about their performance if you don’t provide feedback. Developing a comprehensive performance evaluation program is one way to start recruiting top talent and retain those top employees. Feedback is meaningful and tangible, allowing top employees to embrace it and apply it in the workplace.

  • Don’t let geography influence your recruiting practices.

    You might think it’s silly to advertise a job vacancy on the east coast when your small business is located on the west coast. However, employees are relocating constantly, and chances are that an interested and qualified candidate will discover your job vacancy online. Recruiting top talent is also easier when you expand your search for qualified applicants to a broader geographic area.

  • Recognize and reward accomplishments.

    The fundamental key to retaining top employees is to recognize high achievers for their accomplishments. This may take place in the form of an incentive program (i.e. awards for top sales in the quarter, perfect attendance, etc.), or small tokens of appreciation given for individual accomplishments. No matter what approach you take, top employees will be more likely to stay with your small business for years to come if they feel appreciated.

Retaining and recruiting top talent is an ongoing process for any business. Consider taking applications from candidate on a rolling basis, rather than when a vacancy arises. You might just discover the next top employees for your organization at an unlikely time.

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