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When you’re running a small business, one of your most important assets will always be your staff members. It’s necessary, then, to do what you can to ensure you have a happy workforce and retain your employees for as long as possible, so you don’t lose all the wonderful knowledge and experience they have.

A good way to go about retaining your team is to focus on employee recognition and rewards. Many entrepreneurs erroneously think workers are interested only in getting big bonuses or promotions for their efforts. In truth, according to data in a Gallup report, money isn’t the only form of recognition people are looking for; it’s not even at the top of most people’s wish lists.

There are various strategies you can implement to engage your workforce and ensure they want to stay working for you for the long haul. Read on for some top retention tips small business owners can consider today.

Thanks and Acknowledge Workers

Don’t underestimate the power of a simple thank you. Employees of all ages are keen to feel like their contributions and efforts are noticed by their bosses. As such, make it a habit of regularly thanking workers for their hard work. Try to do this in person, one-on-one. If this isn’t possible, pick up the phone, arrange a video conference or write a heartfelt note.

Try to be specific by mentioning a particular result or endeavor that you noticed. You can also acknowledge your workers in other ways. For instance, thank them in a group setting amongst their peers, or send them a shout-out in the firm’s newsletter, intranet, company conference or via social media posts.

Give out Awards

It’s also worthwhile setting up an awards program for your team members. For instance, create an Employee of the Month structure, where each month you choose a remarkable worker to highlight. Alternatively, opt for a more casual system if this suits better, simply awarding staff members as you feel it’s deserved.

When it comes to awards, think about creating something tangible people can hold onto. You could arrange for celebrated personnel to receive a framed certificate; a personalized, engraved plaque or trophy; or even a fun, humorous award that relates to your business brand in some way (e.g. if you sell high heels, the award could be created in the shape of a stiletto).

Provide Perks and Rewards

Your workforce is undoubtedly interested in receiving perks and rewards throughout the year. There are many different options to consider, so you can start off small and inexpensive and work up from there as your business grows.

For example, for perks, you could offer more flexible working hours or locations; many people are keen to work from home these days. Another option is additional time off work, which is especially beneficial when your teams have been working longer hours than normal to complete projects. At least, you could provide free or better parking spaces. You could also bring in a masseuse to provide massages at special times; treat staff members to free lunches or snacks in the office; set up meditation, yoga, or other quiet spaces where workers can enjoy quiet time during the day; or create a partnership with a local gym or childcare center so employees get discounted rates for services.

As for rewards, again, there are options to suit all budgets. Where possible, try to find gifts for employees that are based on a recipient’s specific interests, hobbies, family status, lifestyle and more. Consider rewards such as chocolates, bottles of wine, hampers, movie tickets, vouchers to restaurants or stores, pre-loaded gift cards or credit cards, books, DVDs, handmade gifts and similar options.

Give People the Chance to Grow and Learn

Lastly, note that younger generations, are focused on how they can grow and learn during their career. This enables them to not only advance but also continue challenging themselves and avoid boredom on the job. Another great way to improve retention, then, is to give employees the opportunity to develop themselves.

For instance, enable top workers to attend big industry events or company conferences, or arrange for guest speakers to come in and speak with excelling teams. You can also set up training programs and mentorships, and allow people to move around the business, trying out new roles.

 

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