How Small Businesses Can Attract and Retain Great Employees

Your small business has the same goal as every other company: to attract and retain great employees. Yet, your business faces a disadvantage because it may be smaller than its competition.

Ultimately, job seekers often look past a company’s size as they review job ads. So, if you hone your approach to talent recruitment and retention, you’re well-equipped to attract and retain great employees long into the future.

Now, let’s look at four tips to help your small business stir up interest from top talent and keep your best employees happy.

1. Take Your Management Skills to the Next Level

How you manage your workforce can have far-flung effects on your ability to attract and retain exceptional employees. If you’re a poor manager, your employees may feel overworked and undervalued, to the point where they want to leave your company ASAP. Conversely, the best managers know how to properly delegate tasks and ensure every employee feels and performs their best. Plus, they keep the lines of communication open with workers and provide employees with the support they need, exactly when they need it.

It takes hard work and patience to build and fine-tune your management skills. To get started, use surveys and questionnaires to collect feedback from your employees and peers to find areas where you thrive and areas where you can improve. Once you identify your management strengths and weaknesses, explore opportunities to enhance them.

Management courses and training programs provide outstanding resources for those who want to take their management skills to the next level. Additionally, you can pursue an MBA to complete coursework that teaches you everything you need to know about being an effective manager.

2. Offer a Wide Range of Employee Benefits

Providing a strong compensation package may be insufficient to attract quality job candidates or retain top talent. In fact, a recent survey of more than 2,000 job seekers showed the following employee benefits were most desirable:

  • Health, dental, and vision insurance
  • More flexible hours
  • More vacation time
  • Work-from-home options
  • Unlimited vacation
  • Student loan assistance
  • Tuition assistance

Learn about your workforce and what your employees want in terms of benefits. Once again, surveys and questionnaires can serve you well, as they’ll allow you to gain insights into the benefits your employees want.

Don’t forget to consider outside-the-box benefits, too. For instance, you can set up a wellness program that encourages workers to take care of their physical and mental well-being. You can also provide company apparel, referral bonuses, a fun and exciting work environment, and other unique employee perks that help your business stand out to top talent.

3. Enhance Your Company’s Culture

You want employees who fit your company’s culture. And, with a clear understanding of your culture and what it’s all about, you can boost your chances of consistently attracting outstanding job candidates to your business and keeping them on staff for years to come.

To improve your culture, you first need to define the values associated with it. Consider what your business strives to accomplish day after day. Next, you can determine which values can provide the foundation for your company’s culture.

Apply your culture to your management approach. Remember, management involves getting a group of people to work together to achieve common goals. If your company’s values are on display as you manage your workforce, your employees and peers are likely to see that you’re doing your best to contribute to your business’ success. At the same time, your entire team can foster a culture that brings out the best in all involved and may lead top talent to your business.

4. Promote a Healthy Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance is key for all employees, regardless of industry. If work becomes too much to handle, it can disrupt an employee’s personal life. Conversely, if personal issues affect an employee’s ability to work, they can negatively impact the worker and their employer.

Give your workers plenty of opportunities to develop and maintain a balanced schedule. To do so, you can encourage employees to track their work and personal time. You can also empower workers to complete tasks according to their own schedules. Because, as long as the job gets done as expected, your workers can reap the benefits of having the flexibility to complete it whenever they choose.

Empathize with your workforce, too. Encourage workers to take breaks throughout the day as needed and to come forward with work-life balance concerns or questions. If you show your workers you are there to help them in any way possible, you can give them lots of opportunities to build and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

The Bottom Line

Although the aforementioned tips can help your small business attract and retain great employees, you need to stay persistent in your efforts to distinguish your company from its rivals. Craft a business plan that includes hiring and talent retention goals and measure your results. Modify your plan based on your results as well. Furthermore, retrieve feedback from employees and continue to explore ways to get better at attracting and retaining top talent.

Do your best to make your small business a top choice for job candidates and employees. That way, you can build an amazing workforce that helps your company accomplish its short- and long-term aspirations.


Jori Hamilton
Jori Hamilton
Jori Hamilton is a writer from the pacific northwest who enjoys covering topics related to social justice, the changing workplace, and technology.

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