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... e employee to work from home were also most likely negligible, especially in light of the additional revenue brought in by a satisfied employee. In this case, the potential ROI, while not known up front, was certainly worth the minimal risk. Seminars and formal training are available for small businesses at an increased cost. The examples above, however, show that cost can be minimized with some creativity. Finding and keeping employees has never been easy.
But now, full employment has come together with a service and information economy-making recruitment and retention, the most pressing challenge-facing American small business today. "Smaller companies are much more able to encourage, sanction and derive mutual benefit from allowing their more accomplished contributors to adapt, within reason and certain parameters, responsibilities to their interests and objectives. Competent people eager to wear multiple hats and increase their areas of knowledge are less inclined to become bored and more likely to stay and contribute for years to come (Daveta, John)". Retention issues are vital. While companies spend tremendous resources attracting good people, they must be equally diligent about keeping them once they've become members of the team. Higher salaries and/or counter-offers offered by other employers pose the biggest threat to employee retention. The most commonly used retention initiatives include health care benefits, new-hire orientation programs, open communications policy, salary increases, defined contribution programs, such as 401(k) plans, on-site parking, reimbursement for training costs, and casual dress programs.
Not only do such programs help retain valuable employees; they also increase employee loyalty and productivity. Businesses must first hire the right person for the right job. Good managers identify, hire and wisely place top talent. If minds and attitudes are the materials and machines of today's economy, then hiring the right person is just as important as designing the right product. Secondly, money isn't always everything. No matter how good the price, the most cost-sensitive consumer won't buy a bad product. What's true for a super-store in keeping customers is just as true for a local convenience store in keeping employees.
Money is just one component of value. And companies have to start offering the whole package: a good price and a good product; in other words, competitive compensation and a great workplace. Of course, an employees' concern would be total compensation. However, intangible factors taken together like work-life balance, leadership quality, opportunity for advancement, work environment and training far outweighed money in their decisions to stay or leave. "Small-staff associations have to be creative in finding rewards for taking on less than desirable challenges. We allow employees managing certain unpopular tasks (i.e., technology, meeting planning) to charge related association purchases using their corporate credit card to earn frequent flyer miles (Worden, Vicki)".Small businesses should strive in creating a caring workplace. "Competent managers mandate that all people are entitled to be treated with dignity and respect (Daveta, John)" Pay may keep people on the job, but it won't motivate them to produce more value for the company or go the extra mile.
An example of some basic and effective strategies is to keep employees informed and provide them with "mentor-minded" managers and great training. One example to consider is employers should take a proactive approach in taking the time to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries. In building loyalty among employees, the end result is everyone feeling they have a stake in making the company a success. Finally, small business employers should consider promoting from within. Small business organizations should attempt to manage employment promises by giving realistic information concerning an employee's job/position within the company. "Success is determined by our people. Increased flexibility, opportunities for professional growth, and creative benefits can build loyalty and lengthen the time your outstanding performers stay with you (Worden, Vicki)". By, communicating to employees those promises that may typically be found in small firms, such as increasing responsibilities and opportunities to learn new skills, small firms may be better able to find, develop, and retain competent employees who may be better suited for these types of employment challenges and possibilities.
Not only does this strategy help build long-term leadership, it also enables the business to have an effect on the culture, which provides the company with a sustainable competitive advantage. Promoting from within is a powerful tool for recruitment and retention. Employees cite their faith in opportunity for advancement as a key factor in their decisions to stay with their employer. And that means training and development is an important part of the process. How can today's companies do it? The same way they attract customers. Communicating the promise of a great work experience is what retaining employment is about. Small businesses do not have many employees, and the loss of valued employees can be detrimental to that business. We've looked at the factors that contribute to employees leaving a small business and what big companies do to keep their star employees.
All companies have to go through the same steps to find employees. We've found that small businesses can compete with larger ones if they approach their potential employees in the same way that they approach their customers, and sell the job to the right candidates. By creating a work environment that is desirable and unique can help in this process. This includes promoting from within the company and giving employees' room to grow. Most small businesses will find that these solutions can help when there is a lack of resources. Finally, by getting creative small businesses can find solutions that cost less and will still be effective in retaining employees in the face of larger businesses.
ReferencesDaveta, John (2001). Retaining Valued Employees No Small Task For Small Businesses.). Daily Mail. Hayes, Scott. (1999). Payroll-Deduction Plans Help Small Companies Retain Employees.
Workforce. Jones, Alexandra. (2004). Work-Life Balance needs Correcting. Daily Mail. Kickul, Jill.
(2001). Promises made, Promises Broken: An Exploration Of Employee Attraction and Retention Practices in Small Business. Journal of Small Business Management. Worden, Vicki, L. (2002). Tips For Keeping Top Performers. Association Management..
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