Employee retention remains a major challenge for companies. It is even more so for small and medium-sized businesses, which generally struggle to recruit. But there are many strategies for SMEs to retain their talent. Here are five strategies to improve employee retention in your SME.
Why reduce turnovers?
Implementing an employee retention strategy is beneficial. Employee retention is the ability of an SME to keep its talents. It consists in keeping its employees loyal by offering them motivating and attractive working conditions. The retention rate and the turnover rate are indicators calculated to evaluate employee satisfaction.
A talent retention program allows small and medium-sized businesses to control costs. When you hire an employee, he or she is not always 100% operational. You train them in your work methods and devote resources to them. Without an employee retention strategy, you increase the risk of turnover and will be forced to repeat the process each time.
Recruiting talent is no easy task for SMEs either. So it makes sense that once you’ve found the talent that will help you grow and become more productive, it’s in your best interest to develop strategies to retain that talent.
Moreover, a too frequent turnover sends a negative signal to your customers and partners, but also to the future talents who could be interested in a position within your SME. Beyond the cost, the image of your SME is at stake.
Develop a strong corporate culture
Your employees need to identify with the company. They must therefore share its ambition and values. Work on sharing with your employees your short, medium and long term vision, your story. Put forward your values by defining a guide of good conduct to create loyalty and commitment. Also set up rituals such as annual events, weekly or monthly breakfasts.
Also, differentiate yourself by your uniqueness and create buy-in. An effective strategy to retain talent is to develop a strong and sustainable corporate culture.
Plan the integration of new
Employee retention starts from day one. According to a study by Deloitte, nearly half of all resignations, exactly 45%, occur in the first year. Just because a talent finds a new job doesn’t mean they’ll stay. It’s up to the company to make sure they have the right working conditions to keep them on the team for many years.
It is therefore necessary to have an onboarding strategy to welcome an employee in the best possible way. When the employee’s motivation is at its peak during the first few days, you must take advantage of the opportunity to introduce the employee to his or her colleagues, the company and its values, present the employee’s tasks and the SME’s objectives, etc.
You must plan the integration of new employees wisely, because there is nothing more demotivating than a bad start. A non-functioning computer, no integration into the team, etc., are bad experiences that taint the experience within the SME.
Provide flexibility and agility
Flexibility is the feeling that allows an employee to feel a certain form of freedom and that their work life can adapt to their lifestyle and values. Flexibility may seem utopian in certain sectors such as manufacturing where, for example, telecommuting is not an option.
Days off or telecommuting are examples of employer flexibility. But beyond that, it is above all a mentality, an empathy, a benevolence in the way of managing the SME and the employees. The well-being of the employees should be at heart and for that, we believe that it is possible to be flexible in any type of organization.
Flexibility is the ability to adapt to new expectations. It also means allowing employees to work flexible hours.
Set up satisfaction surveys
Retaining talent in your small business is all about meeting their needs and expectations. Take time to talk to your employees and get their feedback. First of all, it involves them more in the life of the SME, but secondly it allows you to know what improvements can be considered.
Consider that it is the employees who are in the field. To do this, take into account their comments and needs in terms of work tools, organization, etc. It is imperative that employees work in an environment that is at least optimal. Improving the working conditions of the employees will undoubtedly encourage them to stay in their position for the long term in your SME.
You can also create surveys on various subjects. The idea is to involve employees to better retain them, but also to listen to their remarks, needs or expectations in order to respond to them if possible. You should therefore not ignore your employees’ expectations if you plan to implement an effective retention strategy.
Taking care of the work environment
The work environment is important for employees to feel good. Work spaces should be set up with optimal conditions. Meeting rooms equipped with all the technology required to make meetings relevant, relaxation areas if needed, a kitchen, a sofa, …
It is up to you to make your SME a place where employees want to spend time. Corporate sports can also be considered as a solution to improve the daily life of your employees.
In summary, while better pay may encourage employees to stay, it is sometimes a temporary solution that treats a symptom, but not the source of the problem. Even if it is to be considered, the most important thing would be to work on making employees happy in order to retain them.