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5 staff retention strategies to keep your employees happy

October 04, 2013

Finding hardworking, dedicated employees for your small business is challenging. Once you have them, make sure to keep them happy by showing them that you appreciate their efforts. These five staff retention strategies will be sure to satisfy your small business employees, so keep reading.

In today’s economy, it’s more important than ever for small businesses to know how to retain employees. Most small business owners don’t have the time or resources to continually hire and train new employees, which is why you should focus on keeping your existing staff. When employees are loyal and engaged, profits are usually higher. Well-treated employees miss less work, perform better and are more supportive of changes, so following staff retention strategies is crucial. Here are a few tips on how to keep employees happy:

1. Communicate with employeesBuilding a strong relationship between you and your employees should be a priority. As a small business owner, you should set clear boundaries, demonstrate leadership and provide direction for employees. Also, allowing employees to voice their ideas and concerns will make your small business a better place to work.

2. Say ‘thank you’ – Valuing and appreciating employees increases their self-esteem, which can benefit their work ethic. Thank them for their outstanding work, as it will likely motivate them to continue doing an excellent job. If an employee makes a mistake, don’t punish them. Instead, teach them correct procedures, and offer encouragement. A positive management style will be more effective than being tough on employees.

3. Offer promotionsOpportunities for promotions will motivate employees to strive towards their full potential, and might convince them to stay with your small business long-term. If employees feel there is room for growth, they’ll be driven, while they may be discouraged if they feel opportunities aren’t available for them in the future.

4. Create a healthy work environment – The physical layout of your business may increase productivity. Give your employees enough space to work in, necessary supplies and offer them a pleasant environment. Being uncomfortable and cramped may negatively affect their work ethic, so consider this when making updates to your small business’s space.

5. Celebrate special occasions – Everybody needs to have a little fun – even at work! Holidays, birthdays and anniversaries are all reasons for celebration. You could also acknowledge Employee Appreciation Day, which occurs each year on the first Friday in March. This is another way to keep employees excited about your small business, and it gives them something to look forward to. Work hard, play hard!

Knowing how to keep employees happy will help you build a strong team of professionals. Employees greatly affect the success of a small business, which is why it is pivotal to implement staff retention strategies into your management efforts. Once you know how to retain employees, you’ll be able to focus on improving other aspects of your business, with help from your staff!

Editor’s Note: This post was updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness in November 2016.

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