At one point or another, almost every company – Google-esque in size or Joe’s accounting firm headquartered in his mother’s basement – goes through a period of high turnover. Turnover is an even more prevalent plague to the startup world, especially during a company’s infancy. In order to retain valuable employees and lure in top-notch talent, you need to be able to beat the negative juju that departures may bring to the work environment.
Here are a few budget-friendly ways to keep your employees happy and engaged even when the tides are tough.
Related: 5 Traits of Successful Leaders
1. Recognize employees' achievements.
There are many opportunities during the day-to-day activities of your business for you to recognize your employees’ hard work. During company meetings, try to set aside some time at the end to bring to light the great work your staff is doing to help in your company’s success. You can also use this time to open up the floor for employees to praise and give thanks to fellow colleagues on their assistance with closing big deals or even smaller tasks like fixing the office’s temperamental copy machine. Little words of encouragement go a long was, so feel free to send your team emails of appreciation when they’re on top of their game.
Not so much of a proactive boss? Not really sure of what exactly is going on a daily basis at your office and with your staff? Make recognizing stellar work a bit easier for yourself and have your team update you on their achievements. It not only helps you stay informed on the daily happenings, but it also helps your employees highlight their body of work for you when it comes time for year-end salary discussions.
2. Host in-house company events.
Treat your employees to a couple of hours of freedom from the hustle and bustle of their work by letting them relax and enjoy each other’s company. Some companies shy away from events because they often think it will have to be an extravagant and expensive affair. So not true! There are many inexpensive activities that will encourage your team to band together outside of doing their job duties. Schedule an afternoon hike or put together a bake off. Volunteering at a local soup kitchen or food bank is also a great way to strengthen your team while helping out your local community as well. If your company does have a few dollars to spare, you can host monthly happy hours or pot lucks. To shake it up a bit, after the work day, you can have a bartender come and teach a mixology class to your staff -- it may even save you from having to hire a bartender when the company holiday party rolls around!
3. Empower your employees.
I get it: Your business is your baby. You want to have your input on every decision made on every deal no matter how miniscule. However, micromanaging your employees only causes them to diminish their ownership of their work. That means if something goes wrong at any time with their projects, your employee will feel less compelled to take responsibility. That’s not to say you should throw caution to the wind and leave your team without a leader while you jet set to Monaco so you can sunbathe on a yacht in the French Riviera. However, trust that your employees are capable of making day-to-day decisions without 24/7 supervision, and when they do need your help or guidance, they will come to you for it. When employees have autonomy in their jobs, they are more prone to take greater pride in their work and treat it with better care since they know that it will ultimately be a reflection on them.
At the end of the day, turnover is never good news for any company -- no matter how big or small of a company. Most employees will see turnover as a bad sign and may look for the nearest exit. However, with a little creativity and genuine care for its employee’s happiness, a great company can overcome it!