In the ever-evolving world of retail, one of the constant challenges facing companies is the high rate of turnover.
As bad as losing an employee is for any business, however, it can be even worse for independent retailers. In addition to leaving you shorthanded, regular turnover can deflate company morale, interrupt workflow and decrease efficiency in the workplace. Replacing employees also cuts into your time for other tasks and can be quite costly. With a smaller staff, fewer resources and a lower operating budget than big-box retailers, these issues are only magnified for small business owners.
On the bright side, there are ways to reduce employee turnover. Here are a few tips to keep your team together for the foreseeable future.
Get it right the first time. There’s no better way to cut down on employee turnover than by hiring the right people in the first place. While no hiring strategy is foolproof, there are ways to increase your odds of landing long-term employees. Expanding your recruitment campaign, widening your candidate pool and prolonging the interview process are a few ways to ensure your new hires are not only qualified, but complement your company culture and have a passion for your industry. It’s always better to invest time and money upfront than it is to react out of desperation and repeatedly make the same mistakes.
Value your employees. Yes, this means offering your employees fair wages and enticing benefits – but it goes beyond that. More than anything, people want to feel appreciated and respected. Instead of simply handing out regular raises, pay attention to each individual’s needs and act accordingly. In most cases, personal perks and a little bit of flexibility will go a lot further than a nominal pay increase. Encouraging employee feedback and listening to their ideas will also make them feel like more than just a hired hand.
Inspire your employees. Think back to the passion and excitement that fueled you to start your own business. Now try and infuse that passion into your team members. By sharing your interests, goals, experiences and knowledge, you will give your staff extra incentive to go the extra mile. The goal of working towards a common objective will also give them a greater sense of accountability and a vested interest in the success of your company. If you want your employees to treat their positions as more than just a job, they have to see you as more than just a boss.
Boost company morale. One of the most common causes of employee turnover is a negative work environment. Aim to create a positive and optimistic workspace by celebrating milestones, praising employees (both as a group and individually) and engaging in regular team-building activities. Public displays of gratitude, peer-recognition programs, social activities (such as company BBQs or group volunteering) and open communication lines are also great ways to boost morale and retain employees.
Provide opportunities for growth. Regardless of tenure or position, people have an intrinsic desire to evolve. By providing your employees with room to grow – and investing in additional training and professional development programs – you will reduce the chance that they grow bored, despondent or resentful. Instead of seeking greener pastures elsewhere, they will stay committed to you and your company while improving their knowledge and expanding their skill set. In addition to regular reviews, ask your employees about their professional goals – and do your best to help them achieve them. The effort will help reduce turnover and pay dividends for years to come.