As a small business owner, you know firsthand the value of good employees. But even more importantly, you know the value of keeping good employees.
While the reality of retail means seasonal hiring sprees, higher-than-normal turnover rates and the occasional curveball, it doesn’t have to mean constant HR headaches. One of the best ways to ensure loyalty and longevity among your staff is to keep them motivated – and long gone are the days that employee discounts, basic health insurance and nominal annual raises will do the job.
Here are five simple but effective perks to keep your employees excited about work.
Flexibility. One of the benefits of owning a small business is not having to adhere to corporate regulations. Extend that benefit to your employees by being flexible with scheduling. While there’s something to be said for routine and consistency, employees will invariably need time off for errands, appointments and family emergencies. Instead of begrudging or punishing them, be as accommodating as possible. Paid time off – especially if it’s unexpected – is also a great way to show appreciation and reward hard work.
Professional development and education. One of the most common reasons for dissatisfaction in the workplace is boredom. Ensure your employees are always growing and learning new skills by showing an interest in their future. Whether it’s a scholarship fund for formal education or sending employees to workshops and conferences, an investment in education will pay dividends for years to come.
Empowerment. Nothing motivates an employee like a sense of responsibility. While it can be tempting to limit roles and duties based on position and experience, try empowering all of your staff members with the ability to contribute ideas and make decisions. In addition to showing that you value their opinion and trust their judgment, it will help build their confidence. An added benefit is that more hands make lighter work; the more others around you are able to do, the less work you’ll have on your plate.
Extracurricular activities. Much like a family, celebrating milestones and spending time together can make a company stronger. In addition to acknowledging business achievements, taking a personal interest in your employees’ lives will provide plenty of opportunities to bring the team together. Birthdays, pregnancies and weddings are all great reasons to bring in a cake or organize a staff BBQ. Volunteering as a group is also a great team-building exercise and a way of giving back to the community.
Appreciation. If empowerment motivates employees on a professional level, appreciation is what motivates them on a personal level. From long-term managers to temporary seasonal employees, everybody likes to know they are valued. From a simple thank-you to a generous year-end bonus, there are countless ways to thank your employees for a job well done. And always remember – how you treat your employees says more about you and your business than it does about them.