Motivating & Retaining Employees – 10 Ways Your Business Can Do It

retaining & motivating employeesMotivating & retaining employees is always a challenge for entrepreneurs and small businesses.  Competitors know that luring your company’s best performers will save the expense of training an inexperienced hire while forcing you to “break in” a new employee. It also gives your competitor a known and proven asset who can execute his duties with a high level of productivity. Here are 10 ways to keep your best employees on board.

  1. Ensure that the job description actually matches the employees’ work duties. Stimulate and motivate them with challenging duties; nobody with ambition wants to be stuck in a “dead-end” job with little chance of advancement.
  2. Motivate your employees with more than just salary. Find them attractive work projects or startups that utilize their talent and help them grow your business. Make them feel as though they’re part of your “A Team” and key members of your culture.
  3. Keep your employees informed with current corporate strategy, growth targets and expectations of their job performance. In other words, keep them “in the loop.” It’s good for an employee to feel that he’s inside “the inner sanctum.”
  4. Make sure you as the employer provide adequate job transparency. This means sharing with them the company’s performance, the penalties for breaking company policy and informing them of the wage market for their job description. If changes are impending or if bad news for the company is on the horizon, make sure they hear it from you, the owner of the business. Don’t let the grapevine be the employees’ source for company information.
  5. As owner, always be open to their suggestions and ideas. Don’t just give lip service and then ignore their input. After all, everyone wants to be treated with respect and honesty. Should an employee feel that “he’s not paid to think,” job performance will be affected aversely.
  6. Avoid pitting team members against each other. Competition between employees may maximize job performance but enabling an employee to use cut-throat tactics that sabotage the efforts of the team will turn everyone against the owner and the company.
  7. Delegate responsibility for projects and keep them informed on its overall progress. Ensure that medium-term goals are established so that they can plan their work and achieve their aims.
  8. Make sure to compliment them on a job well done and reward them with bonuses or pay increases when they’ve made the business more successful.
  9. Allow job flexibility and show them trust; they’ve proven their integrity and don’t need to be watched constantly. If their performance is better when they work from 10 am – 6 pm or 5 am – 1 pm, then it should be encouraged. Encourage them to “think outside the box.”
  10. Don’t let the employee feel as though he is a “yes man” and is there to boost the ego and image of you, the owner. Don’t condescend to your employees – when everyone feels valued and wanted, it reflects on you and your business.
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