Keeping the Good Ones

(Submitted by Melissa Carter, Business Development Specialist, Small Business Development Center, OSU South Centers)

Whether you have just hired new employees or you’ve had staff for 20 years, it’s important to retain quality employees. Some ways to help keep the ones include:

• Communication – While this may seem like a no-brainer, this is the most important factor in retaining good employees. Communicate on a regular basis your expectations, their successes and good work, barriers and challenges they face on completing the job, and how the day/project is going. Along with this is to LISTEN. Hear what your employees are saying and take their suggestions in consideration.

• Establish clear expectations and provide effective evaluations – Along with strong communication, setting up clear expectation of the job or a specific project allows the employee to complete the task without having to ask questions or assumptions. Evaluating on a regular basis allows the owner and the employee to address issues, reward great work and create a path for success.

• Create growth opportunities – While this is harder with a small business, show a clear path for good work. Whether that means a different title, pay raises or different responsibilities, creating opportunities for growth in the business allows for employees to work hard and be able to advance if possible.

• Have creative perks – Typically small businesses cannot afford the same benefits to employees as a larger corporation. But that doesn’t mean you can provide other incentives or opportunities for your employees to have a good work place. If you are a retail business, offer your employees a discount or a free piece of clothing every so often. Do you have an office where it’d be ok for your pets to hang out? Maybe there’s a pizza party when everyone meets their goals for the month.

• And lastly, recognize good work. A simple acknowledgement and appreciation of a job well done goes a long way. Whether it is just a thank you or a financial incentive, appreciate your employees.