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5 Ways to Avoid Losing your Employees to Competition

By Townes Haas   |    December 21, 2016   |    11:29 AM


Employees are your most crucial asset; if your competition is trying to poach your staff, that means you’re hiring successfully. 

Here are some strategies to encourage team retention.

No small business wants their valuable employees to be lured away by a competitor. Replacing staff is not only time consuming but also expensive. Furthermore, when your employees leave, their ideas and your key business concepts subsequently become your competitors. According to Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, a senior adviser at a global executive search firm and author of It’s Not the How or the What but the Who: Succeed by Surrounding Yourself with the Best, the war for talent is intensifying due to globalization, demographic trends, and poor leadership practices within businesses. Luckily there are measures you can take to prevent losing your staff.

1. Compensation

Most staff will be happy to stay at your small business for many years if they think their salary is fair. At the end of the day, it often comes down to money, therefore you should always pay your employees what they're worth to your small business. If an employee systematically improves your business, learns new skills and develops great ideas, this should be reflected in their wages. If you're uncertain about paying them a higher salary, consider the price if your employee leaves.

2. Comfort

Staff productivity and happiness are intimately connected to the workplace environment. If employees feel that their working space is comfortable and stress-free they will be less likely to leave. There are many steps you can take to improve workplace happiness. A work/life balance is also important.  Congenial surroundings and complimentary niceties, such as free coffee and tea, relaxation rooms such as a games spaces or a meditation/yoga studio, can go a long way to making employees stay.

3. Communication

Another key way of keeping employees happy and motivated is to let them know that their accomplishments are valued. Recognizing your employees' achievements not only monetarily, but also vocally is vital. Don't wait for their annual performance review or the end of the year to commend them on their hard work and contributions to the success of your small business.

4. Challenge

If employees get bored of working at your small business they will soon start looking for more interesting work elsewhere. Don't insult your top talent by merely giving them mundane tasks to accomplish. If you want to keep your brightest stars, give them complex problems that challenge them and add to their responsibilities. Include them in difficult decision making and assign them engaging projects, such as developing new solutions to important quandaries.

5. Cooperation and Collaboration

“Working together and helping each other releases brain chemicals that enhance motivation, pleasure, and bonding,” says Marilee B. Sprenger, author of The Leadership Brain for Dummies. It is important to encourage competitive cooperation and collaboration amongst staff members. To avoid a dog-eat-dog culture which will only maximize conflict, instruct your employees to work together on interesting projects to achieve common goals, so as to maximize their inspiration. Ensuring a convivial team atmosphere amongst the employees of your small business means you will be more likely to retain them.