Of American workers who switched jobs in the past year, two in five are looking for work again. This puts recruiting and retaining talent at the top of the priority list for many leaders. Especially for those at small companies who can’t afford to lose key employees. But what do employees want? And what can you do to motivate them to stay at your small company? We compiled a shortlist to help answer these questions:
Lean into learning and development
Employees want the opportunity to learn and grow. At a smaller company, it is easier to focus on fewer employees, take on more diverse responsibilities, and hone their skills in an agile and forgiving environment. Upskilling and reskilling also provide great opportunities for internal mobility. Being able to move around in a company can be very appealing! An individual may come into one role but be exposed to another that sparks their interest. Help your employees grow in the career path that they envision.
Involve employees in company growth
Keep your employees in the loop on where the company is going. Host regular meetings to discuss plans and goals, plus updates with progress that are relevant to them. Individual managers should tell their team members how they specifically contribute to the goals and fit into the vision for the future. After all their hard work, reward your employees with additional equity as the company grows. Equity can be a meaningful part of compensation packages. It serves as a concrete representation of productivity and loyalty.
Build a connected culture
Smaller companies have the chance to engage and intermingle employees across multiple departments. So lean into those smaller team sizes to create a widespread sense of belonging and closeness. Your CEO may be able to interact with front-line employees and remember them by name. Relationships that transcend titles, company-wide-gatherings…it all adds to your connected culture!
Amplify it all with a recognition program
Recognition is powerful at organizations of any size, but a custom-tailored recognition program at a small company can be a true game-changer. As we’ve seen time and time again, monetary rewards are not enough to retain employees. In fact, one study revealed that 44% of employees that planned to quit identified lack of recognition as a reason. Praise and gratitude are key pieces of the puzzle!
Ultimately, recognition can amplify the previous three strategies. You can acknowledge learnings, certifications, and promotions to new roles. You can keep employees informed about company growth and successes. And, of course, you can further establish your connected culture with all your employees whether they are in person, hybrid, or fully remote.