Difficulty in Retaining Employees in Era of Low Unemployment

by Jody Ordioni

The unemployment rate in the past years has been shockingly low. Though it is good news for workers and the economy, if you own a small business it may not benefit you. A low unemployment rate implies that workers have ample options. Employees can jump ship frequently, increasing your turnover rate and making your baseline suffer. The question that arises is, how do you retain employees in this new age of unemployment?

Since jobs are available on the fly, it is up to the employers to bring their A-game to the play. Losing employees does not just damage the turnover rate, it also is an expensive and time-consuming procedure. When the unemployment rate is low, it also means that the top talent is already employed. If the top talent is already occupied, then you won’t have qualified professionals to fill in the vacancies. It also leads to increased competition between companies to swipe employees from small businesses. The need of the hour then is to create a strategy that effectively retains employees. It should resonate with the ethics of your workers and engage them. An action plan is your defense to keep your employees within the company.

Onboard New Recruits

Onboarding is the first step your employee takes within the company. It is the deal breaker for many new recruits, if not done well. However, when done right, it allows the employees to form a lasting relationship with their job. The first six months are the test period, after which the result of the process either retain employees or they quit. As an employer, your task is to acquaint your employees with the business, answer queries, and introduce them to the staff. Your employees should be clear about the job expectations. The onboarding process should fully equip them to do their job well, otherwise, the lack of communication might frustrate them, which eventually would cause them to quit.

Mutual Respect in the Work Sphere

There are plenty of studies that conclude to the same point, that people quit their bosses and not the jobs. Though there are many other reasons at play that make employees quit their job, a working relationship lacking mutual respect rests quite high on the list of reasons. Acting the part of a grumpy boss and berating employees for making mistakes (or even diverging from how you do things) implies that you do not respect them. Nor does it help in gaining their respect. Mutual respect increases their loyalty towards their job and your business.

Employee Engagement

People do get bored with doing the same routine day after day. A job that is not challenging enough might force your employees to look for other options if they see their professional growth. Employers should aspire to create a culture that engages other employees. With the right attitude and leadership, any employer can create an effective strategy to retain employees. Encourage employees by offering them professional development. Provide regular training and educational assistance, whenever possible. It is also advisable to offer them leadership roles and lateral movement within the business so that they can expand their horizons.

Offer What No One Else Does

If you keep running to defeat large corporations, you might run your business to the ground. Do not aspire to be something you are not. Though fancy business packages attract people, for a majority they are not the be all and end all. Offering benefits other than monetary, such as job flexibility, greatly attract employees. Moreover, empowering employees through leadership roles also helps in establishing long-term relations. Most people like to feel that the work they are doing, impacts their surroundings. They need to feel like a big fish in the pond and not the other way around.

The Bottom Line

If you wish to emerge victorious in this race and retain your best employees, then seek creative solutions to traditional problems. Find the uniqueness of your small business and capitalize on it. Small businesses create a familial feeling amongst the employees; this is the USP that is capable of retaining employees in this era of abundant options. Many employees feel that belonging to a pack is the greatest treat that they find while working for small businesses.

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