Published: 26 Jun 2019
Category: Employee Benefits , Team Building , People Management , Human Resources

10 Tips to Retain Talents in SMEs


Human capital development is important to employee retention, but many SMEs are so busy with day-to-day operations that they miss the warning signs.

There are plenty of reasons why employees resign. It may surprise you to learn, though, that the top reasons have very little to do with money and more with overall job satisfaction. Fortunately, you can lower the risk with the proper staff retention strategies in place.

Find out how to keep your talent happy and lower your turnover rate with the tips below.

1. It's All in the Mindset

The mind is a powerful thing. When it comes to staff retention measures, making sure your talent is in the right mindset is key. But you don’t have to do it alone.

Let your managers and team lead in on key decisions for your SME. Enlist them to help spread your vision for the company and have them keep an eye out for high-potential talent. 

2. Promote Mentorship

Let’s face it – many SMEs are lean. That means that some of your employees have to wear different hats in your organisation. 

Help prevent frustration about learning new roles by engaging in a buddy system for every new assignment. This can ease talent into new assignments and nurture them into learning new skills.

3. Invest in Development

Speaking of new skills, training courses are one of the great employee retention tools at your disposal. Bigger corporations may have the luxury of in-house training programs, but that doesn’t mean that SMEs can’t take advantage of development, too.

Check out training courses available locally. Find courses that benefit your staff and offer incentives for completing the course.

4. Leverage Flexible Working Hours

Flexibility is a plus in many workplaces. It allows employees the ability to balance personal and work lives, and more balance can lead to more retention. 

Many SMEs have the ability to offer staff flexible working hours. You may also offer opportunities to work from home or swap shifts depending on your industry. And unlike large corporations, for many small business owners, offering flexible schedules doesn’t cost a thing.

5. Host Group Lunches

Help your talent feel valued by organising regular staff socials. Host lunches to get connected with your talent.
This can help build team spirit on both a social and professional level. At the same time, it also helps your staff feel connected to one another.

6. Create a Positive Atmosphere

Creating the right work environment can help increase creativity as well as productivity, so make sure that your office environment is a pleasant one. In addition, a happy workplace can also help reduce absenteeism and stimulate your staff to generate more ideas. 

7. Structured Advancement

If you want to keep employees, give them opportunities to grow. That may not mean a large corner office, but SMEs can give other opportunities that large business can’t.

For example, talent can forge their own path for growth. SMEs have the luxury of offering flexibility rather than specified paths for upward mobility. This means that your talent can grow into other roles they may be passionate about.

8. Offer Incentives

Incentivising your staff is another way to keep them. Don’t let cash flow cause you to overlook this important strategy. Instead, source unique opportunities to reward your team. Some ideas include:

•    Luxury dinners
•    Hotel stays
•    Spa days

Also, don’t forget to recognise a job well done. This can help create loyalty and goodwill. That, in turn, helps retain talent.

9. Listen to Your Employees

You may be busy with your day-to–day tasks, but your team is the beating heart of your business. So the next time you talk to them, you may want to listen.

This means that you may have to turn off your internal dialogue with that laundry list of tasks you need to complete. Also, pay attention to their body language. You may miss the real message if you’re distracted by your phone.

Furthermore, when you take the time to listen your employees, it sends a message. They feel valued and important. This can translate as an affirmation of your team member’s value to the company.
If they feel like they’re heard, they may be more likely to stay.

10. Embrace Transparency

SMEs are usually a close-knit group. Employees may feel a sense of community because of the relatively small size of the business. However, you have to actively embrace a culture of free-flowing information.
Let your talent into the loop about business deals and decisions when appropriate. It will help them feel secure in their position and they’ll feel more comfortable about staying.

Wrapping Up

Staff retention benefits the entire organisation. It helps build a sense of community and action towards a common goal. You may have heard about different staff retention strategies that work for larger businesses, but you can easily adapt them to suit an SME, too.

Take the time to connect with your talent and nurture them with different learning opportunities. Also, don’t forget to acknowledge all their hard work. A little bit of recognition and appreciation can go a long way towards talent retention.


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