It’s getting harder for entrepreneurs to find skilled employ-ees
in many parts of the country as workforce growth
slows. What’s more, hiring employees and getting them
up to speed in their new job is expensive, time-consuming
and often frustrating.
That’s why it’s more important than ever to hold on to
the workers you have. Here are five strategies to follow to
1. Hire the right employees
The first step is to hire people who are likely to stay with you.
To do so, you need to attract suitable candidates by present-ing
them with a clear, compelling employer value proposi-tion.
In job postings and on your website, explain what your
company stands for and the kind of work environment you
offer. Then, use a rigorous, structured selection process to
identify candidates who will thrive in your workplace, hope-fully
for years to come.
For example, some people thrive in a high-pressure envi-ronment
while others don’t. Employers should talk about
that during the recruitment and selection process to make
sure the job and employee are a good fit for one another.
2. Be the kind of leader that employees want to follow
Employees want a boss who is honest, ethical and has a vision
for where he or she wants to take the company. That vision
should come with clear, well-communicated objectives. And
those objectives should, in turn, flow down to employees in
a performance management system that provides construc-tive
feedback and individual goals for the year. It motivates
people when they know where they’re going and what they
need to do to get there.
3. Make sure people have the resources they need
A good way to push people out the door is to ask them to do
a job without giving them the time, tools, people or informa-tion
to do it well. This is especially important for your most
ambitious and talented workers – the ones you want to keep
the most. High achievers seek out environments that facili-tate
4. Care about employees as individuals
The basics such as a clean, healthy and respectful workplace
are a given. But other perks such as flex-time, telecommut-ing,
learning opportunities and fun social events will be more
important to some employees than others. What counts is to
be sensitive to people’s individual preferences.
Employers don’t need to offer everything, but the point
is to make an effort to create an environment that funda-mentally
cares about people. If you aren’t sure what your
employees care about, ask them.
5. Be creative with your compensation
If you’re facing tough competition for staff, either because
of labour shortages in your region or the specialized skills
you need, you’re going to have to offer higher salaries and
But many smaller companies can pay average compensa-tion
and enhance the attractiveness of positions by offering
opportunities that larger organizations don’t. These might
include more responsibility at a younger age, more indepen-dence,
an entrepreneurial work environment and exciting
chances to learn.
People are looking for more connection and mean-ing
in their jobs, and want to feel they are able to make
decisions and learn. These may be things that people
don’t always get in a larger organization and it can make
the difference. n
Michelle Feder is a BDC Business Advisor and HR expert who
advises entrepreneurs on HR challenges. This article originally
appeared on BDC.ca and is reprinted here with permission.
How to Retain
Employees in a
Tight Job Market
Five strategies you can use
to keep your employees from
leaving your company
By Michelle Feder, BDC