Hey there, fellow small business owner! I have had this conversation a number of times, especially in the last 6 months so let’s deep dive into how you can conquer the challenge of retaining your amazing team amidst the big players, especially when it comes to regional Australia. While those giants may flaunt their hefty salaries and fancy benefits, you’ve got something they can’t replicate – heart! (cheesy but becoming more important than you realise). Here’s some proven tips on how you can keep your team happy, engaged, and sticking around for the long haul!

First things first…

‘keeping employees actually starts from day 1’

By putting the time and effort into onboarding/inducting them correctly, they are not only set up to succeed but feel valued from the moment they join your business.

Next, aim to be the Employer of Choice:

  • Cultivate a workplace where positivity, collaboration, and respect are the norm. After all, a happy environment breeds happy employees!
  • Show your team you’re invested in their growth and development. Provide opportunities for learning, training, and upskilling. When they see you’re invested in their future, they’ll be invested in yours; when an employer shows loyalty, and employee often shows it back.
  • Balance is key! Offer flexible work arrangements and generous paid time off. Let your team know you understand the importance of work-life balance.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of appreciation. A heartfelt ‘thank you’ or a shoutout for a job well done can do wonders for morale (something that is missed from the big companies – and one of the main reasons people leave is when they don’t feel appreciated).

Now, let’s talk perks and benefits:

  • Keep an eye on the competition. Make sure your salaries are competitive, not only within your industry but location too!
  • While you may not be able to match the big dogs’ benefits package, focus on what matters most to your team. Whether it is health insurance, wellness programs, financial well-being or assistance with further education, show them you’ve got their back.
  • Get creative! Tailor benefits to your company’s unique culture and vibe. Whether it is flexible hours, gym memberships, or a budget for personal development, make it something they’ll truly appreciate.

Communication and growth are the keys to success:

  • Open, honest communication is key! Regularly update your team on company goals, performance metrics, and future plans. Transparency builds trust.
  • Feedback is a gift. Encourage open and honest conversations between managers and employees. And don’t forget to celebrate wins and recognise outstanding performance along the way!

Let’s not forget about building a strong team culture:

  • Plan some fun team-building activities. Whether it is a virtual scavenger hunt or an outdoor adventure, bonding time is essential
  • Foster connections outside the office. Host social events where your team can relax and unwind together, include partners and family too!
  • Pair up seasoned employees with newcomers through a mentorship program. Not only does this help new hires settle in, but it also fosters a sense of community and support within your team.

With these strategies in your toolbox, you will create a workplace where your team feels valued, supported, and eager to stick around for the long haul.

Remember, happy employees are the backbone of any successful business. You’ve got this!