I AM A SMALL BUSINESS – HOW DO I KEEP MY “TALENT”?
How to retain key employees continue to be dilemma for most businesses regardless of its size. Companies have deployed different strategies such as pay for performance, contract engagement tied to training, bulk entitlements based on years of service amongst others. Though these may work for a while for some organizations, there is no clear or single solution to retention of key employees. Today’s business world is more competitive and faster due to technology such that the war for talent is at an increase. The greatest dilemma in Nigeria is that talent is being recycled faster than new ones are created. A question for us all is “what are we doing in creating talent?”
As a small business owner, “how do I, attract talent despite financial constraints?”
Small companies compete in the same market for talent pool, seeking the right people that can identify with its vision and work as part of the team in achieving business goals. These businesses are also constrained by the ability to pay top naira hence they have to work with a fixed budget. What strategy can be deployed then to attract and retain talent? In my years of managing a boutique human resource consulting company, I have listed below some strategies I have deployed and have helped in finding and retaining talent;
- Catch them young, energetic and passionate.
- Be prepared to develop them – train, train, train.
- Pay mix: Have base pay at industry average but include other non-cash benefits like health care, TGIF, birthday cakes, paid time off work, social clubs or gymnasium membership.
- Provide tools required for employees to get their job done.
- Be strategic about how you manage your business – have processes and structures in place.
- Provide a conducive work environment.
- Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!
- Provide feedback on regular basis – do not wait for year-end or mid-year reviews.
- Let employees run with ideas – project ownership.
- Career development – membership with professional bodies in industry, professional certifications, trainings.
- Employees must engage in networking events and seminars.
- Work Life Balance – Allow employees to have a break to do other things – let weekends be rest days as much as you can.
The truth is employees will always leave at some point in time or the other but you want to keep them for as long as you can and not hire for the same role every six (6) months. The key is being creative and constantly creating a work environment where they can grow, see the impact of their work and be challenged.