retain-employeesRecruiting and hiring a great employee takes time, effort and a little luck! Retaining that same employee takes as much effort, if not more, to keep them working for you. There is a report from the Center for American Progress that says replacing an employee costs on average 20 percent of that employee’s annual salary. That might not seem like a huge number, but that cost is on top of what you’ll have to pay your new employee.

We at PayAnywhere have compiled a list of things you can do to keep your employees happy and content, so they not only stay with your business, but are motivated enough to go the extra mile for you and your business. 

Get to know your employees. Seems simple enough, but with the day-to-day grind of running a business, getting to know your employees seem to fall further and further down your “to do” list.  Set goals in a one-on-one meeting and have quarterly reviews to make sure they’re on track. Care.com explains this is a good opportunity to see what motivates your best employees, and then keep that information handy if they show signs they may be thinking of leaving. Their motivations may be your ace in the hole when countering an offer they receive from a competitor. For example, if you know scheduling preferences motivates them, offer them the chance to make their own schedule.

Give them a window into your business. It may be uncomfortable at first to be so open with your business, but talk to your employees about the how well things are going and even open your books to show how the numbers are. This transparency will open the lines of communication, and this level of honesty will show employees that you’re doing the best by them when it comes to their salaries 

Take the time to show appreciation. Smallbiztrends.com says that “atta boys” and a simple thank you for doing excellent work are extremely important. But so are programs like an employee of the month contest, raffles where employees nominate each other for exceptional work, and numerous other ways to show them you appreciate their hard work.

Ask for feedback, and then act on it. You may think you know what’s going on with the day-to-day operation of your business, and you probably do, but your employees’ experiences are vastly different than yours. They know minor tweaks, like the need to clean the fridge every Friday, or that it’s time to upgrade office equipment before you do, would help feel more positive toward your business. The important thing to do when getting feedback is to act on it. If the fridge needs a cleaning, set a schedule to get it done. And if your equipment is starting to show it's age, it might be good to replace it sooner than later. You’ll improve efficiency and let your employees know you're listening to their concerns.

Grow from within. One of the worst ways to kill any goodwill you may have built up with your employees is hiring a new employee from outside when you have a qualified candidate or two already working for you. Opportunities within small businesses might not pop-up as often as larger companies, so be diligent to look within before hiring for a new position.

Offer a bigger carrot. You might not be in the position to offer your employees huge raises each and every year, but a one-time lump sum bonus might keep your most valuable employees happy and content enough to stay.

Sadly, some employees will leave no matter what you do. All you can do as a business owner is take the time to cultivate a working environment that makes your employees feel wanted, respected and trusted.