10 Ways to Lose Your Small Business Employees - Helping Small Businesses Thrive 10 Ways to Lose Your Small Business Employees - Helping Small Businesses Thrive

10 Ways to Lose Your Small Business Employees

SmartBiz Loans recently conducted a poll asking small business owners “What keeps you up at night?” The number one answer was “Employee Retention”. There’s a good reason entrepreneurs should strive to retain strong employees.

Some studies predict that every time a business replaces a salaried employee, it can cost as much as 6 to 9 months’ salary. For example, if you’re paying a manager $40,000 a year, you could lose $20,000 to $30,000 in recruiting and training expenses if they leave your company.

In addition to costing time and money, excessive turnover can have a negative impact on employee morale, productivity and your bottom line.

Here are 11 ways you could lose a valuable member of your team.

1) Underpaying

Right off the bat, underpaying is a great way to make sure your employees are dissatisfied. Underpaid employees tend to have their resume at the ready and are prepared to jump for a better opportunity. There are many resources available so that you can make sure the salaries you pay your staff are competitive and fair. Check out this article from the Small Business Administration for information about setting worker’s wages.

5 Steps to Help You Decide What Salary to Pay Your Employees

2) Stretch Thin

Do you provide your employees with a clear outline of their duties and responsibilities? This practice is important to assure that you and your teams are all on the same page regarding work expectations. Demanding more and more from your employees and being insensitive to their work-life balance can drive folks right out the door.

3) Take Credit

Before you start crowing about an accomplishment, give credit where credit is due. Even though you’re “the boss”, it’s a smart management strategy to recognize employees for their hard work.

4) Keeping problem employees

An underperforming employee doesn’t just impact your bottom line.

Nothing will cause morale to take a nosedive faster than keeping an employee who should be shown the door. Hold regular reviews to make sure your employees are performing the work they were hired to do. Listen to your staff if they have a complaint about a co-worker. One bad apple can poison the whole office.

5) Favoritism

Just because you have a “yes man” on your staff, does not mean that you should treat that employee differently that others. Avoid resentment and gossip by treating your staff members the same.

6) Blame

One of the first lessons most people learn as a child is to take responsibility for their actions. Unfortunately, some adults didn’t learn that lesson. A ‘blame culture’ is common in some offices. Don’t use issues as an opportunity to persecute people instead of finding solutions.

7) Forgetting Your Manners

“Please” and “thank you” are important in both your personal life and your professional life. When communicating with your employees, don’t forget those two important words.

8) Failure to Share

Are your Yelp reviews amazing? Did a customer compliment your staff? Are you hitting important goals? Don’t keep the good news to yourself. Share company successes with your team and let them know if an individual has been called out for exemplary behavior. Positive energy goes a long way towards creating a happy work environment.

9) Not Listening

When your employees ask to speak with you, spend quality time listening to their comments. If your employee is asking a question, proposing a project, complaining or just talking, put down your phone or computer, make eye contact and listen.

10) Ignore their personal and professional development

There are so many online, affordable educational resources available today, you’re doing yourself and your business a disservice if you don’t explore. With technology evolving so rapidly, there are always new skills to be learned. Ask your employees if a class or course could be helpful and set aside a few dollars in your budget for staff development activities.

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