Startups can be challenging places of employment, usually having a monumental amount of work to be accomplished as quickly as possible, often with limited resources. Everyone on the team is new to the company, so they may not benefit from the cohesiveness that can elevate more established businesses to success. How can you ensure valued employees stay with your fledgling company in the long run? Here are some notable employee retention strategies for startup companies.
Pay Your Employees on Time
Startups often encounter unexpected incidents as they grow, but your top priority should be ensuring everyone is paid on time, no matter what happens. Although many workers understand that the early days of a business can be tumultuous, try to find other places to make cuts if it looks like you won’t be able to pay your employees on time.
Consider the Candidate’s Attitude When Hiring
When interviewing candidates for a startup, it is important to look beyond their qualifications and consider their attitude and willingness to work. You want to hire people who have a startup attitude and appear open to the unique challenges that working for a startup entails.
Determine the type of attitude and passion you seek and draft your interview questions with these qualities in mind. Flexibility and a willingness to learn are two important characteristics to look for when hiring for startups.
Get Your Employees Involved in Making Decisions
Startups are not known for offering impressive salaries. Many of the people who seek positions with a startup are interested in the company’s vision and mission, and are excited about getting involved in building it from the ground up. Therefore, one very effective way of keeping employees on board is involving them in decision-making.
This does not mean you have to give them full control, but make a point of listening to them and requesting their input when making major decisions. Allowing them to participate in the process builds respect and shows your appreciation. Employees are more likely to stay when they feel they are a part of the growth of the business.
Build a Team Environment
When founding a startup, you will be taking on many tasks and responsibilities. This means you will need an independent team behind you who is able to work well together. Investing in team building can pay off not only in terms of lessening your workload but also helping employee retention.
Team building gives your employees the chance to get to know one another outside of their job roles, as people, and this can improve chances for a united group. Plan team-building activities outside of work; taking people outside of their daily routine can help them form deeper bonds.
Create a Strong Organizational Culture
Although many business leaders believe that organizational culture is more of a concern for larger corporations, startups have the advantage of being able to cultivate the organizational culture they want from the outset.
Now is the moment for you to guide it in the direction you choose, so follow the example of some of the most successful startups and aim for the culture you envision for your company. This will help you attract employees who are drawn to your working style, increasing the chances you will work well together and ensuring those employees will want to stay with you in the long run.
Having a strong company culture that is obvious to all who visit the premises can also help you to pass by any applicants who would prefer a different type of working environment and may not be happy in your company culture.
Provide Opportunities for Growth and Learning
Most everyone feels the need to grow, personally and professionally. Although not everyone will be able to achieve this sort of self-actualization in their position, finding ways to help your employees grow can go a long way toward inspiring them to stay with the company.
Offering training and educational courses is one great way of meeting this goal. Startups with a tight budget may consider offering employees access to online courses from prestigious universities as many of these are reasonably priced.
Another good way to provide opportunities for growth and learning is by hosting internal knowledge sharing sessions where your employees can teach each other new skills that they possess. You can also encourage managers to allow employees to choose the projects that interest them personally.
Consider starting a mentorship program, and give preference to current employees when hiring for leadership roles. There are many ways to encourage growth without spending a lot of money.
Employees who feel that their contribution is valued are more likely to stay with their job. Acknowledging people on a regular basis is good, but more detailed and tangible acknowledgments are far more effective. Acknowledging your employees in public and in private with monetary and non-monetary recognition and rewards can help them feel important and appreciated. Create friendly competitions with rewards, write thank-you notes or create an “employee of the month” program.
You should never ignore your employees, even if they do something wrong. Instead, take the time to talk to them and find out what happened and why. Being an active listener can make a big difference, so be sure to communicate with all of your employees and provide them with feedback on a regular basis.
Set Up A Feedback Process
Giving employees a chance to share their feedback with you can bring concerns to your attention before they become major problems that are difficult to correct and lead your employees to seek greener pastures. Setting up a formal feedback and grievance system that is comprehensive, flexible and easy to use is a great way to open up communication and give employees a voice. Modern technology allows for the submission of anonymous employee feedback so that people will not worry about being targeted for raising concerns.
Talk To The Premier Benefits Consultants
Employee retention can be complicated for all types of businesses, but startups often lack the resources of more established companies. The experienced benefits consultants at Business Benefits Group (BBG) can help you create an effective strategy that works with your budget and company culture to minimize attrition. Contact us today to discuss your goals.