This year has been challenging for many, especially those running a business. During these unprecedented times, nothing seems certain and this can cause problems for your business.
One thing is for certain: you need your employees to be firmly on your side. Employee retention is crucial at the moment; there is no point in fighting to keep your business afloat if you have no staff to keep it going.
Here are 5 tips for ensuring you keep your employees happy and by your side during the Covid-19 pandemic:

1. Ask them how they are doing – and listen to their answers!

There is no way to avoid it; this year has been stressful for everyone. As their employer, your employees want to know that you understand this and that you care how they feel. Asking how they feel, and listening to what they have to say, will help your employees feel valued and appreciated. Often just listening to them will give you ideas for how you can make things better for them at work. They might let you know they find it hard to get to work on time, they’re having trouble concentrating or that the Monday morning conference call is particularly stressful. Once you have this information, you can look at specific ways of improving your working environment.

2. Provide employee benefits

Providing employee benefits doesn’t need to be expensive and time-consuming. If you’re a small company with limited resources your employees will already understand this; they won’t be expecting a raft of expensive perks for working with you. Instead you could look into using an external service to provide limited benefits to your employees to show them that you appreciate them. Zest is a flexible benefits platform for your company that can help you to provide meaningful benefits to help keep your team happy.

3. Pay as well as you can afford to

It is worth bearing in mind that employee turnover is expensive. It can cost up to 50% of an employee’s annual salary to replace them – and so it’s better to ensure you do whatever you can to keep the employees you already have. Better to spend your money on an existing employee than on recruiting a new one, after all. Even a very small pay rise is a gesture of goodwill that will show your employees you value them and want to keep them.

4. Take care of the ones that take care of themselves

We can often find that we spend most of our time with the people who shout the loudest – the ones who need a bit of extra help and support. That’s great; after all, they do need our help. But this can mean that the people who are quietly self-sufficient and get on with their work without a word can feel left out. Everyone likes to feel appreciated, so be sure to spend a few minutes each week intentionally catching up with each member of your team individually.

5. Look at staff training

Investing in your staff is a surefire way to ensure they understand how valuable they are to you. Contact your local provider of further education and you may find there is funding and support available to help you with staff training. If you are concerned that your staff may use you to gain a qualification and then leave, you can always put an agreement in place that they will stay with you for a set amount of time after completing their course.

Staff retention is a major part of running any business, and not to be overlooked. 2020 has been a year of massive change; now is the time to help your employees feel valued and are invested in staying with your business for the long haul so that you can all grow and achieve together.

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