Engagement and retention are two key factors that can transform a good business into a great one. By putting the focus on employees, and offering a better working environment, higher standards of work and great productivity can follow. For SMEs, this doesn’t have to mean high costs or budget-breaking strategies. With better engagement, there’s better retention – and taking small steps is the best way to improve the bigger picture.
Here are eight ways SMEs can encourage better employee engagement and retention:
Offer benefits tiers to improve retention
It’s universal nature for employees to hop between businesses these days – but if you want to improve retention, offering something other small companies don’t is key. Rewards per year, like an extra holiday or benefits for long-standing employees, can be the ideal way to boost your retention rate and ensure your employees are happy to work for you in the long term.
Deliver tools to improve on workflow
If you can enhance productivity while making a job easier, why wouldn’t you? Investing in production software or ERP software can make your employees' lives easier, allowing them to complete their work to a high standard while showing them that you value what they do. While an investment up-front is required, it’s more than worth it for the results.
Establish health and wellness practices
Whether it’s providing subsidised gym memberships or offering flexibility in the day for exercise and moving, putting wellbeing practices into your workplace is incredibly valuable to employees. Your staff are human too – so why not give them a little leeway to feel good and be more active?
Enhance productivity through digital implementation
If you’re still using old-fashioned methods of work, you’re likely to lose younger employees over time. Bring your business up to modern, digital standards, and your retention rate – and productivity – could soar. Changing things for the better is always worthwhile, and keeping up with current tech is just one of the things your business should be doing to improve employee engagement.
Encourage work-life balance
Much like flexibility, encouraging work-life balance is an excellent way to enhance how your employees feel about their workplace. This means ensuring your staff have time to rest away from work when they need it. By making it clear that projects, emails or anything else can wait until the next day, you can reduce the dreaded burnout and improve employee engagement without additional cost to your business.
Provide flexibility to your employees
An idea that doesn’t have to cost your business a penny, if done right. Providing flexibility on remote working, as well as for doctor’s appointments and other day-to-day requirements, is a great way to boost morale and get your employees looking forward to work.
Reward and recognise great work when it happens
If you’re only doling out criticism and you’re light on the praise, you may find that employee engagement is slipping over time. Make a point to focus on the achievements and recognition of your employees, and their engagement with their work will soon improve in spades.
Make it easier for employees to progress in their roles
For small businesses, it’s not always feasible to offer a traditional pathway up to management. But that doesn’t mean you can’t support employees to improve in their roles. Plenty of free and low-cost online courses and tutorials are available, which are well worth investing time and money in to improve motivation and possibly bring new skills into your business.
Happy employees are hardworking employees. For SMEs, investing in the people that work for you doesn’t have to mean breaking the budget. By using the best technology for the job, such as manufacturing ERP software, you’ll be far better-placed to improve employee retention and staff engagement in the long-term.