When you think of running a small business, employee management techniques might not be top of mind. But at the end of the day, the relationship between you and your staff ultimately has a significant impact on the productivity and success of your business. Retaining employees and minimizing turnover has a lot to do with those relationships.
Whether you own a retail store or a coffee shop, if you seem to be in a constant state of hiring new employees, you might want to stop and think about what you can do to reduce employee turnover. To help you get started, here are four employee management techniques guaranteed to produce happier and more committed employees.
This guest article was written by Sara Sugar, Content Marketing Specialist for ShopKeep POS.
1. Hire the Right Person for the Job
We get it. You’re pressed for time, your last employee only gave you one-week notice, and you desperately need someone to cover the register this weekend. So you interview three college kids and hire the one with the most experience. Saturday afternoon rolls around, your shop is swamped, and you realize your new employee is not a people person. They haven’t smiled once and you’re normally cheery customers seem upset.
That’s when you realize that your new hire is anything but a match made in retail heaven. After a number of customer complaints, you’re forced to let them go and you’re back at square one. But what happened? Where did you go wrong?
It’s not that you necessarily hired a bad employee, you just didn’t hire the right employee for the job. What you needed was a people person, but that’s not who you got. Hiring the right employees for the right positions is ultimately one of the most important parts of employee management. It allows you to set yourself up for success down the line.
The key is to take your time during the hiring process. In addition to spending time sifting through resumes, also spend time getting to know the person. Speak with them face to face; get to know their strengths, weaknesses, and personality. Strategies for retaining employees come in many forms. Ultimately, you are going to be spending a lot of time with these people, and it’s important that your feel confident in your decision.
2. Foster A Healthy Work Environment
This might seem like an obvious point, but you’d be surprised how often it is overlooked. Frequently, managers think they are doing all they can to provide a workplace of tolerance and encouragement, but often they are really just squeaking by on the bare minimum. Not sure where your business falls on this spectrum? Do a self-audit and take the time to explore what you want your business to provide to your employees and what you actually are following through on.
At the end, if you find that your intentions aren’t aligning with your actions, take the time to make the necessary changes. If you’re not sure what needs to change, go to the source: your employees. Ask them what you could do to provide a healthier and more productive environment.
Strategies to retain employees aren’t necessarily going to be black and white. But ultimately, if you follow through on a few of their recommendations, your employees are going to be happier and more invested in your business. That means they’ll stay at their jobs longer and work harder, making your business more successful in the process.
3. Invest to Make Their Lives Easier
No one wants to work in an archaic environment, especially Millennials, who as of 2015 surpassed Gen Xers as the largest generation in the U.S. labor force. What this means is that your small business should no longer be operating like it’s 2006. Trust us, pushing forward and investing in new technology will not only make your employees happy, but will also make your business more successful.
What technologies are we referring to? Well, if you’re a retail shop or a quick service restaurant, a cloud-based POS system such as ShopKeep is a good place to start. It will not only make the lives of your employees easier by aiding them in inventory management, running transactions, and evaluating sales reports, but it will also propel your sales forward and help to future proof the life of your business.
Having access to data such as employee reporting via your POS software is also a great way to manage your staff and be able to see who your most talented employees are, at what time of day they are most successful, and what they thrive at doing. Investing in a new POS system will not only improve your sales but will also allow your staff to demonstrate their talent and skills, while you have the opportunity to take notice.
4. Show Appreciation
One of the most important but often hardest to express emotions to employees is appreciation, and we don’t mean during the holidays or on their birthday type of appreciation. We mean the genuine, everyday, thanks for picking up the slack, you’re a rock star kind of appreciation. Though that might sound like going overboard to some employers, if you’ve successfully completed point one (hiring the correct people), feeling this sort of appreciation shouldn’t be a rare occurrence.
When you hire talented individuals, you are going to receive extraordinary results. Acknowledge those results and express your gratitude appropriately. Whether that is a quick thanks as they are walking out the door at night or a bump in their paycheck, doing what you can to make your employees feel proud of their work is the ultimate goal for employee appreciation. It will keep your staff happy and willing to stick with you and your business through the ups and the downs.
Successful employee retention strategies come in many forms. What might work well for one supervisor isn’t always to going to fit for the next. The important thing to keep in mind, however, is that respect should always accompany any action. Whether your employee is your accountant or cashier, viewing them with appropriate courtesy should always be top of the list.
About the Author
Sara Sugar is ShopKeep point of sale’s in-house Content Marketing Specialist. Sara uses her distinguished journalism background to boil down topics like POS system technology, payments, and payment security for small business owners.