Losing a valued employee is a blow for any company, but when your staff is on the small side, the impact can be especially hard to absorb. What can you do to keep your best and brightest on board and not looking for greener pastures?

  1. Provide the best compensation and benefits package that you can. It may be hard to compete with larger companies in this regard, especially if they also provide unique perks, but your employees were attracted to your small company for a reason. Think outside the box for creative offerings your staff would find appealing. Or ask them what a good (and reasonable) perk would be that you can afford.
  2. Offer flexibility. Time is as valuable as money for many people. Can some positions be done remotely occasionally? Is an 8 to 5 schedule a necessary requirement? How easy do you make it for employees to accommodate their family life with their work life? Being open to options that allow people to adapt their schedule in a way that benefits them (while still gets the job done) can be a big reason for someone to remain in a position.
  3. Make sure employees feel invested. One advantage of having a smaller staff is that you can connect with each person more easily. Ask for suggestions and ideas and use them. Let employees see how their input directly affects the success of the company. People feel valued (and want to stay) when they have the sense they’re an important part of a bigger mission.
  4. Offer opportunities for professional growth. The nature of small companies means that oftentimes employees wear many different hats. Learning new skills broadens your professional repertoire – an attractive quality when thinking about your long-term commitment to a job.
  5. Recognize great employees – publicly and privately. Giving genuine praise for a job well done costs nothing but can produce big dividends. Whether you pull someone aside with a few words of appreciation, or you have a splashy “employee of the month” party, being acknowledged for one’s efforts can have a meaningful effect on job satisfaction.

Finding, hiring and training good people takes time (and money) which makes replacing them a task you want to avoid. Think about what elements of your work environment would be most attractive to your staff. With a few changes, your small business can be the kind of place where star employees want to contribute for a long time.


Susan Bryant is a writer and editor who enjoys working on diverse subject matter and collaborating on interesting projects. She can be contacted at susanbryant7@gmail.com.