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No matter what industry you’re in, turnover is a problem you can’t ignore. If you’re lucky, it’s relatively low compared to industry standards, but if it’s not, it’s time to do something. Because turnover is, in fact, something you can prevent if you’re proactive.

First, Assess the Situation

There’s a reason people are quitting your company. They might not all leave for the same reasons, but if you do some sniffing, you can probably find a few root causes. Maybe one manager is pretty harsh on his staff and they’re running for greener grass. Or maybe other companies are paying more than you are. Whatever the cause, identifying it is the place to start. There are even tools available on the web to assess staff happiness.

Now let’s look at a few tricks to reduce your turnover numbers and keep employees engaged, happy, and in place.

1. Give Them Props

Everyone likes being recognized for a job well done, but 76% of employees say they aren’t satisfied with the amount of recognition they’re getting from their employers. And around that same number say they’d work harder if they were recognized more.

It doesn’t take much to notice an employee doing a good job and giving him a pat on the back. And it doesn’t have to be major accomplishments. Bringing up a good point in a business meeting, finding a time-saving shortcut, or referring a new hire to you are attention-worthy as well.

2. Engage Them Better

Everyone talks about employee engagement, but for many companies, it remains a nebulous concept. You don’t need to invest in Beer Thursdays or a foosball table to engage your staff. Instead, listen to their input, act on their ideas, and help them feel like an important part of your company.

After all, you’re a small business, and you provide more opportunity for an employee to feel like his contributions matter than he’d get at a giant corporation. Just make sure you’re treating each employee like a valued member of the team.

3. Reward Them

Certainly, if your sales team hits its quarterly goal, you can reward them with a fancy dinner, but there are other ways to reward staff without spending much — if any — money. Give them extra days off if they achieve their goals, provide them with schedule flexibility, or let them name your next product. Get creative in your rewards and keep them on their toes. I know a company president who, during a particularly stressful project, brought in a masseuse and gave his entire staff massages. You can bet that was an appreciated treat.

4. Keep Your Promises

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About Jon Byrum

Jon Byrum is the president of Hello Scheduling, a provider of employee scheduling and time clock software for small businesses. He regularly writes about our his startup experience on the Hello Scheduling blog.

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