best talent

By Rachel Jackson

Getting the best talent to come work for your start-up is a big achievement. But you can’t afford to rest on your laurels. Now you’ve got them working for your business and contributing to its success, you don’t want to let them go.

Recruiting and training new staff is a time-consuming and costly task so you want to keep staff turnover down to an absolute minimum. In addition, having the best talent on your books attracts yet more talented applicants next time you need to do some hiring.

So how do you retain the best talent working for your start-up? Here are seven tips:

Be Communicative

One of the reasons people choose to work for a start-up is because they believe they’ll be operating in the thick of it. They’ll get to know and learn about business operations in a way that wouldn’t be possible in a larger organisation. Use this to your advantage and be communicative with your team. Share your objectives and your thought processes. Be transparent in your decision making. Employees will feel much more involved and invested in your enterprise as a result.

Listen to Their Ideas

Following on from the last point, communication is a two way street. You should make the effort to listen to your employees. When the best talent see their ideas taken on board and put in to practice, it gives them great job satisfaction. And even if you think an idea doesn’t really cut it, be prepared to listen and give feedback. Whether it’s a suggestion for a new business initiative or just a new brand of coffee in the office kitchen, take the time to hear them out.

Create A Great Work Environment

Whilst you may not have the largest budget to play with, there are a number of ways that you can make the physical work environment more comfortable for your team. Natural light, desks and chairs that allow for proper posture, and maybe the odd pot plant can make a real difference to how we feel at work.

Offer Progression

Smaller companies don’t have the same scope for progression as bigger companies. But that doesn’t mean you can’t offer your best talent a way to progress in their jobs. Ask them if any training opportunities would be useful. Find ways to expand their responsibilities. And always increase their wages along with your company profits.

Be Flexible

As a small company, you’re uniquely placed to be flexible in your ways of working. You don’t need to have a one-size-fits-all policy and can therefore adapt to the needs of your workers. This means you can offer flexible hours or the opportunity to work from home, both increasingly popular as more millennials occupy the workforce.

Offer Employee Perks

When your office is a great place to work, employees are more likely to stick around. That means fostering a great working environment and providing little extras to make your employees feel valued. A gym membership, a decent vacation allowance or just a weekly fruit basket could do the trick.

Respect Their Downtime

You may live and breathe your company. And maybe you’ll luck out and find talent who want to do the same. However, you can’t expect this from your employees. You need to give them time and space away from work to recharge their batteries. They shouldn’t work late every night and they shouldn’t be available 24/7 to answer emails. Allow them a good work-life balance and they’ll be much more motivated and productive for it.

Retaining the best talent at your start-up is as important as attracting it in the first place. Develop your work culture, environment and communication to keep those top team members from looking elsewhere.

Rachel Jackson is a mother of 2 beautiful boys. She loves to hike and write about travelling, education and business. Rachel is also a great fan of sustainable living and a strong supporter of the sharing economy. @rachelj423