Keeping your Key Employees

02/29/12

It is no secret that everyone has been affected in some way by the recession. Turnover of key employees should be a huge concern for business owners. As an owner, you know that you are stressed about the state of our economy and what it has done to your business, so it would be safe to assume your employees are feeling stressed as well. Rieva Lesonsky, CEO of GrowBizMedia is quoted as saying “If you are not concerned that the toughest employees to replace are the most likely to bail on you; you should be.”

What to do to remedy the situation? Are your employees working 50+ hours a week? Are your employees doing the work of 2 people because of elimination of positions? Did they lose benefits? Did they lose pay and bonuses? Bringing pay/bonuses back can “undo” some of the damage that the recession has caused but ultimately your employee money does not take the worn out and stressed feeling of not having a good work life balance.
How can you as an owner help to reduce the stress? Here are a few tips:

1. Ask your key employees what you can do “specifically” for them. It might be as simple as letting them come in late once a week or leave early on a Friday.
2. Find low cost ways to provide support. Hire an administrative person at minimum wage to do the administrative side of your employees job.
3. Bring healthy treats for breakfast or breaks. Pay for them to go and get massages once a month. Take them out of the office on a “play date” as a group.
4. Start to bring back any benefit the company can afford.
5. Cross train and shift responsibilities; this will ensure if you do lose someone, that another employee can step up to the plate.
6. Talk to your key employees and let them know how how much you value them and that they are a part of your strategy for success. They need to know there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Awareness that your employees are stressed is the first step. Make sure you know which ones are feeling the most stress and do what you can to ease it. You may not be able to eliminate all the recession damage but attempting is worth a try.

How do I know these tips work…because our CEO, Veronica Ramirez has used them and we are a cohesive team moving in the right direction together.