Tips and Tools to Retain Your Top Employees

How to retain employees

This article is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal, financial, or tax advice. For specific advice applicable to your business, please contact a professional.

Which tools and strategies can your business implement to be more appealing to current and potential employees? In a competitive hiring market, showcasing the strengths of your workplace and investing in your team are essential ways to stay ahead of staffing concerns and employee retention. Prioritizing a happy and engaged team helps lead to their success — and to the success of your business.

Here are eight tips and tools for business owners that may help attract and retain top employees.

1. Quick, reliable payments

Some employees may value having easy access to their money sooner. Setting up an integrated system to manage your cash flow and payroll means that you don’t have to run payroll as often and that your employees can access their paychecks without significant delays.

Square Payroll offers instant payments connected to your balance, meaning you can run payroll in as little as one business day prior to your employees’ pay date. Employees can then access their pay instantly with Cash App.

2. Flexible schedules

Flexible schedules have many recruiting and retention benefits. Offering employees the opportunity to help define their own schedules can help you stand out. For your existing team, it can lead to higher productivity and reduce burnout. A standard 40-hour work week is good for some employees but may not be optimal for everyone. This flexibility allows employees and managers to work together on a schedule that makes the most sense while considering work-life balance and time off.

3. Remote work

If in-person work isn’t always essential for your business needs, consider offering partial or full-time options for remote work. This move can open up your pool of candidates for new jobs and energize your current staff, empowering them to find the working environment that fits their skillsets and lifestyles.

Have questions about the tax implications of employees working across different states? Here’s a guide to get started with tools to automate compliance questions for both employers and employees.

4. Benefits and perks

Implementing employer-sponsored and direct-to-employee benefits helps you keep up with competition for top talent. There are standard offerings such as 401(k) plans, health insurance, and retirement benefits. Additional benefits such as paid time off, sick leave, equity, and annual bonuses help lead to improved wellness, productivity, and a positive work culture. There are also potential tax advantages that come with these benefits.

Then there are snacks, monthly birthday celebrations, the occasional free lunch or happy hour — these perks of working in an office may seem like small things, but they go a long way to improve employee satisfaction. Here are 15 low cost perks you could try out.

Of course, it’s not about the food or drinks, but the gesture. When you celebrate victories and milestones, and even just the occasional Tuesday, you’re showing employees that you appreciate their hard work and personal contributions.

5. Recognition, reviews, and clear career paths

Recent labor trends indicate that more and more employees seek long-term careers with clear trajectories, goals, and growth opportunities. It can help to establish a plan for an investment in staff growth that includes transparent details on promotion opportunities. Make this work clear in your job postings, employee handbooks, and interviews.

When there’s a higher-level job to fill and you hire from outside the company, you’re sending a strong message to employees — and it’s not a positive one. Elevating employees from within your ranks shows that you value their work and you’re committed to their future at the company.

If you do hire from outside the company because your current employees aren’t quite ready for the role, talk to them about that and other opportunities for them to grow and move up. This kind of transparency is essential, or you’re going to give them the impression that they need to leave the company if they ever want to progress in their careers.

A regular cadence for employee feedback and recognition is also a key step, including quarterly and annual reviews. Without it employees can start to feel that their work is underappreciated or that their future at the company is uncertain.

6. Onboarding and mentoring

Spend time creating a plan for your onboarding and mentoring process for new employees, and let job candidates know what their first few months at your company will look like. Changing workplaces can be a daunting task. Employees can quickly be put at ease and set up for long-term success by having a support system for questions and a clear understanding of how to get started.

7. Build strong relationships with your direct reports

The relationship that employees have with their supervisor is a key factor in retention, according to the survey by Dale Carnegie and MSW Research. Employees responded favorably to managers who care about them as people.

To further strengthen these relationships, supervisors should coach employees instead of managing them. When you coach, you’re focused on cultivating their development and growth, which in turn boosts the success of the company. Read more about how you can build strong relationships with your employees.

8. Automation

Relying on multiple companies and software solutions to run your business can be a pain point for both managers and employees. Having an all-in-one, mobile-first system makes the busywork simple and easy, giving your staff more time to focus on the work they love.

The Square ecosystem of business solutions helps cut out the time-consuming tasks, from data management to tip tracking to shift scheduling. This can give employers more time to invest in their businesses and their teams, and it frees up employees to do more meaningful work.

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