Companies That Keep Talent All Do These 3 Things

Tips to help companies retain talent

Today’s largest companies are offering the most comprehensive benefits to their employees to attract and retain talent. This ranges from offering higher salaries and bonuses to providing free transportation and discounted housing for those who live near the office.

For those reasons, it can be an uphill battle for small businesses to keep their team together. After all, how can you compete with the larger companies that offer top healthcare and childcare packages, especially when accompanied by onsite day care and free lunches? Here are some ways for you to retain top talent at your small business in 2018:


1. Consider benefits that speak to your staff and build your brand

While having a “Cadillac” healthcare plan and competitive 401(k) can bind employees to your business, you can also retain talent by offering customized benefits that don’t break the bank. Start by considering benefits that might appeal specifically to your employees. Perhaps a majority are fitness freaks, juggling work life with their next spin class? You could partner with a local gym and offer a discounted monthly membership to keep them happy.

Your approach to benefits can also showcase the core values of your business. Just asking what benefits your employees would choose, be they fitness, transportation, company cellphones or something else, shows that you’re eager to collaborate on these important decisions. If transportation seems like a priority, you could consider commuter transit benefits, perhaps with a pre-tax account, demonstrating a progressive, environmentally friendly approach, while helping your colleagues save by choosing not to drive to work.

2. Offer in-house educational opportunities for your employees to grow

Employees who feel that they are spinning their wheels and not gaining new expertise are far more likely to look for new jobs. While educational partnerships with colleges or research centers may be out of reach, you can encourage your seasoned employees to share their wisdom with their junior counterparts.

On a quarterly basis, why not establish an in-house speaker series, with each session led by a different employee on a different topic? Or, if you have multiple locations, why not set up an exchange program, where employees can work out of a different office/location to learn from new staff members while exploring a new city or part of town? Then when they return have them share their experiences with the wider team. This can help share the unique skills and experiences, while providing opportunities for your employees to learn and also teach.

3. Foster a positive work environment

Celebrating occasions important to your colleagues and your business can cultivate a positive atmosphere. You could set up a tracking system for birthdays, celebrating each one with a personalized card from the full team. Again, remember to tap into the resources you have on hand to make these days special. As a restaurant, you could make a special meal or prepare a favorite dessert for the birthday employee. Celebrating events specific to your business, even with small gestures like a cake to celebrate your anniversary of “five years in business,” can also foster a cohesive team environment and cultivate a strong sense of purpose.


So, start brainstorming affordable, strategic talent initiatives for your business. Remember to tailor each one to what matters most to your employees, celebrating their skills and life events, while focusing your resources on your core team members. Also remember the power of embracing locality. Not every person wants to hit the big city or work at a mega-conglomerate, but almost all of them would love to get more out of the areas they call home. By doing these three things and constantly tapping your employees for input, you can help to retain your top talent and build a cohesive team, positioning your business for a prosperous future.