Retaining Staff Through InflationHow to ensure rising costs don’t lose you employees

Inflation can be a concern for everyone, and small businesses are no exception.

Rising costs have affected everything from salaries to supply chains, and have made staff retention a key area of focus.

As people re-evaluate their options in the face of the cost of living crisis, how can you ensure that your small business holds onto its best employees?

Ask them what they need

It’s a no-brainer really, but if you want to know what your employees want, there’s no better way to find out than to ask them. You could do this one-on-one in person, through an anonymous survey, a suggestions box, or a workshop.

However you get the answers, be prepared to consider them, acknowledge them, and explain which ones you can or can’t implement. You might discover some ideas you had never considered before.

What’s more, even the simple act of asking your employees has the potential to improve engagement. People like to feel like they are listened to, so making time to sit down with them and ask for their ideas goes towards that.

Increase wages if you can

We’ll start with the obvious solution. This will likely be what most employees will say could convince them to stay with your company. With many struggling to make ends meet, offering your employees a raise could make a huge difference to their lives.

Of course, it’s not like small businesses are rolling in money either, so this may not be straightforward at all. Times are tight for everyone!

However, when you consider the cost of replacing an employee, then you may be able to make a strong financial argument for offering a raise. The alternative could well be having to hire someone new!

Give staff room to grow

A lack of progression is a common gripe among employees. In fact, almost half of UK employees don’t believe they have good opportunities for career progression.

As such, providing chances for employees to further their skill sets, take on new responsibilities, or progress upwards within your business could all provide greater job satisfaction.

This might prevent employees from looking for jobs elsewhere that can provide them with more opportunities to grow and advance.

Talking to individuals will help you uncover their interests and identify roles they might be suited to. From there, you can consider whether they could be best placed to progress by learning on the job, taking a course, or through another route.

Consider smarter ways to pay employees

If you can’t pay more, how about paying more conveniently? If your employees are living paycheque to paycheque, the end of the month may be a tricky time for them.

Increasing the frequency with which they’d paid—say every 2 weeks, or even weekly—might make it easier for them to make ends meet. Waiting until the end of the month to be able to make essential purchases won’t put anyone in a good mood.

Digital tools like Findmyshift, which allow you to track your labour costs in real time, can help managers and business owners to keep a closer eye on things and ensure any change in how employees are paid works for the business.

Promote work life balance

Employees who are happier outside of work are likely to stick around for longer, particular if your business is taking steps to help them achieve a better balance.

Things like flexible start times to work around childcare commitments, allowing them to swap shifts as needed, and encouraging a healthy lifestyle can all have an impact.

Even simple changes like offering fruit and other healthy snacks in the office can show that you’re taking the wellbeing of your employees seriously. Team bonding days, or occasionally early finishes when things are quiet, can also offer a serious boost to morale.

With these tips in mind, your small business will be better placed to navigate the difficulties of inflation with a stable and happy team behind it. Good luck!

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