Workers quitting as the year ends is a common dilemma for small organizations in industries like retail, distribution, customer service and hospitality, especially if they’re dealing with young and hourly-paid staff. Some employees just leave after getting their bonuses or never come back after taking a holiday break.
These scenarios can very expensive for businesses. Turnover can cost up to 200 percent of an employee’s annual salary (depending on the role), according to Bersin by Deloitte founder Josh Bersin, considering lost productivity and the time and effort spent on hiring, on-boarding and training new staff.
Employee relations for small businesses don’t have to be complicated. Just like all other relationships, this has to be rooted in trust, communication and commitment. No matter how big or small their roles are, having an engaged pool of workers can drive a business to the next level in no time. Small business may feel disadvantaged with less to offer in terms of perks and bonuses but there are ways to effectively encourage employee engagement without having to spend immense amounts of resources.
A smaller headcount means owners can individually know each staff member. This is vital with regard to engagement initiatives. Managers and owners can start via regular check-ins that promote open and constant communication, which can eventually foster an environment of unity and trust. Visible and available business owners or supervisors can boost staff morale. Filipino workers are particularly keen on building relationships with key people in organization. Building relationships with the higher ups will lead to more open discussions.
Ensure that the lines of communication are open upward, downward and laterally. Most companies already have employee engagement perks and bonus programs but having a smaller team means that these benefits can be tailor-fit to individual needs. An extra day off, perhaps, or the cost of the flight back to their provinces for the holidays. Will an extra allowance for lodging be helpful? Are these benefits going to be useful? Knowing particular needs will help you maximize your employee benefit budget.
Some will insist that compensation remains a very big part of employee retention. Engaged employees, however, aren’t driven by monetary benefits but rather by the workplace environment.
Fleur Therese Saguid is the Head of People Operations at First Circle. She has over six years of experience in human resource management at fast growing start-ups with particular focus on talent acquisition and labor relations.