How to Motivate and Retain Employees in Your Business

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It’s a challenging time for businesses negatively affected by COVID-19 even after a year – there are still variances, especially in motivating and retaining employees. On the one hand, you want to keep valuable talent as you course through this challenging time. On the other, the threat of financial loss is real as your bottom line reflects your business’s poor performance. On this blog, a thought of how to motivate and retain employees in your business will be highlighted.


Do you let go of your employees and lose potential profit? Do you keep all of them? How do you know whom to retain? Should you furlough them? Furloughing them might seem to be counterproductive, as you won’t be able to get them on board for crucial work such as strategizing and marketing during the crisis. 


If you decide to keep your team, it’s another challenge to motivate and retain them during this uncertain time. Here are ten tips to ensure your employees are engaged and productive regardless of the current setup and the looming health threats. 

  1. Communicate to them how important they are to the success of your business. 

People like to be part of something grander than themselves. If you can rally your team towards an ambitious goal, then it’s highly likely for them to stay for the climb. 

You can achieve this if you have a company vision, mission, and goals that you can cut up into short-term goals. You should reiterate and ingrain in every strategy your brand values at every opportunity possible. 


2. Provide your team with the necessary tools for productivity and advancement. 

One, this shows that you care. Two, it gives so much growing space for your team. Ask your team what would enhance productivity and efficiency, and provide to the best you can. It sends a message that you are serious with your goals and with your intention to harness their skills towards the achievement of such purposes. 

Also, be generous with unique perks that can increase their morale, even in the everyday little ways. For instance, overflowing brewed coffee, granola bars, and ergonomic work chairs can spell the difference between a demotivated employee to one who’s engaged and happy knowing that they are valued. 


3. Give room for career advancement. 

The top reason why people leave their jobs is the lack of career advancement. If your small business doesn’t have so much room for promotion in terms of position and title, then you can instead adopt a strategy that focuses on your team’s growth. 

Get to know your employees and their best skills, and provide the necessary training and tools to enhance those further. Remember that exemplary employees are those who seek growth and development. 


4. Challenge them. 

Part of encouraging growth in an employee is challenging them. A good leader knows how to delegate and trust his subordinates with more significant, more crucial tasks. As you entrust your employees with more make-or-break responsibilities, they will learn from their mistakes and experiences. It can be daunting both for you and your employee, but it’s also a great way to fast-track growth and keep your team motivated. 

Millennials, in particular, love challenges. Just go to Tiktok, and already you will see the latest dance challenge. Have weekly challenges for them to accomplish, and provide valuable feedback for every completed or failed challenge. 


5. Acknowledge a job well done. 

Every employee must know that they are seen. As a manager or a company owner, it is your responsibility to give your employees absolute security by praising their job well done. 

Whenever you see an opportunity to give a kudos or a “Thank you, “make sure you take it in the best way possible. Some accomplishments are best praised through a face to face conversation, while others should be announced in the company’s monthly newsletter. Know the channels through which you can send your message, and use them well to retain your employees. 


6. Build a stable community with influential company culture. 

If your office is currently in a remote work setup, this can be extra challenging to achieve. However, there are ways to define company culture, even if most of your collaborations are online via Slack or Zoom. 

As mentioned above, people are attracted to higher causes. As you communicate to them your company’s mission and vision, you can further amplify your message by letting them know a company culture unique to yours. Encourage your employees to have a sense of ownership over your business; make them feel that they’re rockstars who are part of an exclusive elite team of individuals. 


7. Ask for and listen to feedback. 

Feedback is highly valuable to managers who intend to motivate and retain employees. Have weekly check-ins with your team to find out what’s working and what’s not and how they think things can be improved. As the people who are working for your business, they are in the best position to let you know how you can adjust. As you implement changes based on your team’s feedback, they will feel more empowered. Always acknowledge the voice of your subordinates to let them know that you listen and that they matter. 

Conduct exit interviews to know what you can do to prevent another resignation, and conduct 

 “stay” interviews to know what you can do before it is too late. It is so costly to lose great talent, so don’t take it for granted feedback. 


8. Honour rest. 

Even superstars need rest. You don’t want valuable talent to get burned out because of the immense trust and challenges you give. In everything, there needs to be a healthy balance. For every employer, that balance should be between an engaging work environment and the right amount of time off. 

It also helps if the work environment is not too toxic. Use the 80-20 rule to manage expectations – 80% utilization and 20% slack. It gives you enough buffer for delays and unexpected roadblocks along the way. 


9. Be a good leader. 

Nobody wants to be in the shadow of a bad boss. One of the top reasons why employees leave is dissatisfaction with the management. If you can set a good example to your team, they will gladly stay on board and provide valuable help to you. 


10. Fire bad employees

Great talents thrive in the presence of each other, and they are encouraged by an atmosphere of healthy competition. Throw in this mix, a lazy employee, and you get the possibility of well=performing employees getting demotivated and dragged down. 

Sometimes, you have to wear the bad cop hat to pluck out underperforming team members. However, not being able to do so sends a wrong message to everybody that you are tolerant of mediocrity. Stand up for the employees you want to retain and motivate by plucking out underachieving individuals. 


In line with that, you may appreciate having an expert assess your business situation. Contact Annette & Co. for a friendly chat about what you can do to improve your business gains even more! For more quick tips as well you can follow us on Instagram.

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Annette Ferguson

Annette Ferguson

Owner of Annette & Co. - Chartered Accountants & Certifed Profit First Professionals. Helping Online service-based entrepreneurs find clarity in their numbers, increase wealth and have more money in their pockets.