How to Retain Top Talent without Breaking the Bank

Jun 02, 2014

job interviewRetaining talent at a small business with few employees is a crucial part of the business. Even people who come together as friends may feel a certain animosity once money is on the table. However there are some ways to keep talent once you've acquired it.

The Hard Numbers

According to a survey by CareerBuilder reported by Forbes, 70 percent of workers reported that increasing salaries is the best way to retain employees. Additionally, 58 percent believed that improving employee benefits would help workers stay. About 50 percent said making work schedules flexible would keep employees, and another 50 percent said increasing employee recognition would keep workers happy.

However, this is only the most basic approach to retaining talent. A good employer knows how to keep employees without throwing money at the problem.

Retaining Talent by Promoting Character and Integrity

Fox News reported Warren Buffett has a few ways of keeping his talent, and none of them involve money. In fact, the only requirement is being a good leader. Buffett believes that if you communicate "pride and confidence" in the people you work with, showing other people that you trust your employees, and also demonstrating to your employees that you value them, then those people will stay at your company longer.

If your employees feel that you are proud of them, they won't look at their job as just a way to make money, but as a way to be part of a group of people doing great things. One of the ways Buffett demonstrates confidence is through trust. He delegates jobs to people he believes will do a good job. This will make his job easier, and it will also make the employee feel more responsible for his or her destiny within the company.

As a boss, Warren Buffett tries to be very approachable. This is another way to foster employees who will stay. If they sense that there is trouble in the air, they won't jump ship - they will ask their boss if something is wrong. If the boss is honest and open, and lets his or her employees know that a deal didn't go through or something along those lines, then employees will come to understand that their boss will tell them everything, and they don't have to make guesses or predictions.

Following this strategy, the working environment will feel safer and more secure.  It will also foster a culture of honesty. Working in a small business lends itself especially to transparency because there are so few employees and so many different roles for each worker.

Retaining Talent Through Feedback and Affirmations

Tracy White, director of human resources for Clark Nuber, an accounting company, wrote in Seattle Business that one of the best ways for keeping employees happy is giving them feedback. This means regular performance reviews throughout the year.

Feedback also means giving clear directions about what you expect from your employees. Essentially, your employees should always know how they are seen by their boss and what their boss expects of them for the future.

In addition to this, you should provide opportunities for growth, so that employees have the chance to grow in the way they have been told they need to grow.

One opportunity for growth that employees may appreciate is helping them to gain CEDIA certification, which is one of the best ways to become recognized as a competent professional in the industry. Certification, along with the skills developed through ongoing CEDIA Training, helps employees feel invested in the company while having the added benefit of keeping your business competitive.

Finally, you should reward growth with recognition and appreciation.

Want to see how your staffing, benefits, and compensation strategies compare to your peers' and competitors'? Visit our Research Library and check out CEDIA's 2013 US and Canada Benchmarking Survey Report - Staffing/Benefits/Compensation. The condensed version is free for CEDIA members. Watch for the 2014 Benchmarking Survey Report - Finance/Project Management/Marketing, available late July.

1 Comment

  1. 1 Jeff Gardner 02 Jun
    We know of several member companies who tie wage increases to certifications, both from CEDIA and manufacturer training.  It only make sense; an employee who has been trained and certified at a higher level is worth more to the company and increased compensation is a great motivator!



CEDIA blog posts are intended to provide general information and should not be regarded as legal opinions or advice.

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