When it comes to startups, your team is often one of your biggest assets. Before you build the capital and brand recognition to be a real market player, keeping hold of your quality employees is a significant challenge, especially with the number of exciting opportunities available to them in larger companies.

Encouraging staff members to stay and help grow your business is more than a question of finance, it’s about your company culture. Indeed, the best employee retention policies empathize with the team member and orient themselves to their specific personality and situation. Here are some ideas for employee retention techniques your startup can implement to protect your all-important team members.

Orient New Starters

“The most successful employee retention programs start on a staff member’s first day,” says Margaret Chan, a human resources manager at Writinity and LastMinuteWriting. “This is your chance to sell your company, take advantage of it.”

Ensure your staff onboarding procedure is a dedicated introduction. You want new staff to feel like a valuable part of the company, so help them feel welcome and highlight the importance of their role. Skipping over this step or doing it half-heartedly will send a message to new starters that you couldn’t care less who fills this role, and your staff will not think twice about moving on to somewhere else.

 Mentoring Opportunities

Another important early-stage tip is to partner new starters with mentors, someone in a similar role who has been with the company a while who can help them settle into the job. Choose someone who you trust to highlight the benefits of the company and make the starter feel comfortable. Promoting a sense of partnership and community will give workers a social boost and encourage warm feelings toward the job and the company.

Perks of The Job

With an increasingly competitive job market, the perks your company offers outside of an employee’s salary are a great way to differentiate your company. Some things like catered lunches, free coffee, and snacks are becoming commonplace, so anything unique you can think of might set your business apart and encourage staff to stay on longer.

Think outside the box and consider non-material perks that can boost staff morale. This is particularly useful for small startups that might not be able to afford big-ticket gifts for their staff. Something as simple as regular socials or office games could encourage a positive, close-knit work environment that larger companies can’t offer.

 The Personal Touch

Another benefit of smaller startups is the ability to be personal in communication and feedback with your staff. This doesn’t mean discussing sensitive information, but that you can afford the time to get to know each staff member’s work and personality. This will further prove you care about them and their job satisfaction.

One easy way to check in with employee satisfaction and productivity is with annual performance reviews. This gives you time to get into detail about how a staff member is doing, what their goals are, and what feedback they have for you and the company as a whole.

But, as Ava Nwigwe, a tech writer at Draftbeyond and Researchpapersuk, says: “Try to take the pressure out of performance reviews. No one wants to feel like they’re coming in for a scolding, you want your staff to enjoy the opportunity to sit down with you and talk in detail about the job and the company.”

Ensure A Work-Life Balance

No matter how much your employees love their jobs, they will always want time away from the office where they don’t need to think about work. Companies that encourage employees to be available around the clock are sending a message that their employees’ lives aren’t important; why would you want to work for someone who thinks that?

There are lots of ways to show your employees you care about their work-life balance. Encourage them to take vacation time and, if late nights are needed, make sure you allow them to make up for lost time with late mornings or free days off. Better yet, consider implementing flexible working hours, allowing your staff to decide when they will be most productive and not forcing them into a schedule that doesn’t work for them.

Putting It All Together

Job perks and a clear policy for time off, especially after overtime, are important to prospective employees. It also helps to  show new employees the ropes, provide mentorship when they first start, and add your own personal touch to the experience of working at your business.

About the Author
Copywriter Heather Williams produces a range of content for Lucky Assignments and Gum Essays. She has written about subjects from business development to book publishing and enjoys the challenge of teaching others through the written word.