Is it Time to Hire a Support Staff? (Part Three of a Three-Part Series)


Ensuring Employee Retention

A business staff exhibiting teamwork.Hiring a support staff to help grow your business and better manage your workload is a defining moment in the life of an accounting practice. To help you work through this process, we’ve developed a three-part series on Hiring a Support Staff. The first week of this series we ran a quiz to help you determine whether or not you are ready to hire an employee to help with your workload. Last week we gave you guidelines in finding the perfect applicant for your business’s needs. This week we’re talking about how to avoid high employee-turnover in efforts to retain valuable employees.

1. Offer Health BenefitsThis is an appealing draw for highly-qualified applicants. Many will not even consider an opening that doesn’t offer health coverage. Depending on the size of your business you should look into this and see if it’s a possibility. Click here to read more about your health care options.2. Award special titlesIf you can’t award insurance benefits you should look at other, more creative ways, of rewarding employees for their work. One way to do this is in rewarding deserving employees with a new title: payroll manager, office assistant, marketing specialist, etc. Not only does this provide your employees with a sense of achievement, but it gives them the opportunity to strengthen their resumes. Avoid creating meaningless or arbitrary titles; that will do more harm than good.3. Reward employees with new and challenging projectsLike awarding titles, giving trustworthy employees new and challenging projects can provide them with a sense of achievement while also giving them the opportunity to strengthen their resumes. Nothing feels better than knowing your boss trusts you to manage a significant responsibility.4. Give employees their own parking spacesDepending on your situation, consider awarding employees their own parking spaces. If your office has a designated set of spaces, give choice employees a spot they can call their own. Or award one employee-of-th- month curbside parking.5. Allow employees to earn paid time-offMost large corporations provide employees with the benefits of paid time-off. This can be a great incentive that will not only retain employees, but motivate them to do their best work. For example, you can give four hours of paid time-off to the employee who shows consistent and error-free management of Client X’s account. If this motivates all employees to exhibit exemplary behavior, it will save you a lot more in the end than a few hours of paid leave. But Set high expectations so this doesn’t become an arbitrary reward that drains your budget.6. Offer flexible work schedulesThere are many qualified job candidates who would find your job offer more appealing if it came with a flexible work schedule. Whether the employee is able to enjoy more time at home with their children, go back to school, or recuperate from surgery, a flexible work schedule is greatly appreciated by those who need it to better balance their work and personal lives.7. Give small gifts or rewardsFor a low cost you can give deserving employees gift cards for restaurants, movie theaters, gas stations, book stores, etc. It may not seem like much, but this small gesture can do a lot to compliment your employees and boost morale.8. Say thank youThis may seem too simple, but the truth is employees tend to stay where they feel appreciated. In fact, public praise is a great way to express thanks for a job well done. Highlight choice employees in a newsletter, company email, or even a staff meeting. You may choose to thank your employees privately as well; employee evaluations are a good time to note specific instances where an employee’s hard work and creative thinking have benefited you and your business.

Small business owners may think they don’t have much to offer those employees they hope to retain long-term, but that’s not always the case. With a little creative thinking and a lot of genuine appreciation you may be able to retain good employees longer than you may imagine.

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