David Kiger Shares Keys to Employee Retention for Small Businesses

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Founder of global logistics company outlines five specific methods to help companies retain top talent.

David Kiger, founder and executive chairman of Worldwide Express

The little things can mean a lot to an employee, and the big things can mean that much more.

Small businesses depend on committed employees, and it is important that entrepreneurs find the right ones that are capable of lifting new endeavors off the ground. As business grows, it is equally important to focus on retaining this talent for the long haul.

David Kiger, founder and executive chairman of the global logistics company Worldwide Express, has outlined five methods businesses can use to increase employee retention.

1. Be competitive with benefits and retirement. . “If your company becomes well-known for its benefits program, you will find it easier to recruit devoted employees,” said Kiger. “Ideally, a small business owner would install a solid benefits package from the beginning. For those that can’t, developing a strong program over time will be key to keeping the good employees around.”

2. Praise good work. “It is a simple gesture, but one that can mean a lot,” said Kiger. “A sincere ‘thank you’ may be all employees need to know they are doing a good job, and that the boss knows it. Don’t overdo it, and make sure that the praise is warranted, but be open to being appreciative. Recognizing effort and achievement is self-reinforcing. When you do a better job of recognizing employees, they tend to perform better.”

3. Connect with them. “Sure, many employees put the actual work at the top of their priority list,” said Kiger. “But others may place an equally high value on the workplace environment, the spirit of collaboration and day-to-day banter. Though an overly friendly boss can lead to awkward, Michael Scott-esqu moments, it can help to get to know people working for you a little better.”

4. Think of boosts, both big and small. “The little things can mean a lot to an employee, and the big things can mean that much more,” said Kiger. “Incorporating small perks, such as free bagels on Fridays and dry-cleaning pickup, with larger perks like stock options and financial awards, keep employees motivated and satisfied with their roles. It is also important to provide meaningful annual raises. If you can afford it, reward your top performers.”

5. Make sure there’s room to grow. “Employees may have more energy and passion if they know their job can lead to bigger and better things,” said Kiger. “Promotions can motivate employees by appealing to their sense of ambition. Otherwise, there may not be a carrot for them to chase, and therefore their motivation may be limited.”

Employee retention should be at the forefront of every company’s radar. Small businesses need to cultivate a positive workplace with a focus on creating above average benefits packages, ensuring positive communication, and building a positive attitude among employees.

About David Kiger

David Kiger, founder and executive chairman of the global logistics company Worldwide Express, offers advice to entrepreneurs through his blogs, Business Chat and Cultivating Knowledge, Driving Action, and his popular Twitter account (@DavidKiger).

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Kelsey Lloyd
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