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“The customer is always right.” It’s a phrase almost everyone is familiar with from employees up to business owners. It’s a familiar phrase that highlights the conventional wisdom that the “customer is king.” While keeping your customers happy is important to a successful business, the best strategy to achieve that goal may surprise you.

Why is there a staffing shortage

Let’s take a look at the current job market realities that small business owners are facing. In 2021, more than 47 million workers quit their jobs. Business owners at companies with less than 50 employees saw their staffing decline in three of the last four months with 63% of owners saying staffing challenges have hindered their ability to operate at full capacity. And when you’re losing staff in a climate where it’s hard to replace them, that is a compounding problem. Not easy.

Why employee retention is important

When it comes to making sure your customers are getting service at the level you expect there are different ways to approach the issue. It may seem counter-intuitive, but smart business owners know that putting their employees first (rather than “customer is king”) is the best way to achieve growth. When employees feel empowered and valued for their skills and labour, they take great care of your customers.

From The Great Resignation to labour shortages across the country, you can see how these issues have made finding and retaining good employees a major priority. It will become even more important in the upcoming year as recent research suggests staffing challenges haven’t dissipated yet. Employee retention is expected to be even more challenging with total annual employee turnover likely jumping by nearly 20% from the pre pandemic annual average this year. And when you consider that the average cost of losing an employee is an estimated $15k, the challenge this presents a small business can have a major impact on the bottom line. 

How to increase employee retention

While the above may not sound optimistic, there is still a bright side. Elavon has strategies that can help make your business retain employees.

Empower your people
Research shows that employees who feel their voice is heard are 4.6 times more likely to perform their best work. So, give your employees a megaphone and let their voice be heard. And if you listen to those employees, you’ll likely get some great perspective on how to improve and innovate your business and your employees will reward you with great customer service and loyalty.

Benefit with more benefits
As a small business owner, you can encourage employee loyalty by adding more benefits like health insurance. Twenty-two out of 100 employees that quit a job voluntarily did it because they were looking for more or better benefits. Better pay isn’t the only factor, but an important one. Paying more may seem like you’re decreasing profit, but that’s not always the case. When you consider the costs of losing an experienced employee as well as the costs of training a replacement, incremental pay increases can go a long way. You can also tie this to career development to incentivize growth and learning because if there is no clear path for advancement employees may start to seek that path elsewhere.

What can you do as a business owner? Offer up growth and career advancement opportunities and pepper in some raises as well. Encourage everything you can to allow your employees to learn more and earn more. It pays to maintain a long-term mindset.

Retain talent with work / life balance
Are you living to work or working to live? With the pandemic, much of the workforce has recalibrated what it is they truly value in their lives. Previous research shows that 12 of 100 employees that quit voluntarily left in pursuit of work/life balance. 87% of employees want an employer that values them and supports their personal passions and commitments outside of work too.

In an earlier blog we talked about how important it is for small business owners to occasionally step back and enjoy the fruits of their labour. Well, that same advice holds true for the folks that work for you. You honour and support their work/life balance and you’ll likely end up with employees that make it easy for you to take time off too.

Hopefully this new employee retention knowledge can help you navigate your way through labour shortages (and potentially avoid them). 

Please get in touch with Elavon today for more tips on starting and running a small business, payment processing solutionspoint of sale technology and data security standards to keep your business growing.

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