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Good workers are hard to come by retaining them, is another task

ROSE MUTHONI

The biggest mistake small and medium enterprise (SME) make is paying attention to only clerical human resource activities such as payroll administration but fail to engage important HR strategic tasks like talent management and training. Good talent is hard to come by and retaining good workers is no mean task.

How can an SME owner or manager retain a winning team? Below are tips that will enable one to not only attract the best talent but also keep it.

1. Be attractive to get the right talent

Being small does not mean you are left to hire from leftovers after big companies have had their pick. According to the NewPaper use the aspect of your business that you are most proud of to attract the right talent.

Perhaps you are family-oriented, or expanding overseas, or practise flexi-hours (supporting working mothers). Highlight that in your job adverts and in interviews to attract talented candidates who would prefer to work for you than for a bigger organisation.

2. Be a leader

Ask any graduate who they would like to work for. As sure as heaven is happy, they will quote a renowned business mind. To be able to attract talent to your small business, you must show leadership, they must know that they are banking on a business that stands on firm ground. Uphold integrity and the values of your business if you want the talent you attract to grow with you.

3. Provide a defined career growth path

No one wants to be stuck in a rut. We all want to grow. We all want that prestigious title and a bulging bank balance. This is not as easy as it sounds, especially for younger companies.

Building an organisational structure that allows for career-pathing takes time and strategy. Being able to show candidates where they can go and how they get there is critical. You also have to prove that you can provide the right resources for professional development.

4. Recognition and reward

Employees in an SME may have to wear many hats. One has to grapple with being a jack-of-all-trades and master of none. Worse, when one is thrown into the deep end each time a new role comes up, which can easily lead to frustration.

And worse still-they may start looking for greener pastures- to companies whose roles are well defined. This is when retention schemes kick in. Incentivise employees via promotions, salary increments or leadership opportunities.

5. Assure job security

In most cases, SMEs start off as as owner-run family operations. But in today’s marketplace, growth and legacy are best directed by an experienced performer – not necessarily a family insider.

The NewPaper advises SMEs to spell out their vision clearly so employees do not worry about nepotism or the company’s survival, and focus on contributing towards the company’s for the sake of their long-term success.

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