The “How To” Series Pt. 1: How to Attract, Retain, and Develop Great Staff

As a small business, we love being able to interact and connect with other passionate small business owners. However, as a small business, we know the struggles of finding and retaining great talent. In fact, according to the 2018 Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Summit Report, 70% of small businesses struggle to find and retain skilled talent.

In the pet industry, finding and retaining that talent is important because it’s an industry based on trust. Pet parents place their full trust in boarding facilities, groomers, and brands to keep their furry family members safe, happy, and healthy. Thus, it’s crucial for a successful pet-industry business to find the best and to keep them.

As part of our “How To” series, we’ll be exploring how to create, cultivate, and maintain an environment that attracts the best and helps them blossom.

Let’s dive into “How to Attract, Retain, and Develop Great Staff”

Provide Opportunities for Advancement

In today’s gig economy, it’s not uncommon for you to find talent that may be working 2 or more jobs at the same time. As a result, they may be scattered and unfocused. But that doesn’t mean that’s who they are at their core. The promise of career advancement is compelling for many who are tired of working multiple jobs in the gig economy.

In 2016, Gallup conducted a poll that found that 87% of millennials noted that career opportunities to grow were an important part in considering a job. Speak openly and often about the availability of career growth within your company. But don’t just mention it once… keep the conversation going! Touch base with your staff often and be supportive of their desire to grow and expand by providing those opportunities for them.

Create a Positive Culture

As a business owner, you know how awful it is for an employee to love their job but hate the environment or company culture. Even if your employees love what they’re doing, toxic work culture is the fastest way to scare away promising talent. Although you may believe you can hide the nastiness at work, the fact is, you can’t.

Fresh eyes and ears are always going to be able to pick up on toxic environments and they’re going to want to run! So, how can you create a positive culture and environment to work in? These are our favorite tips:

  • Acknowledge and reward good work
  • Create a recognition rich environment
  • Establish strong values and stick to them
  • Foster social connections
  • Have fun!

Treat Your Employees Like People

And not just like people but like adults. Your staff is filled with smart and competent individuals and they should be treated as such. Autonomy, connection, and respect go a long way in business. Employees respect employers that invest in them. This means investing in new training, reward systems, respecting personal and family crises, and giving them the structure to have autonomy.

Your staff wants to be the best at their job but they can’t be their best if you don’t or won’t let them.

Offer a Flexible Work Environment

Today’s staff force value flexibility. This means that the traditional 9-5 hours simply don’t appeal to everyone like they used to. Flex hours and flex days are easy ways to attract and retain talented staff. Remember, your staff has a life outside of their job. This means that they may have kids, family, health issues, etc. that need to be juggled.

However, offering flexible work environments lets them know that you care about keeping them; even if it means they can’t work traditional 9-5 hours.

Find Great Talent, Keep Great Talent

It is possible for you to find great talent and to keep that talent! However, you have to remember that as a small business you need to play by your own rules. What works for large companies isn’t necessarily going to work for you and your staff. Building a strong and positive work environment can help attract and retain skilled staff making everyone happy!