Recruiting and keeping good employees always has been more difficult for small business owners who must compete with large companies that offer a variety of perks and benefits. And now, with the jobless rate sitting below 5 percent for the past two years, the struggle to find reliable, long-term personnel has never been more difficult.
The days when flex-time and telecommuting were considered attractive employment incentives are over. This fact is painfully apparent when you consider some of the perks and incentives that organizations are offering their employees these days (and yes, these are real):
· Paid college tuition for the kids
· A leased BMW for all employees
· Laundry and maid service
· Full-body massages
· Private screenings of new movies
So, as a small business owner, how can you retain good employees without going broke? Experts say the first step is to review your benefits and compensation packages.
With a little research and negotiating, you can assemble an affordable benefits program that includes modest medical insurance, a payroll deduction plan that lets employees pay pretax dollars for medical and dependent-care expenses and a basic retirement plan.
It's also important to remember that you're not really competing directly with large corporations for all employees. A small company can offer greater flexibility and opportunity for growth, which shouldn't be underestimated, especially since some people don't want to work in an environment where a number is attached to their cubicle. Offering opportunities for personal advancement and learning is very important in today's business environment.
As a small business owner, you are also in a position to offer your employees something that not all large companies can - recognition and respect. This often goes much farther than you may think.