Your company’s employees can be the driving force behind your operations. Entrepreneurs might have a hundred great ideas, but without a strong and passionate workforce, they may have to work twice as hard to carry out innovative ideas.

A high turnover rate can not only be damaging for an employer, but also bad for business. It signals to potential applicants that your company may have flaws, or that management may be inflexible, and they should look for employment elsewhere. However, making a few small changes to challenge and engage your workforce can go a long way toward creating an upbeat and productive work atmosphere.

1. Challenge your workforce

One of the most common answers job applicants give when asked why they left their recent position is, “I wasn’t challenged enough.” It’s important not only to keep your workers engaged by giving them a varied workload, but also to provide opportunities for professional development and growth. Establishing employee training seminars so they can learn new skills, involving workers of all levels in company meetings, and habitually assigning seasoned workers new tasks to make them feel important can help workers feel valued and eliminate some of the doldrums of working in a stagnant position.

2. Give feedback

Don’t wait for annual reviews to give feedback, either positive or negative — communicate regularly with your staff so they know exactly where they stand.  Employees who are engaged with their jobs want to know what they are doing well and how they can improve.  Others who are facing challenges may be able to improve if they are given a chance early enough.  Small business owners have the advantage of having a small team to work with, which can make it easier to develop personal relationships.  This can allow them to more quickly pick up on their employees’ strengths and show appreciation for what they bring to the company.

3. Make sure they’re taken care of

Conduct some research to make sure your salaries and benefits compare favorably with what other companies are offering in your industry and your area.  A health/dental/vision package can seem expensive initially, but it may go a long way toward keeping your valued employees on board.  If you don’t already offer insurance coverage, a new tool offered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources ( allows employers to navigate through and compare more than 2,700 coverage plans nationwide.

4. Be flexible

If your business model allows you to let employees work from home if their child is sick, or work through their lunch hour and leave early for a parent-teacher appointment, you may find that employees appreciate your flexibility.  Recognizing the need for work-life balance can be a great way to ensure loyalty and help you retain employees.


The information contained herein may not represent the views and opinions of Nevada State Bank or its affiliates.  It is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice.