In any competitive business environment, having the right team in place is essential and can really make the difference between long-term success and growth, and stagnation (or even closure). As a result, small businesses which suffer from a high employee turnover rate will always find their profit levels negatively affected.

Most estimates are that it costs ventures thousands of dollars each time a staff member leaves; sometimes the costs can even run into double the employee’s salary once the expense of finding and training a replacement is factored in.

A high turnover rate is not only costly in terms of recruitment, but also in the lost productivity suffered from a person’s knowledge walking out the door. There is also the likelihood that a constantly changing team will adversely affect staff morale.

Unless you go about recruitment very carefully, or utilize specialist HR services for small businesses which are designed to find the right people for roles every time, it’s possible that a new hire just won’t work out, and you’ll soon be left to go back to the drawing board.

It’s clear to see there are many reasons why it’s important to focus on retaining talent year after year when you run a small business. If you’re keen to learn some top ways you can go about this, read on.

1. Acknowledge and reward employees

One of the key things you should do to better retain your employees is to regularly acknowledge team members for their contributions. While you may not think that thanking a worker for a job well done or praising them in front of their team will make much of a difference, studies show that acknowledgement is a very important factor for employees across all types of industries.

Apart from verbally recognizing your team for their hard work, or sending them an email, writing them a thank-you note or the like, it also pays to reward employees in a way that will show them that you appreciate their efforts and have noticed their contributions to the team. You can get together an award ceremony, or reward top-performing staff members with bonuses, vouchers, bottles of wine, or even trips away.

2. Keep communication channels open

It’s important for employees to be treated respectfully each day in your communications with them. Steer clear of shouting, talking down to, or ridiculing your team in any way. In addition, employees won’t be likely to stay in a role if they feel like they’re often being kept in the dark about their role or performance in the business, or with news of upcoming changes to the firm.

Being open and honest with your team is key. Listen to their concerns and suggestions and alert them in reasonable time about any changes to the business or their positions. It’s good practice to try your best to involve employees in the decision-making processes as this helps them to feel like they’re truly part of the team, increasing their engagement levels and happiness overall.

3. Create a positive corporate culture

The corporate culture you foster goes a long way. If you want your staff to stay in the business, you need to help them to feel trusted and supported in their role. Team members need to feel like they’re a valued part of a cohesive team where everyone is treated equally and where the work day can be enjoyable.

One way to do this is to lead by example. Team leaders can create a happy, engaged culture that focuses on communication and equality – one that strives to combat negative things such as pettiness, gossip and criticism in the workplace, as well as unnecessary long work hours which can just wear people down.

Think about incorporating morale-boosting activities (such as special lunches, group outings, team-building days and inspiring presentations) where teams can interact with each other in a positive manner.

4. Establish a career plan for your employees

Employees often want a career path and growth plan in place so that they feel like they are going somewhere in their career and within the company. Bring visibility to your opportunities for development, so that they don’t feel that they need to leave the business in order to get promoted or move up in their role.

It really pays to take the necessary steps to making your team feel appreciated, welcomed, and in-the-know. By building a company culture that promotes open communication and engagement, employees naturally feel more valued and motivated at work. With a more positive setting, you can better retain and attract talent for your team.