HR & Management

How SMEs can retain top talent without spending more

4 min read

30 November 2018

An Aldermore Future Attitudes study showed two-thirds UK SME bosses face recruitment and retention problems. According to BBX's John Attridge, SMEs should find workable solutions that aren’t cash focussed.

Recruitment and retention issues can be caused by a number of factors with the most common rooted in funds.

SMEs are not only struggling to secure funding through the traditional routes but are also facing pre-Brexit conditions causing uncertainty for investors.

A limit on funds can mean a limit on personnel for SMEs with the best in the business lured to larger organisations able to offer more robust payment packages and incentives for staff.

As a result, SMEs are becoming more innovative when it comes to recruitment and retention and finding workable solutions that aren’t cash focussed.

As a small business owner myself, I realised there must be a way to utilise spare capacity within a business in order to gain benefits for the business such as reducing cash flow issues and rewarding staff.

Here are some tips on how businesses can retain top talent without spending more.

1. Offset your overheads to pay top wages

Wages are the number one reason staff leave their jobs, with a survey by Investors in People showing that 51% of job seekers say money is their main reason for leaving.

This certainly doesn’t help small businesses that are strapped for cash to retain their staff.

Small business owners can utilise bartering platforms as a solution to offset some of their overheads by sourcing business essential services, such as supplies and marketing which means business owners are able to allocate an increased spend on employees’ wages.

2. Incentivise your staff

Business incentives shouldn’t be overlooked by small businesses due to cash flow.

Incentives can help persuade staff to join your business, retain existing staff and increase productivity in the workplace.

Sourcing unique opportunities to reward staff for reaching goals boosts staff motivation in the process. Recognition of a job well done goes a long way to creating goodwill and loyalty.

Employees can be rewarded with luxury dinners, hotel stays away and spa days.

3. Build strong team morale

Team building activities can be organised in exchange for selling spare capacity which can boost team morale and encourage top talent to stay within the company.

Employees that build strong relationships with one another are less likely to leave their jobs if they feel valued and part of a team.

By organising a spontaneous trip for the whole team, you can lift spirits and reward employees for their hard work.

4. Offer training and development opportunities

Business owners can source training and course sessions for staff which provides an opportunity for them to grow and learn, and lets employees know there is room for advancement in your company.

When choosing a role, employees are looking for growth and development.

Training presents a prime opportunity to expand the knowledge base of all employees, but many employers in the current climate find development opportunities expensive.

The investment in training that a company makes shows employees that they are valued.

5. Provide a stable environment

Employees who feel as though they are in a financially unstable environment at work can feel the need to leave.

If managers or business owners are stressed and worried about the financial state of the business, it can reflect badly on employees who think their job may be at risk.

By utilising the company’s spare capacity to acquire goods and services business owners can keep their financial worries to a minimum.

John Attridge is founder and CEO of BBX.