Given how challenging to recruit and hire the right talent for your business, you might be scrambling to retain your best employees.

You’re not alone.

Just about every company is employing new strategies to compete for talent retention.

It’s especially tough for small businesses.

Staffs are stretched to the max. There are daily fires to extinguish. Orders to fill. Customers to keep happy. And recruiting motivated job applicants and employees to retain.

So it’s important to budget time each day for marketing and also for keeping employees motivated and content-enough to avoid the temptation to accept offers from other employers.

After all, it will cost you more in the long run if you’re forced to replace great workers and to find new ones.

Your employees are not different from you as the boss. They have emotions, families and needs.

If they feel appreciated, they’ll also value the culture and work environment in your company.

Here are affordable yet creative and proven employee-loyalty ideas:

1. Free-form play time

Give them some time to create and generate new energy.

In understanding that every employee has different wants and desires, why not give them some flexibility. Perhaps they want time to analyze and solve problems.

Possibly, they have ideas to pursue that will help your business.

2. Gifts for their families

When you get a great performance by an employee, why don’t you reward their partners or whole family for memorable outings – baseball, football or ski lift tickets – with money for refreshments or incidentals?

Not to sound mercenary, but you’ll earn loyalty and support from their family members, too.

3. Unplanned time off

Some of your most productive employees probably accumulate too much vacation time. They probably are conscientious and work hard, and need to recharge their batteries.

So surprise them – walk into their cubicle or office with a surprise announcement. Tell them to take Friday off for a long weekend of fun. “Order” them not to answer emails or the cellphone.

4. Charitable time off

Charitable “work” is not work. By creating goodwill, it helps employees’ with higher self-esteem and it creates enthusiasm, which is contagious and an attitude worth spreading.

So encourage your employees to support the community. It’s one of the best ways to get their faithfulness to your business.

They might want to feed the homeless, mentor children, or fixing houses for the less-fortunate. Whatever the case might be, encourage them.

5. Conferences or training

You should be thinking of ways to develop your talent. By building their skills, employees will appreciate your interest.

In turn, they will have enhanced productivity.

6. Fun, learning lunches

You know your crew. What would interest them?

Especially if you have employees with good attitudes, they’ll appreciate lunchtime programs of enrichment or coaching programs.

You might consider inviting a personal trainer to your lunchroom to provide workout tips for busy people.

How about a time-management expert to help employees to better balance their work and personal lives?

Or bringing in a nutritionist with ideas for good family health?

7. Wellness program

Yes, it seems most everybody is on a health kick. But why not do something special at noontime like a massage therapist each month?

Cut a deal with a local health club for employee memberships.

Or start a biking, running and walking clubs.

8. Support professional memberships

Encourage your employees to join professional organizations. True, your employees will be exposed to competing recruiters, but if you’re engaging your employees well you won’t have to worry.

Your employees will appreciate the opportunities.

Moreover, it might be a great recruiting tool for you. Your employees will probably end up bragging about your company which will appeal to their new friends.

At the least, they’ll hear horror stories from others. As a result, your employees will develop a deeper appreciation for your company.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related tips:

For Best Performance, Inspire Employees with Non-Financial Rewards — Money talks, of course, and is a way to motivate employees. But money is not always the chief motivator. Here’s why with some ideas.

Manage Health Costs by Improving Your Culture 3 Ways — Is your company saddled with high health costs? By improving your culture in three ways to minimize stress, your company will improve performance and long-term sustainability.

Strategic HR Management for Retaining High Performers — You must build your organizational capabilities if you want to create an environment that will retain high performers. The way to accomplish it is to be committed to strong results with specialized retention initiatives for your talent.

HR Retention: Keys to Profit from Cross-Generational Teams — Today’s cross-generational workplaces present a quandary for employee retention. Promote a trust culture that’s appealing to everyone – young and old.

5 Quick Management Tips to Motivate Your Employees — A major quandary for managers is to bring out the best in their employees. Every manager wants to do it, but it’s not always easy. What’s the reason? Usually, it’s because employees are disengaged – disconnected from their managers and companies. Here’s how to fix it.

Tips for Restaurant Owners: Keeping Good Employees, Profits — If you, as a restaurant owner, have trouble keeping talented employees, consider insights from a report on a Sacramento, California TV station. It will also help you increase profits and stay in business.

“Brains, like hearts, go where they are appreciated.” 
-Robert McNamara


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.