As a business owner, I learned long ago that SBS Accounting & Advisors is nothing without a strong team alongside me.

You can be the most brilliant person in the room, and have a great product or service, but without a great team that’s connected to, and beloved by, its customers, your business will suffer or cease to exist.

At SBS, we strongly believe that hiring and retaining top talent is the heartbeat of the small business owner. We also believe that you don’t have to find the most experienced or smartest people out there to hire. Their performance and passion are much more important ­– and you can always train them to get the skills and guidance they need to succeed.

Today, I want to focus on ways to keep your top teammates on board. While this is always a key challenge to strategize around, it seems more important than ever with more and more businesses having remote employees and scattered teams. Also, employees tend to leave because they think there’s something better out there.

So, how do we, as small business owners, convince our team that our business is the best place for them? Here are some tips and tactics we’ve found to be key to staff retention. I hope they help you, too!

Practice what you preach. Fancy titles and more money are nice, but there’s nothing like a human connection within your company. Small business owners must be strong leaders, and that means leading by example.

If you expect staff to be on time and work hard, you should, too! Building a sense of unity and togetherness brings the team together and encourages them to work toward common goals. Make everyone feel like one big family, and don’t let your ego or position of power get in the way. Be approachable and let others voice their opinions and concerns. Be a willing listener and offer advice in a positive way. It’s truly a two-way street, and communication and inclusiveness go a long way!

Get to know your team on a deeper level. If putting food on the table and living a better life hinges on your business’ success – and your customers are the key pillar for deciding that success – then your team is the bridge that connects the gap between the two.

In other words, your team is absolutely vital to everything. They must be respected and cared for deeply. My team has a special place in my heart because of how much they care for my customers’ wellbeing and success.

One way I feel has helped them care so much for you is getting to know each other on a deeper level. At team meetings, for example, we regularly discuss personal aspects of our lives and pray for each other. In taking the time to genuinely get to know your team, you’re showing how much you care about them and their lives. That creates meaningful and powerful relationships that reflect on your performance as a company.

Inspire and motivate. There’s nothing like a passionate, motivated and happy employee. In getting to know them on a deeper level, find out what motivates them to come to work each day and be willing to put in the time and effort to take your business – and its customers – to the next level.

Sure, that can be a raise or bonus, extra time off, or a holiday party. But dig deeper. Giving them praise and reassurance is a simple, yet powerful way to let them know that you care and that they’ve done a good job. It can be a simple high five in passing, a one-on-one sit down in your office or a moment in front of the entire team in a meeting. In fact, at SBS, I use a tool called Cooleaf to show my team how much they mean to me. To learn more about why I believe in Cooleaf, check out this video. Maybe you’ll find that you want to use it as well, or something similar!

Delegate and empower. As a small business owner, there’s no way you can be everywhere at once or do everything at once. That’s why delegating important tasks to your team is necessary. In doing so, they will feel empowered. They’ll be making decisions and performing tasks that decide the future of your business. And when they perform at a high level – and see its impact on others – they will be more confident and more willing to go above and beyond for your business and your customers.

Train, train, train. You can’t expect your team to perform how you see fit without the proper training. They aren’t mind readers and they certainly aren’t robots.

Give them the proper training and guidance they need to be able to do the things you need them to do, how you see fit. Things like open communication, collaboration and mutual respect go a long way.

When you know how you want something done, it’s easy to neglect the details and get frustrated. But your team won’t know how to do all the steps to get something done without the proper training.

Go all in to Keep Your Team Intact

Once you have the team you want, you can’t afford to lose them. Never take them for granted, and always make them feel like it’s one big family of support, trust and respect.

I hope that some of our tips and tactics above resonate with you in some way. We have discovered them through many years of experience, trial and error, and learning from each other.

If you’d like to discuss some specific strategies for keeping your team intact and pleasing your customers, or want to share some of your own techniques, don’t hesitate to contact us today. We’d love to hear from you!