How to Keep Valued Employees Without Giving Raises

action-adult-african-descent-1089551For small businesses, every dollar counts to achieve a positive bottom line. When a hard-working employee asks for a raise but your budget doesn’t have the wiggle room right now, but you also can’t afford to lose a quality employee, how can you ensure they don’t start looking elsewhere?

Here are what I suggest as alternatives to pay increases to keep the employees you want without paying more than you can afford:

Flexibility

One survey revealed that 58% of millennials would choose a better work-life balance over improved compensation. Do your employees need to be physically in the office every weekday? If they have everything they need to perform their duties from home and the independence to work on weekends, consider allowing them the flexibility to do so when it may be more convenient for their social or family life. Showing your employees that you care about their life outside of work will likely motivate them to care more about their life at work.

Commission

If the employee requesting a pay increase are members of your sales team, consider offering them commission incentives. Commission payouts may sound like they will cost you money, but they encourage your team to hit difficult goals that they otherwise may not have the motivation to accomplish. With increased sales you should be able to afford the commissions that come with them. There are many different commission structures that I recommend you look into before deciding which is ideal for your team.

Bonus

If an employee is putting in extra time on a project and the results are successful for your business, think about sharing some of that success with an employee with a bonus. This could be a cheque or a Visa gift certificate. Let them know why they are receiving the bonus.

Travel Expenses

Does your employee frequently use their own car for business-related travel? Reimbursing their per-kilometre allowance may be costing you more than if you provided them a company vehicle. As a Canadian business owner, many expenses related to company cars are tax deductible. Consider the difference in cost, and if the math doesn’t add up in your favour, then it may be better to consider one of the other alternatives on this list.

Professional Development

No matter which industry you’re in, it’s changing. Businesses that don’t grow or adapt to new technology or best practices become stagnant, and your employees want to stay relevant in the industry just as much as you do. In fact, 70% of employees wish they had more growth opportunities within their company. Offering them free learning opportunities to better themselves and develop their skills will allow them to better benefit your company. There would be costs involved, but group workshops, seminars, and conferences benefit multiple employees as well as your business, whereas individual salary increases only benefit the individual employees.

If you would like to hear about other ideas on how to keep your employees engaged and productive for the long-term, contact me today to discuss becoming a member of a TAB peer advisory board!

Advertisements

4 Training Options to Introduce a New Employee to Your Business

pexels-photo-533444Hiring isn’t easy. You may have spent weeks, if not months, ensuring you hire the perfect employee for your business. So, how do you ensure they are set up for success in their new role? Since as much as 25 per cent of new hires leave within 45 days of their start date because their expectations aren’t met, it’s important that you have them prepared from day one.

In order for your new employee to be at peak productivity for your business as soon as possible, they likely need to go through some form of training. Here are some training options I frequently recommend to business owners:

Prepare in Advance of the Start Date

If you already have an idea of the kinds of tasks the employee will need to perform, let them know ahead of time. This will allow them the opportunity to brush up on programs or software they haven’t used in a while. Some new hires may even welcome the opportunity to join your office or work environment part-time, prior to their official first day.

Gain Another Shadow

Reading information packages and manuals may not be the best learning method for every employee. For those that need more than written words before diving into their work, assign them to job shadow a coworker who performs a similar role. Assigning workplace mentors may also be an option to consider by pairing a new employee with a more senior member of the team, from whom they can seek advice. You may also want to consider allowing the new employee to sit in on meetings that don’t directly apply to them, so they can better understand the workings of the business as a whole.

On-the-Job Training

Some employees learn best by being put to work immediately. However, I don’t suggest throwing them in the deep end with a “sink or swim” mentality; we don’t want to allow the employee the chance to sink. Give them the opportunity to learn on their own, but make sure to check in regularly to ensure they are on the right track.

Let the Student Become the Teacher

After the employee has been with your business for a few weeks, consider asking them to create a presentation to teach you everything they have learned so far. Who are your clients? What does your business do? What are your business goals? There are two benefits to this teaching method: 1) If the employee was incorrect about any information, you can correct them before the mistake negatively impacts their work. 2) You will know where to improve other training areas based on the accuracy of the presentation.

With a dedicated onboarding process and the support of a TAB peer advisory board, you can streamline employee development. For more tips and information, contact me today!

 

 


The Dos and Don’ts of Hiring Negotiations

pexels-photo-872957As a small business owner, you know that hiring quality talent on the first try can be critical to your bottom line. In fact, finding and hiring a suitable candidate can cost your business thousands, or even tens of thousands, of dollars.

When the cost of hiring is so high, what do you do when your offer is countered? Spend the money to start the interview process all over again, or negotiate?

As an owner, being presented with a counter offer may leave a bad taste in your mouth. It’s natural for you to consider the negative personality traits this may reveal about the candidate, such as greed and disinterest. However, in my experience, an attempt to negotiate reveals the following positive personality traits:

  • Intelligence – From the candidate’s perspective, there isn’t much harm in asking for a higher salary. The worst you can say is no, so to not at least ask for a higher salary would be foolish.
  • Confidence – A confident counter offer would tell me that the candidate intends to prove they are worth that value.
  • Enthusiasm – If the candidate only wanted the experience and wasn’t planning on staying with your company long-term, they’d take any offer. It’s understandable for them to want to build a solid base before settling into your business.

If you see these traits in your candidate and want to go ahead with negotiations, you may first want to address this two-part question: How do you negotiate without 1) the candidate changing their mind, and 2) paying more than you can afford? To help guide you, here are some dos and don’ts tips I share with my clients when handling hiring negotiations:

Do 

Don’t

  • Welcome negotiation
  • Be insulted by counter offers
  • Initially offer at least $10,000 below the maximum your business can afford
  • Present your best offer at the start
  • Allow the candidate a couple days to consider the offer
  • Let the candidate drag you along for an indefinite amount of time
  • Communicate the reasoning behind your offer
  • Reject their counter offer and stand firm without explanation
  • Consider highlighting or adding to perks other than the salary
  • Go beyond the hiring budget you deemed reasonable

 

If after a couple rounds of negotiations you two can’t come to an agreement, it wasn’t meant to be. If you are looking for ways to help your business grow including insights on hiring the right candidate on the first try, contact me today!


How to Find and Keep the Right People: Part 2- The Hiring Process

article-0-01B431F20000044D-984_634x455In my last blog, I discussed some possible ways to find the right candidates for your business. In today’s blog, I am going to discuss the hiring process.

Employee hiring and firing is one of the most time-consuming and costly investments you’ll make as a business owner. It can be a long, drawn-out and sometimes unsuccessful process if you aren’t asking the right questions or looking for the right things. Many of the people I have worked with throughout my 30-plus years in business have improved their success rates by following a formal hiring process. Creating a hiring process that works for your business will prove invaluable to making this daunting task less taxing on your time and budget.

After sorting through resumes, you’ve chosen the most suitable candidates and it’s now time to meet these candidates and interview them.

The Interview

The first step in the hiring process is the formal interview. Ask questions pertaining to their behaviour and personality, as well as their knowledge and skills. The type of person they are is as important as their skills. Evaluate if this candidate will fit with your vision, your team and the culture of your workplace.

Testing

Many businesses stop their process after the interview, but why not include a testing element? The testing element will differ depending on what industry you’re in but what remains the same is the value you will get from it. You will be able to get a true sense of the candidates’ skills and what exactly they will be able to bring to your business. Tests are also a way that you can filter if the person can back up what they say they can do.

Be sure to utilize a test that will give you a real sense of how the person will perform on the job. These could be hands-on, performance-based, or analytical tests. For example, if you are hiring a salesperson, have them present a sales pitch to you, or for an IT candidate, maybe it’s a written test that displays skills that are directly related to certain job duties they’d be performing. This will allow you to get a better sense of the overall capability of this candidate in the role they are applying for.

Score the tests and then determine which candidate you should move forward with to the next step – the reference checks.

References

I have seen many people show mixed emotions when it comes to reference checks. Some believe they are the most help in making a decision to hire or not to hire and some believe they are just a waste of time. I suggest that in order to make the most of references, you need to make the calls personally and ask the questions you want the answers to. Ask questions about the candidate’s personality and work style, as well as skills. You want open-ended questions that spark discussion, not closed-ended ones that only allow for one-word answers. After all, you want to know if this candidate is right for your business, so use this time wisely with directed questions.

Who you accept as a reference is also an important component of this step. Contacting a relative or friend as a reference will give you the biased answers you don’t want you to hear. Ensure that you make the most of the limited time you have during these calls to find out what your face-to-face interview and test have not already revealed.

The hiring process can be exciting and purposeful. An elevated interview, the addition of a testing element and appropriate reference checks are just some things that can make a world of a difference to your process. Once you’ve found your perfect candidate, what are the best ways for keeping employees? Stay tuned for my next blog that will provide insights on employee recognition and retention.

What procedures have you used during a hiring process? What worked the best? What didn’t work? I look forward to a lively discussion!