One of the biggest challenges for most employers is finding and retaining qualified employees and this can often be a complicated and expensive process – the average cost per hire is over $4,000! However, retaining quality individuals is another hurdle as the competition for good talent is fierce. Perhaps companies today need to consider ways to not only make their companies attractive to new employees but also discover new ways to motivate current employees not to exit stage left. Nearly 80% of millennials look for a people and culture fit with employers first, followed by career potential and with so many of them entering the workplace, creating a great corporate culture is imperative to your success.

For over eleven years, Google has been ranked as one of the best places to work. They offer some unique perks, take an analytical approach to employee morale and allow managers to ask their employees what they need to be happy in the workplace. Granted, Google has the financial means to offer up perks that many small business owners cannot afford, so how does a small business owner keep their workplace attractive to retain top talent?

Besides the obvious things such as paying their employees fairly, offering training and benefits/perks, here are seven things business owners might want to consider to keep their employees coming back for more:

  1. Make the office comfortableWhile an attractive workspace is very impactful for employees, does their equipment meet their needs to perform required tasks? While this might seem simple, studies illustrate that employees are frequently frustrated with equipment they have to ‘make due with’. It really does not take much effort to ask your people what they need!
  2. Improve lighting in staff work areas Research has indicated the exposure to natural light improves mood and energy, greatly influencing focus and productivity.
  3. Keep the office space clean Losing employees to illness is a setback to productivity. Health is important and contributes to an individual’s ability to stay focused and positive while working.
  4. Maintain a balanced temperature in all workspaces Keeping the temperature of work areas pleasant might seem like a no brainer but employees are often distracted by the office being too hot or too cold and it can definitely take away their ability to focus on the task at hand. Have you ever felt yourself starting to doze off over a keyboard if the room is too warm?
  5. Add live plants and keep air fresheners current – Not only are live plants attractive but they create a pleasant work environment and the bonus is that you don’t need to dust them like the fake ones! Many studies have also shown that scents can have an emotional impact on someone and pleasant scents can help keep people motivated and reduce stress.
  6. Allow for personalization of employee workspaces – This can increase their connections to their tasks and the business and make them feel less isolated from home life.
  7. Provide water and snacks – Well-hydrated employees are less likely to feel tried and unfocused. Keeping snacks available helps to ward off the mid-day snack attacks that can become distracting.

The good news is that many of these ideas are inexpensive and are things that small business owners can incorporate without breaking the bank. These types of things illustrate to your employees how much you appreciate their work and want them to continue working with you.

The great news is that every business owner has the ability to create a more productive and enticing work environment for their employees: it just takes a little extra effort and vision. The reward by retaining quality individuals makes it well worth a business owner’s time to consider how their workplace atmosphere can be improved.

To Your Success!