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Smaller business - how to keep people

When you are a small business, working hard to makes ends meet, you are unlikely to be able to compete with larger businesses benefits and salaries, however, you can still keep your people. Here's how...


  • help people drive initiatives in your business. Give them the freedom to do this

  • don't micro manage - avoid at all costs

  • try to give people freedom to work hours that ease pressure from life commitments

  • be understanding when sickness does happen and if it doesn't happen frequently pay it discretionally.

  • involve people in what you are doing and thinking

  • provide extra days holidays - these days 28 days is not the average, 30 days is.

  • delegate as much responsibility as possible but put in place support

  • ensure people have the right tools and knowledge to do the job. Give time and space for people to learn.

  • look after people's safety and their wellbeing

  • pay a bonus/give vouchers (doesn't have to be large) off the cuff at a time people don't expect

Some tell tale signs of someone thinking of leaving (not always the case but can be):

  • you may see a drop in focus, passion and commitment

  • you may see a change in attitude towards you and what you are doing

  • a person may talk or use communication channels about the business negatively with others in the business

  • a person may take sick unexpectedly and unusually

  • a person is more likely than not to ensure they have used their holidays and their balance is 0 at any given time

  • it will be noticeable that a person is handing over knowledge about what they do to others (Unless of course this is planned training and development)


Point is, stay close to your people. People in small businesses want to know you care and in return they will care about you. If you make a mistake - own it and put it right as soon as possible. It might not repair the care they thought you had for them but it will make things right so you can sleep at night.










All small businesses have so much to offer. It's just a matter of finding that sweet spot for your team. Whether you are a team of 2 ore more!

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