Owning a small business is not for the faint of heart.

Between having to master an array of skills – such as accounting, marketing, social media, product development and sales – to finding good, qualified employees who want to see your small business succeed; it’s a never ending job that requires an immense amount of work.

One thing you do have control over, at least to a certain point, is who you decide to employ.

Unfortunately, some people view small businesses as a stepping stone to bigger and better companies.

They want to get the necessary experience at your place of business, and then move on to larger, more developed companies that can pay those more or offer more room for advancement.

While there’s nothing wrong with this, it should be your goal as a business owner to keep those valuable employees working for you. By offering employees perks and benefits, it’ll be tough for them to want to leave.

The article “How to invest in your career” advises employees to have a plan of where they want their career to go, network, constantly work to improve their skills and to be prepared to change direction. From an employee’s point of view, this makes complete sense. From an employer’s point of view, it’s your job to allow your employees to grow, advance and improve themselves – all while keeping them employed for your business.

Tips on getting employee retention rates high

  • Offer good benefits – It’s often argued that a good benefits package is more valuable to employees than their salary. Employees know that employers may spend up to $15,000 per year on their family’s health insurance plan. This ways very heavily in swaying employees to stay working for your place of business. Good benefits are hard to come by these days, so make yourself stand out by offering the best.
  • Provide a retirement plan – Almost all employees are concerned about their future and want to make sure they’ll be able to retire with a decent amount of money. By providing a matching 401(k) account to employees, they’ll feel more secure knowing that their future is in good hands.
  • Offer little perks – Little perks include allowing your employees to telecommute a few days a week, wearing jeans on Fridays, letting employees set their own hours (would they prefer to work 6 am to 3 pm or 8 am to 5 pm, for example), catering lunches for special events, providing a fair amount of paid time off and being flexible with things like doctor’s appointments, sick kids and personal days.
  • Keep the work environment fun – Try not to micromanage your employees, but instead encourage and reinforce them in positive ways. If you keep a good attitude and keep the vibe of your small business positive and friendly, your employees will be much happier working for you. If the employees aren’t happy, you aren’t happy, so go out of your way to improve morale and keep everyone at the top of their game.

Even if you do all of these things, you’re still going to get good employees who wind up leaving for reasons outside of your control.

They may be relocating, deciding to be a stay-at-home parent or changing industries all together.

By doing everything in your power to retain employees, though, your small business will be much more successful in the long run.

About the Author: Sarah Brooks is a freelance writer living in Charlotte, NC. She writes on a variety of topics including small businesses, social media and employee retention.