Like most small business owners, you have invested a sizable chunk of your company’s time and money into recruiting and training employees. Naturally, you do not want to lose good people–for two reasons: You don’t want to waste your investment and you may lose a great performer who is difficult to replace.

The question then is, what exactly does it take to attract and retain good employees today?  And, can small employers compete with large employers who are able to offer bigger financial packages?

A recent survey, the GrowBiz Media Small Business Hiring and Retention Survey 2012, has some good news.  Among employers polled, the number one benefit offered was paid vacation. Over 67 percent of employers said they offered paid vacation.  This is not surprising, as it costs little or nothing to offer paid vacation rather than benefits that cost additional out of pocket.

The top 5 benefits offered by small employers with between 2 and 50 employees are as follows:

    • Vacation time–67.7 percent
    • Personal days off–63 percent
    • Health insurance–57.5 percent
    • Flexible working hours–56 percent
    • Bonuses–55.3 percent

Surprisingly, though, what keeps employees around in a small business isn’t benefits at all.  It’s the relationship the employee has with management. Those surveyed said the following were the top factors influencing employees to remain:

    • Manager-employee relationships–78 percent
    • Company culture–66 percent
    • Employee benefits–53 percent

The survey did not include a question about salary, so we don’t know where pay fits in.

Investing in relationships and working conditions helps your small business compete against larger employers for available workers. Refreshed, happy, well-balanced employees are typically better performing employees.  They are more likely to stick around, meaning less turnover and repeat hiring and training. As a result, your business runs more smoothly.

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We have served the accounting and tax needs of closely held businesses for over 65 years.  We understand the pressures you face today.  We work together with our clients as accounting, business, and tax advisers to navigate the current economic difficulties.  Contact an MCB adviser for your tax and accounting needs at or 703.218.3600 to start building a relationship with a CPA firm who strives to earn your RE

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