How to Use Technology to Keep Your Best Employee

One of the most important investments a small business makes is in its employees. It takes a considerable amount of time and effort to find just the right person for each job, train them in their new responsibilities, and get the whole team working smoothly together. Any time an employee leaves, all that work has to be repeated, so it’s in a company’s best interest to hold onto team members who are performing well.

Businesses large and small are using all kinds of tactics to boost employee retention these days, from nap rooms and lunchtime yoga sessions to stock options and advancement opportunities. But what’s the simplest way for small businesses to protect their investment and keep their best employees? Using technology to address the most common reasons why people leave a job.

Here are three of the most often-cited reasons an employee might quit – and how you can prevent or counteract the problem in order to keep your team intact.

 1. Communication and Transparency Issues

Employees need to feel that they are a valued part of the organization. Regular two-way communication and transparency is a vital part of making that happen. Sometimes, there can be a disconnect between what management feels is enough communication and what the rest of the team needs. Maybe you have an open door policy, but when an employee tries to come talk with you, someone else is always in your office. Or maybe misunderstandings have arisen between team members just because certain expectations haven’t been properly communicated. Even the perception that communication isn’t up to par can be damaging to morale.

That’s why it’s a great idea to use some online tools to help facilitate communication, both vertical and horizontal. A chat app like Slack, or a virtual office like Sococo, offers your team members a quick and easy way to ask their supervisor a question, check if you’re free for a quick in-person discussion, or coordinate with other team members. These tools also provide an easy way for you to send out group announcements or quickly double check that everyone is on the same page, without having to call a meeting or interrupt anyone’s work flow. Increasing communication and transparency among all parties in a company boosts morale and can definitely help retain employees.

 2. Work/Life Balance

We hear everywhere that today’s workforce is “always on,” and while this can be a great thing in terms of productivity, it can also lead quickly to employee burnout. The last thing you want is for your star employee to spend so many evenings and weekends working that they finally throw their hands up in despair and start looking for another job.

Fortunately, there are tools to help your employees find that work/life balance. Apps that help with time management, like Toggl and RescueTime, can show them how much time they’re spending on what, so they can see exactly where to make changes in order to get everything done during the workday.

 3. Relocation Issues

One reason for an employee’s departure may seem hard to combat – relocation. If your employee has to move out of commuting range for some reason, it can seem unavoidable that they quit. But unless their physical presence at your location is required in order to do their job, some simple flexibility on your part and the wealth of telecommuting tools available today can enable them to remain a part of the team.

Communication tools such as those mentioned above, coupled with project management apps like Basecamp or Trello, can keep remote workers on the same page as in-office team members all day, every day. Schedule some online video calls through Skype or Google Hangouts, and it will feel like your employee never moved at all.

So if you’re worried about keeping your best employees, address these three major causes of potential turnover with the tech tools available today. You might just find you don’t need to bring in that ping pong table after all.

Ajeet Khurana
Ajeet Khurana
Ajeet Khurana wears many hats: author, angel investor, mentor, TEDx speaker, steering committee of the NASSCOM Start-Up Warehouse, Director of Founder Institute, Venture Partner with the seed initiative of a top Venture Capital firm, and former CEO of IIT Bombay’s business incubator, among others. Before all this, he was entrepreneurial twice in the field of education and web publishing. As a lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin, he taught e-commerce back in 1993, when the term "e-commerce" had not yet been coined. An undergrad in computer engineering from the University of Mumbai, and an MBA from the University of Texas, Ajeet is presently an active name in the startup ecosystem. From starting two ventures as a solopreneur, to helping a large number of startups with their go-to-market, he has never shied from getting his hands dirty. At the same time he has helped dozens of startups raise investment. He truly believes that small business owners are driving change in the world, and need to be facilitated as much as possible. Innumerable small businesses have gained from his attitude, vast professional networks, financial acumen and digital mindset.

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