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Protecting Your Employees from Poaching

Thursday, July 25, 2013   By Mike Reddy



Poaching or employee raiding is when another business or firm targets your valued employees and attempts to lure them away.

Small businesses, especially successful ones, become viable targets because bigger businesses know they can offer more in terms of cash benefits.

So how do you ensure that your small business retains those valuable employees who you have invested in?

Start at the beginning and include non-compete clauses in each and every employee's contract. Essentially, these agreements state that the employee agrees not to go work for the competition, solicit business from current customers or compete with your company for a designated period of time after leaving their position at your business.

Potential employees may shy away from these agreements as they can feel trapped in their career trajectory.

You can also prevent the temptation by nurturing your employees and providing adequate incentives. Create long-term incentive plans and keep your employees involved in planning for the business' future.

Managers can often underestimate the value of small acts of kindness and inspiration when it comes to their employee's satisfaction. Make this a top priority and incorporate it into daily work life. Be the boss that employees want to work for.

Recruiting is becoming cutthroat. Poachers are boldly calling employees at their place of work or accessing them through sites such as LinkedIn and making enticing offers.

Large corporates have juicy budgets to offer bonuses and more, making poaching a high-risk and expensive problem for small business owners.

But money is not always the biggest factor. Employees want to feel "engaged and interested in their work, feel appreciated and that their effort and opinion counts as well as being confident your organisation is invested in their future," says one expert in the field.

Consider these simple ideas carefully - are you actively doing them?

  • Actually saying 'Thank You!' - Besides these simple words, make other rewards achievable and regular.

  • Keep communication open and make it known that their opinions count.

  • Build company culture and unite the ranks, everyone wants to be part of something bigger!

  • Promote a work/life balance. Making their lives better outside the work place shows that you actually care.

  • Invest in staff development - if you don't encourage their growth and help them achieve their goals they will go somewhere that will!

Reach out to your employees with an anonymous survey or questionnaire to find out about their levels of satisfaction, give them a chance to tell you what needs to happen in order to keep them happy!

Mike Reddy is a Chartered Accountant, business coach and advisor helping businesses in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Gold Coast to easily increase their profits and cash flow. He is currently President of the North Sydney Chamber of Commerce, a Regional Councillor for Sydney North East and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Sydney leadership team. As well as advising businesses, Mike presents business development seminars and webinars and is regularly contacted by the media to comment on small business matters. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.