In this week’s edition of Wash Wisdom, we discuss employee retention and time management best practices.

Why employees leave and how to stop them

According to the article “The top 6 reasons why employees leave, and how you can stop them” by contributor Alison DeNisco on techrepublic.com, a survey of 400 marketing and advertising executives found six primary reasons for employee turnover: “Limited opportunities for career growth (30%), job boredom (21%), inadequate compensation and benefits (20%), excessive workload (12%), unhappiness with management (7%) and lack of recognition (7%).” However, to counteract these causes of employee turnover, DeNisco offers four ways to help keep your employee retention rates up:

  • Acknowledge your best people. Recognize what your employees contribute to the company and make sure that they know how much you value them. Find out, however, how each employee likes to be recognized, whether by public announcement or just a private word.
  • Lay out plans for career growth. Make sure that your top employees understand the paths for career growth available to them so that they will continually feel challenged to aim for those positions. DeNisco says, “Creating a career development plan or offering extra training in areas of interest can help.”
  • Stay ahead of the game. Your employees’ wages should match those on the market, but also consider giving raises and bonuses for contributive, hard work. Also engage with employees by asking for opinions on business plans and projects.
  • Take feedback seriously. Make sure that your company has a culture where employee feedback is not only accepted but encouraged. This way, they can be candid about what they feel works and doesn’t work.

You can read the entire article on employee retention here.

Related article: How to keep quality employees

8 time management tips for a small business owner

Allbusiness.com contributor Maria Duron writes in her article “8 Time Management Tips for the Busy Entrepreneur” that, often, there just aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything that needs doing. However, Duron offers eight practices that can help you not only free up time but also boost quality and performance:

  • Limit your involvement. As a small business owner, you may be inclined to think you need to insert yourself into every matter, but in truth, you’ll only exhaust yourself. Find out what you do best and find someone else to handle the other matters. For instance, Duron says that unless you’re a professional accountant, you shouldn’t focus on all the bookkeeping; rather, just sign the checks and focus on what you can do.
  • Put a time-limit on meetings and conversations. Both of these have a tendency to go long, especially when you start hashing out the logistics for the next meeting. Simplify the process by finding a scheduling tool and using it. Duron personally suggests Calendly.
  • Don’t overuse your social networks. Understand why you have your social media networks in the first place. Did you put them in place to gather information or use them for customer service? When you know what you want from social media, you can figure out the best use of your time for it. Whether you only need a posting platform such as Hootsuite, virtual assistants to help with customer service or a marketing team to generate content for your accounts, you’ll figure it out once you know the purpose for your networks.
  • Find out when you work best. Not everyone is a morning person. Figure out at what time of the day you are most productive.
  • Then disengage from all alerts. Whether it’s emails, texts or any other alert you have, turn them off during your most productive time of day. (You can keep them on at all other times.)
  • Just say no. It can be difficult to say no, especially when you are used to offering to do whatever you can to help others. Unless the request is absolutely vital, keep from agreeing to it. Learning to say no isn’t being rude ¾ it’s learning to say “yes” to your own priorities.
  • Make a prioritized to-do list. Often when we make to-do lists, we write down way more than we can accomplish in a given day. Duron suggests using Stephen Covey’s Four Quadrant list. You divide a piece of paper into four sections. In the upper left corner (Quadrant 1), list the most urgent and important tasks that will truly impact you if you don’t finish them that day. In the upper right corner (Quadrant 2), list important but not urgent tasks that will still impact your future but do not need to be seen to right away. In the bottom left corner (Quadrant 3), list what is urgent but not important — these are the tasks that suddenly appear on a daily basis that need immediate attention but do not have great impact. Finally, in the bottom right corner (Quadrant 4), list tasks that are neither urgent nor important but are perhaps habitual.
  • Delegate, delegate, delegate. Just as you figured out what does and does not need your attention and who is best for a given task, delegate the jobs that you absolutely don’t need to do. However, when you delegate, make sure that you leave the lines of communication open so that you can keep an eye on quality and that the person you assign to the job understands the goals for the task.

Read the full article here.