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When it comes to running a business there’s a thought that the most important element is to make money. While no business can operate without money, there’s one thing all business owners need to think about before turnover, and that’s employees.

Richard Branson once said that customers come second and employees first. However, while this attitude is thought to bring unexpected benefits to both the company and clients, a global study in 2018 found that 85% of people were not happy at work.

While this number is alarming in itself, this level of unhappiness is thought to be costing around $7 trillion annually in lost productivity. Meanwhile, the cost of replacing employees can be twice as much as their salaries.

When the numbers are laid out in front of you like that, it’s easy to see why investing in your employees is great for your business.

For smaller businesses, this is even more important, and below, you’ll discover several ways you can get the most out of your team while giving them everything you can as an employer.

Paid for training

The most valuable thing any business can do for their employees is to help them to continue to learn. In a study by IBM, it was found that those who don’t feel they’re developing within a business are twelve times more likely to leave.

Therefore, it’s important to make employees feel valued by helping them advance. A Gallup study found that 87% of millennials value career growth and development opportunities when it comes to their job. However, only 74% of those questioned felt they were reaching their full potential.

This is because a large number of companies don’t take employee training seriously, seeing it as an expense rather than an investment. But what you need to think about is, is it better to train someone who’s become a core member of the team and help them progress, or hire someone new?

Well, if you’re looking to hold on to your talent, the former is much more promising, especially if you’re looking to make your business the best around. Another study by Gallup found that employees who were more engaged helped to improve sales by 20%.

As you can see, investment in training is probably one of the best things you can do.

Flexible hours and working from home

While workers now look for jobs that offer progression and room for development, something else businesses need to consider is the ever-changing working landscape.

The recent outbreak of the Coronavirus saw more individuals working from home than ever before. More interesting is how successfully it worked. While there may have been previous concerns that employees would be tempted by mid-morning television, rather than that, the reality has been the opposite.

So, in a world where individuals are looking for more flexibility, putting your trust in your staff by offering flexible working hours and the chance to work from home will go a long way to getting more from each person.


We all know the guidelines of 20 holidays a year and eight bank holidays, but there are plenty of businesses around that now offer far more than this. In turn, these businesses become much more inviting, and, in turn, get a better chance of snapping up the best talent.

As working from home during lockdown has shown, the additional holidays shouldn’t be detrimental. Instead, it shows your employees how much you appreciate them and in turn, this makes them feel more appreciated. And, the more appreciated an employee feels, the more engaged they are, and, as shown above, when an employee is more engaged, the more chance there is of increased sales.


The term gestures are open to interpretation, but it can mean everything from team days out and office fitness classes to daily snacks, fruit and free breakfast or beer Fridays. For many, a paycheck alone isn’t an incentive enough to take a job.

It’s these small gestures that provide something extra to your employees. You’d be surprised how many businesses say they offer ‘perks’ that turn out to be the standard yearly holiday allowance. By providing everything from an expense paid night out to that additional banana in the morning, every little can help.

Team building activities

This may make you roll your eyes, but team-building activities don’t have to be days where everyone sits in a windowless room trying to figure out something mundane. Instead, these can be short, fun tasks that take no longer than 10-minutes that you can fit into your working week.

By doing this, you’ll be able to add an extra dose of fun to the working week while helping your employees develop a new skill over time. The task, however, will all depend on your team and what they like – so, remember to listen and get feedback to ensure it’s working and figure out where to switch the tasks up if needed.

Additional help

One thing that can get employees down is being overworked. And, while you may not have the resources to hire someone new, you need to recognise when a team member, or members, are drowning, as this can negatively impact on your business in the long run.

If this is happening, ask them what they need. You may find it’s a quick fix such as hiring a freelancer, or something longer-term like hiring additional help from an agency when needed.

At Relative Marketing, we provide a full range of services that could help you and your team, get in touch today and find out how.

Robert Barlow profile picture

About the author

Robert started off in admin, working for a marketing agency based in Manchester, before deciding he wanted to go to university and gain his HND followed by a BA Hons Degree in Business Finance with Marketing. Since then Rob has worked his way up through the ranks and now holds the position of The Oracle at the office! But unfortunately, unlike the character out of The Matrix, he doesn’t have all the answers for the team (but that doesn’t stop the questions)! Rob never says no to a hot drink (tea or coffee) to help keep his mind stimulated. He spends his time working on the business development of the company, liaising with clients and managing the work flow. And most importantly spends a lot of time working on the personal development of the team… answering questions!

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