Today’s guest post comes from Oleta Collins. Oleta is the owner of Flourishing Art Design Studio, a premier florist and design studio in Bakersfield, California, that specializes in luxury weddings and events. She is also a Certified Floral Designer and an accredited member of the American Institute of Floral Designers.

There are few things more challenging in a business environment than employee turnover. High rates of turnover can be disastrous, as it taxes your resources through the repeated hiring processes. It can also make your client experience inconsistent and unreliable, which can cause you to lose business in the long run.

If you have repeat clientele, it’s imperative for your clients to trust in your staff. A team that has been together for some time has a way of understanding their strengths and weaknesses. They will work together in the best way possible, which equates to an excellent experience for both new and existing clients.

Therefore, longevity is key in the business world; however, it can often seem like it’s easier said than done. Today, I’m sharing some of my proven strategies for team building to ensure your employees feel valued and are committed to sticking around.

Play to their strengths

When you are familiar with your team, you will know who is best in different situations. Some may be better at logistics, while others excel at design. My business encompasses everything from invitations and flowers to rental sourcing and power distribution. Everyone has their specialty and, with strengths and weaknesses already established, you can delegate work in the most efficient way possible. Not only will this promote productivity, but it also helps morale when your employees feel like they are great at their job.

Promote creativity

Shutting down an employee’s idea is the quickest way to push them away and, in the long run, lose them. Listen to your team, even if their concepts don’t seem feasible. Let them learn and foster their creativity — if something isn’t the best idea, guide them in a better direction. Explain why their original thought wouldn’t work and ask them to find another solution.

Likewise, invest in opportunities for your team members to flex their creative muscles. Take them to conferences to keep the inspiration flowing, or sign them up for class’ that will help them hone a new skill. If you support your team, they will support you.

Communicate often

Your employees won’t know that they’re appreciated if you don’t tell them — it’s as simple as that. Let your team  know that they are wanted and that their ideas are valued. Get involved in their day-to-day work, so they recognize that you are engaged in the work as well.

We have production meetings every Tuesday, which allows us to work out all of the event issues we’ve faced and how we can improve execution. We also have a teambuilding day every quarter to reconnect. I make it a point to create an open platform for all employees to speak their mind. I would rather know the pulse of my team than have whispers disrupting productivity.

At the same time, make sure they know that they can be open with you if they are unhappy. It doesn’t do anyone any good if there’s a bad apple in the group. Poor morale can spread like lightning. Your company will always be better if you’ve developed a harmonious “ecosystem.”

When you have longevity within your team, your clients and vendor partners will recognize it and appreciate the cohesiveness at each job site. People want to work with professionals who love their job. After all, employees that are taken care of will speak your praises — even after they’ve moved on.